Somewhere, over the rainbow, a blog is born. A blog for Kansas. A blog for America. A blog by a reporter with a difficult-to-pronounce last name. But most importantly, a blog that is AMERICA'S ONLY PLACE dedicated to the vital intersection of politics and Sunflowers. The Heartland gods nod in wise approval.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Seeing red

Today's the day ... the day some folks've been gunning for since Bush v. Gore in Dec. 2000. In Wichita, everyone's seeing red.

Heard a local radio station broadcasting from a precinct this morning. "I don't know how everyone thinks this will be so close," the broadcaster said. "There's a few Kerry supporters, but most people like Bush." Wanted to throw the analyst out my car window. THIS IS KANSAS. OF COURSE PEOPLE LIKE BUSH!!! We're talking about a state that hasn't gone Democratic since 1964 -- but parochialism reigns in America, and people have a hard time believing that the rest of the world would think differently than their friends do. I'm sure there are folks in New York City right now who are wondering how in the world John Kerry could lose.

Kansas ... The image from 2000 that will always stick with me is sitting in a Wichita sports bar in election night, hearing the primal yell that went out from the crowd when the networks shifted Florida from Gore to Bush. Such moments are unlikely this year, in large part because the networks will be more careful. But the emotions are keyed higher, if anything. The whole red-state/blue state thing can be exaggerated -- even if Kansas splits 60-40 Bush, which is about where the polls have it, that means you could pull 10 random people together and four of them would support John Kerry. But the margin's enough to make the preference clear. Kansas is for Bush, and it's wondering if the rest of America's going to see things its way.