washingtonpost.com  > Print Edition > Inside the A Section

The Plains

Sunday, October 31, 2004; Page A21

Kansas (6)

Bush is heavily favored here. Sen. Sam Brownback (R) should also cruise to reelection over Lee Jones, a railroad engineer who lost the Democratic primary but landed on the ballot when the first nominee dropped out. Rep. Dennis Moore (D) is usually imperiled, but Democrats feel good about his race against lawyer Kris Kobach. Moore has portrayed Kobach as a far-right figure tied to groups that have white supremacist connections. Kobach has depicted Moore as a radical liberal who is weak on national security.

Nebraska (5)

Bush will breeze to victory here, and there's no Senate or governor's race. The House race to succeed retired Rep. Doug Bereuter (R) is spirited. Former Lincoln City Council member Jeff Fortenberry (R) is thought to have the edge over state Sen. Matt Connealy (D).

Republican Larry Diedrich is again running against Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth for South Dakota's lone U.S. House seat. Herseth narrowly defeated Diedrich in a June special vote. (Joe Kafka -- AP)


This regional overview was compiled by staff writers David S. Broder, Dan Balz and Charles Babington with staff writer Juliet Eilperin and political researcher Brian Faler. Staff writers Ceci Connolly in Pennsylvania, Thomas B. Edsall in Iowa, Jonathan Finer in New Hampshire, John F. Harris in Ohio, Evelyn Nieves in Nevada, Michael Powell in Wisconsin, Manuel Roig-Franzia in Florida, Peter Slevin in Minnesota, and Vanessa Williams in New Mexico contributed to this report.

North Dakota (3)

Safe for Bush. Gov. John Hoeven (R) is poised to win reelection against Democratic state Sen. Joe Satrom. Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D), seeking a third term, is running well ahead of GOP lawyer Mike G. Liffrig. A Liffrig ad suggested Dorgan backs polygamy, which the senator called absurd.

South Dakota (3)

No problem for Bush here, where the Senate contest is the nation's most closely watched. Former representative John Thune (R) is strongly challenging Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle in a slugfest that has saturated the airwaves with ads. Both nominees can point to recent polls showing them ahead, and only the foolhardy will bet the mortgage on this race. Total spending by the campaigns and independent groups will approach $40 million, a staggering sum for a state with only about 760,000 residents and inexpensive TV air time. Thune, who lost a 2002 Senate bid by 524 votes, says Daschle has lost touch with South Dakotans. Democrats say the state cannot afford to lose Daschle's seniority, clout and experience. The state's lone House member, Stephanie Herseth (D), again faces Larry Diedrich, the Republican she narrowly defeated in a June special election. Conventional wisdom says Herseth will win again, but at least one poll has shown Diedrich ahead.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company