I’m Laura Kelly: This is why I want Kansas’ vote in the midterm election on Tuesday.
When Hillary Clinton took her victory lap after pulling off upset primary victories in Kansas, Arizona, New Hampshire and Virginia, she thanked the people of her home state for making her the first woman to lead the Democratic Party’s presidential ticket.
“Tonight it feels like a country I’ve never known, a country that’s been a little too eager to tell me what’s what and tell me what to do,” Clinton told her supporters at her victory speech in Philadelphia late Wednesday night.
But Clinton’s celebration overlooks some uncomfortable truths. Among them: That despite her support from more than three-quarters of likely Democratic primary voters in the state, Clinton has to win every county in her race to win the White House.
And it also shows the degree of complacency in much of the Democratic Party in this year’s election. Not only is Hillary Clinton still in need of a knockout punch to take the presidential race out of the bag, but Clinton’s campaign needs to show the country it’s not complacent about its chances.
In Tuesday’s elections, Clinton will square off against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the only other presidential candidate on the ballot, as well as the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and the Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson.
By the time the last ballots are counted, Clinton will be at 46 percent of the popular vote and Sanders is at 45 percent of the vote, according to Real Clear Politics. In other words, Clinton’s victory is not assured, especially with a large margin of error for polling and even for estimating actual vote totals.
And while Clinton was able to use her momentum from the Clinton stronghold of Philadelphia to help in her home state as well, there are plenty of voters in Philadelphia who haven’t given her a second look; she needs to turn out those undecided voters in her own stronghold.
But Clinton, despite all of that, has become a national household name thanks to her victory in the most watched primary in the country. And it’s still unclear whether either candidate has tapped into that.
There is no shortage of reasons for Democrats to be optimistic about the outcome on Tuesday.