Why AP called the Kansas governor’s race for Laura Kelly

Nov 8, 2022, 9:06 PM | Updated: Nov 9, 2022, 11:11 am

Supporters cheer for Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly as she speaks during a watch party Wednesday, Nov. 9, ...

Supporters cheer for Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly as she speaks during a watch party Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Topeka, Kan. Kelly was facing Republican challenger and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A look at what led The Associated Press to call the Kansas governor’s race:


Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly ultimately had enough of a lead that her Republican challenger couldn’t have caught her, even if he’d won all outstanding votes.

That’s what enabled the AP to call the Kansas governor’s race for Kelly on Wednesday.

Seeking her second term in Republican-leaning Kansas, Kelly was the only Democratic governor running for reelection this year in a state carried by former President Donald Trump in 2020.

Republican challenger Derek Schmidt, the state’s three-term attorney general, aimed to tie her to President Joe Biden, blaming the two Democrats for high inflation.

Much of the race seemed to turn on how many independent and moderate GOP voters stayed with Kelly after lifting her to victory four years ago. In that race, Kelly faced then-Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a nationally known hardline provocateur on immigration and voter ID issues.


Kansas has had strong anti-abortion majorities in its Legislature for 30 years, but voters have regularly elected Democratic governors. The party was energized in August by a statewide vote decisively rejecting a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution that would have cleared the way for tighter restrictions on abortion or a ban of the procedure.

The first test of voter sentiment after the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision overturning Roe v. Wade came in Kansas, with heavy turnout in a primary that typically favors Republicans but was a major victory for abortion rights advocates.

Kelly opposed the proposed amendment, which would have added language stating that it does not grant the right to abortion, saying changing the state constitution would “throw the state back into the Dark Ages.”

Supporting the measure, Schmidt told the Catholic television network EWTN before the election that “there’s still room for progress” in decreasing abortions, without spelling out what he would sign as governor.


Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP


Learn more about the issues and factors at play in the midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections.

And follow the AP’s election coverage of the 2022 elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Early phases of Iran's drone attack against Israel. (Photo: Getty Images)...

Associated Press

The Latest | Iran launches its first direct military attack against Israel

Iran launched its first full-scale military attack against Israel on Saturday, sending drones toward Israel.

18 hours ago

Early phases of Iran's drone attack against Israel. (Photo: Getty Images)...

Associated Press

BREAKING: White House confirms Iran drone attacks towards Israel

JERUSALEM (AP) — The White House says it will provide unspecified support for Israel’s defense against an ongoing airborne attack from Iran. National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a Saturday statement that “Iran has begun an airborne attack against Israel.” She added: “The United States will stand with the people of Israel and […]

18 hours ago

Image: O.J. Simpson attends his parole hearing at Lovelock Correctional Center July 20, 2017 in Lov...

Associated Press

O.J. Simpson, fallen football hero acquitted of murder in ‘trial of the century,’ dies at 76

O.J. Simpson, the former NFL star and Hollywood actor who was acquitted of charges he killed his ex-wife and her friend has died at 76.

3 days ago

Southwest Airlines boeing...

Associated Press

An engine cover on a Southwest Airlines plane rips off, forcing the flight to return to Denver

A Southwest Airlines jet, a Boeing 737, returned to Denver Sunday morning after the engine cover fell off and struck the wing flap during takeoff.

6 days ago

Image: The late Careaga family....

Associated Press

3 found guilty in 2017 quadruple killing of Washington family

A jury has found three men guilty of killing a family in Washington in 2017, crimes detectives asserted happened over drugs and money.

8 days ago

The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exc...

Associated Press

Boeing’s CEO got compensation worth nearly $33M last year but lost a $3M bonus

Boeing's CEO got around $33 million in compensation, nearly all of it in stock awards, but his stock payout for this year will be cut.

9 days ago

Why AP called the Kansas governor’s race for Laura Kelly