Political science professor shares his thoughts on what to expect in Kansas after midterms

Dr. Birkhead predicts there will be limited changes
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 6:21 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The midterms in Kansas showed that voters aren’t necessarily interested in party lines. Dr. Nathaniel Birkhead is a political science professor at Kansas State University and says there was not an obvious outcome.

“You see Jerry Moran winning easily and you think okay, well it’s going to be a good night for republicans,” said Birkhead, “but then Sharice Davids and Laura Kelly win easily, well I guess not easily, but then you’re just like, oh wow okay, but then Kris Kobach wins instead of Chris Mann and so you’re just like, what? There is no simple characteristic there.”

One relationship drawing attention is that of Governor Laura Kelly and newly elected Attorney General Kris Kobach.

“The fact that Kobach won and Kelly won means that they can both look to the voters and say that they have a mandate from the voters,” said Birkhead. “It just so happens that the voters gave inconsistent information to our elected officials and that will make things difficult.”

With the republicans maintaining their super-majority in the legislature and Governor Kelly re-elected as governor, Birkhead says we can expect to see more agreement on bi-partisan issues but not much elsewhere.

“In terms of policy, I expect to see those areas where there is overlap between say economic development between the democrats and the republicans,” said Birkhead. “But then, that’s probably going to be about all the policy development. I don’t think Medicaid expansion is going to happen. I don’t think recreation marijuana is going to happen. I think what we’ll see instead is simply that the rest of the policy areas will just largely kind of fall into the wayside.”

On a national level, Republicans have a slim majority in the House of Representatives while control of the Senate will be determined in a runoff race in Georgia on December 6.