How Democrats Who Beat Republicans Last Year Plan to Keep Their Seats


“We’re not working on headlines,” she said. “We’re helping neighbors.”

A Republican tracker with a video camera taped her every move. “Angie and her staff hate me, but they can’t stop me,” he told an attendee.

Ms. Davids is socially liberal, but like Ms. Craig, she has taken a pass on the “Medicare for all” bill. One of only two Native American women to ever win a seat in Congress and the first lesbian to win a congressional seat in Kansas, Ms. Davids ran on a strategy that worked for many Democrats in 2018: motivate the base, lure Republicans who are leery of Mr. Trump, but also don’t say his name a lot.

During her campaign, Ms. Davids reached out to voters in largely working class Wyandotte County, who had long felt ignored by her predecessor, former Representative Kevin Yoder.

At the same time she was able to make inroads here in Johnson County, which includes Leawood and parts of Kansas City. Like many counties that have taken on new educated residents from urban and rural areas, the area can be friendly to Democrats. Ms. Davids’s district narrowly supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, the only one in the state to do so.

Among Johnson County’s 410,301 registered voters, 110,683 are Democrats and 182,004 are Republicans (the rest are libertarian or unaffiliated). Five years ago, there were 374,501 voters in the county, 84,243 Democrats and 172,768 Republicans among them.

“We are a microcosm of what we have been seeing nationwide,” said Greg Shelton, vice chairman of the Johnson County Democratic Party. “This next election is going to be really telling — whether this is short term, or if there is a growing new normal where more and more people are saying, ‘My parents are Republicans, my grandparents were Republicans, but I am starting to grow away from the party.’”



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