Kansas primary election more interesting than usual
Thursday, July 15, 2010 2:21 PM

The scripts are available for printing and for sound bite identification.

Thanks largely to Sen. Sam Brownback's decision to run for governor, the primary elections in Kansas on Aug. 3 figure to be more interesting and competitive than usual, according to Wichita State University political scientist Ken Ciboski.

Voice wrap:
Announcer: This year's Aug. 3 primary election in Kansas may be more interesting than usual. Wichita State University political scientist Ken Ciboski says once Sen. Brownback decided to run for governor, the dominoes started to fall.

Ciboski: "Sen. Brownback's decision to leave the Senate and run for governor of Kansas I think sent a rippling effect throughout the state and, therefore, you had people who were interested in running for his seat. And it so happened that we had two House members from Kansas who are running for that seat and they're very competitive. And that leaves other vacancies, too."

Announcer: No one knows for sure what the voter turnout will be, but Ciboski says open seats usually generate more competition, hence the likelihood of a higher voter turnout than usual in this primary election. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.

Sound bite #1
Ciboski explains why two incumbent House Republicans would risk giving up their seat in an effort to win a Senate seat. The sound bite is 18 seconds and the outcue is "get more done."

Ciboski: "Well, there are several things. One is, for example, if you get to be a senator, you only have to run every six years. If you're a House member you run every two years, and so you're continually having your eye on that next election, and that's one reason. Secondly, there are only 100 senators. If you're one of a 100 instead of one of 435 in the House, you may have more influence and get more done."

Sound bite #2
Ciboski says an open seat generates more competition. The sound bite is 26 seconds and the outcue is "didn't have competition."

Ciboski: "Well, what we have is competition within the party. I mean, that's what we have here with primaries. There's no party identification per se to distinguish one candidate from another. They're all the same party, but it's very competitive, and there will be followers of each of the candidates, and those followers want to make certain that they get out to the polls on Election Day. So, competitiveness brings out an electorate in the primary more so than it would have if they didn't have competition."

Sound bite #3
Ciboski says it's a little unusual for a senator to run for governor. The sound bite is 26 seconds and the outcue is "Republican Party."

Ciboski: "Of course, I've always thought about this a lot from the standpoint of Sen. Brownback's stepping down and running for governor in Kansas. As we know, he ran for the presidency. And a lot of people have this idea, whether it's true or not, that if you have executive experience, you're better qualified to be a president or presidential candidate. So I think, in spite of whatever discussion is going on, Sam Brownback still has the idea that he wants to run for president and, that quite possibly, he could pull off the nomination of the Republican Party."

Sound bite #4
Ciboski says Kansas has at least two House seats that are competitive at the primary level. The sound bite is 17 seconds and the outcue is "candidates running."

Ciboski: "Okay, we have two districts, two United States House Districts in Kansas which are really competitive in the primary season here, that being the First District with the Jerry Moran seat, and Fourth District, which is Todd Tiahrt's seat. And we have a full primary list of candidates running."

Sound bite #5
Ciboski says voter turnout should be higher than usual for a primary election. The sound bite is 30 seconds and the outcue is "wait and see."

Ciboski: "Primary election turnout is usually much lower than the general election turnout. The voters are different in the general election. They are more moderate and mainstream and so on. The primary election draws the people who are intentionally interested in the party, but also intentionally interested in a particular candidate, and the more competitive a primary is, which we are witnessing here in the First and the Fourth District, the more likely we are to see a higher turnout. Of course, a lot is going to depend on whether it's going to be hot, or whether it's raining or what the weather is going to be like, so we'll wait and see."

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Contact: Ken Ciboski, (315) 978-7137 or kenneth.ciboski@wichita.edu.