TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney carried Kansas as expected Tuesday in the presidential race, as Democrats focused on trying to slow the GOP-dominated Legislature's push to the right and allies of conservative Gov. Sam Brownback sought to shore up their gains.
Romney's claim on the state's six electoral votes had long been conceded by supporters of Democratic President Barack Obama. Every Republican nominee has prevailed in Kansas since 1964, and neither campaign had much of a presence this year.
The four members of the state's all-Republican delegation also were expected to win re-election.
With no U.S. Senate race this year and Republicans expected to comfortably win re-election to all four of the state's U.S. House seats, the most closely watched races were for the Legislature.
Throughout the day, voter turnout appeared to be exceeding Secretary of State Kris Kobach's prediction that 68 percent of eligible voters would weigh in — about 1.2 million in all.
Obama had a relatively strong showing in Kansas in 2008, grabbing nearly 42 percent of the vote. But there were signs early Tuesday that any momentum the president had created for state Democrats was fading.
"I'm just ready for a change," said Jim Clark, a 42-year-old computer administrator from Topeka. He's a registered Republican who voted for Obama last time, seeking change, but voted for Romney this year. Clark lost a full-time job two years ago and has worked temporary assignments since then.
"It's tougher for me, personally," Clark said. "The economy has not improved."
Carl Huslig, 44, a Republican who is between jobs in the utility business, cast a straight GOP ticket, including Mitt Romney for president and Rep. Lynn Jenkins for a third term representing the 2nd District,
"The Obama thing isn't working. It's been a complete four years of failure," Huslig said.
Legislative races were intense because Democrats have worked with moderate Republicans leading the Senate to stall some of Brownback's agenda, even though the GOP had majorities of 32-8 in the Senate and 92-33 in the House. The GOP right defeated eight moderate senators in the August primary and was looking to strengthen its hold on the Senate by ousting Democrats, so that both chambers would have conservative majorities.
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