Next For GOP: A Brief Stop In Kansas And A Southern Swing | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Next For GOP: A Brief Stop In Kansas And A Southern Swing

Up next in the Republican presidential race is Kansas, which holds its caucuses Saturday.

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas — the 1996 GOP presidential nominee — is urging the state's Republican electorate to back Mitt Romney.

Dole, who had endorsed Romney months ago, called the former Massachusetts governor "a main street conservative" in a statement Thursday, released by the Romney campaign.

But as Kansas Public Radio's Stephen Koranda reported on Morning Edition Friday, some political observers believe that the state has moved right in recent years — and that shift probably won't help Romney.

"If [voters] do go with Mitt Romney, I think it'd be more for electability than for any particular policy issue," Bob Beatty, a professor of political science at Washburn University in Topeka, told Koranda.

As Koranda reports, Romney doesn't have any scheduled stops in Kansas and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has cancelled his appearances there before the caucus to focus on the Southern states that hold contests next week. Only Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum are slated to visit before the vote.

At a stop in Lenexa, Kansas on Thursday, Santorum pointed to his performances in nearby states: "The conservative heartland. We've been doing pretty well. Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa. You know, we're surrounding ya. Just make sure you keep that center of the country, bright red, strong conservative, right here in Kansas."

While Kansas has 40 delegates to give, the candidates on Thursday seemed to be looking ahead to next Tuesday, when Alabama (50 delegates) and Mississippi (40 delegates) hold primaries. Romney and Gingrich had events in Mississippi, while Santorum was in Alabama.

On Friday, Santorum and Texas Rep. Ron Paul have events scheduled in Kansas; Romney is scheduled to campaign in Alabama.

In addition to Kansas on Saturday, Republicans are caucusing in the U.S. territories of Guam, the Northern Marianas and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which will award 9 delegates each. The Romney campaign dispatched one of the candidate's sons, Matt Romney, to the Pacific islands of Guam and the Northern Marianas to campaign for his father on Friday and Saturday.

Also Saturday, Wyoming's five-day long caucus concludes — although it's just part of that state's complicated process to award its 29 total delegates. Romney won a non-binding straw poll in the state on Feb. 29.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

John Ridley Explores Family, Race And Justice In TV's 'American Crime'

The writer-director's new show, premiering Thursday on ABC, opens with the home invasion murder of a war veteran. We learn about the crime through characters diverse viewpoints.
NPR

U.S. Government Teams Up With Private Sector To Stave Off Cocoa Crisis

Chocolate is increasingly popular and under assault from diseases that infect cocoa plants. Scientists are working to find varieties that will resist diseases and keep the world's sweet tooth happy.
NPR

Hillary Clinton Asks State Dept. To Release Her Emails To The Public

The State Department says it will review thousands of messages for possible release. Clinton announced her intentions Wednesday, after a House panel issued a subpoena for some of the emails.
NPR

Clinton's Private Email Server Has Advantages, Vulnerabilities

While many of those messages are tucked away from the prying eyes of the public, it's not clear they are well-protected from hackers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.