The odd thing about Kansas City is that it is mostly in Missouri. Kansas City, Kansas, is a relatively small city; the real population center is in the suburbs of Johnson County. This is the area that Thomas Frank depicted in “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” Oddly enough, given the premise of the book, it had a center-left Democratic congressman from 1998-2010. Dennis Moore defeated an incumbent from the socially conservative faction of the Republican Party in 1998 and managed to hold on in the face of stiff challenges for a decade, even as the district became more Democratic. Barack Obama carried it in 2008.
Moore retired in 2010, and the GOP nominated Kevin Yoder, who was able to unify the party. Redistricting made the district more Republican, and Yoder didn’t face a serious challenge in 2012. But the internal GOP divisions that have plagued the district were brought to the forefront over the past few years, and there is a chance -- although hardly an overwhelming one -- that he could find himself upset by former state Sen. Kelly Kultala.