Tea party’s Milton Wolf dreams of being Pat Roberts’ nightmare for Kansas Senate seat

06/11/2014 9:58 AM

06/11/2014 10:28 AM

Everyone knows Milton Wolf can’t beat incumbent U.S. Senator Pat Roberts in the Republican Kansas primary in August.

Roberts knows it; his polling likely shows him way up on Wolf.

The media pundits know it; they aren’t giving him any chance of winning.

Heck, the established GOP elected officials in Kansas know it. That’s why Gov. Sam Brownback and others have fallen in behind Roberts like ducklings in a line behind their mother.

But all of a sudden, Wolf has something going for him today: U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor’s stunning loss to a tea party, no-name foe in Virginia on Tuesday. (By the way, his name is David Brat.)

Everyone with an interest in politics knows that story by now. The tea party victory is being read as a re-establishment of the power of the ultra-ultra-conservative movement to shape Republican primaries.

At least that’s the story line, though there’s precious little evidence of it being true elsewhere so far this political season.

Yet Wolf already says his campaign has been re-energized by the Cantor loss.

And check it out.

Who cares if Roberts is way ahead in early polls? Cantor supposedly had an unbeatable lead in the polls running up to Election Day in Virginia.

Who cares what the media think? No one gave Brat a chance of knocking of Cantor. But that happened.

And as far as caring what the GOP leaders think about a race, notice the fact that Cantor is House Majority Leader, with all the muscle and money that brought to his primary.

In the end, Cantor lost for a lot of reasons, some tied to immigration, some tied to being in a more conservative district than he once was, some tied to the tea party proponents mobilizing behind Brat.

What Wolf has to hope is that he can somehow whip up some or all of those issues in his favor by Aug. 5.

It’s going to be tough to circle around to the right of the very conservative Roberts. But Wolf is willing to give it a shot.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

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