It’s early yet … but Sharice Davids is showing a slight lead in her bid for Kansas’ third congressional district.
Davids is ahead of Rep. Kevin Yoder by 3 points, 46 percent to 43 percent. A Libertarian candidate, Chris Clemmons, showed support at 4 percent and 7 percent were undecided. The poll, commissioned by Davids’ campaign, surveyed 400 likely voters with a margin of error of 4.9 points.
In addition to the small lead, the poll by Global Strategy Group said Davids has work to do to boost her name with voters in the district. It also reflected the unpopularity of President Donald J. Trump is not very popular; nearly 60 percent reported an unfavorable view.
This is all pretty good news. Hillary Clinton won this district in 2016 so there is a lot of room for Davids’ support to grow.
Davids tweeted: “The first public polling since the primary has us up on Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder by 3 POINTS. With your help, we can win this election and change the face of Kansas politics. Will you join us?”
This week Davids released a new ad campaign that shows her commitment to service -- and introduce herself to Kansas voters. It’s an uplifting ad that shows Davids journey from a community college to the Ivy League. (Yoder has already done negative. His ads are dark in tone and complain that Davids is the most radical candidate for Congress in Kansas' history.)
Davids is Ho Chunk. A Native American woman has never been elected to the Congress.
And speaking of that, Davids and Debra Haaland posed on Instagram together. Haaland posted: “Celebrating my friend Sharice Davids. Along the campaign trail I have often said Congress has never heard a voice like mine. It’s true, and they have never heard a voice like hers either. With your help, there will be not one, but two Native American women in Congress in 2019.”
Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, was endorsed by Bernie Sanders Thursday. Sanders tweeted: Her experience is what will make her a fierce champion for workers, for students, for women, for Native Americans, and for everyone who has been sidelined by the billionaire class.”
Native candidates continue to earn lots of national press. The latest is an interview with Haaland in Marie Claire. She told the magazine why it’s so important for Native women to serve in Congress. “I recently spoke with some Native interns in Washington, D.C. There were nine girls and one young man. We took photos together after my talk and they were posted on Instagram and one of the young women commented over and over: “Representation matters, representation matters,” like 10 times. Those girls have never seen themselves in Congress. If I can inspire young women like that to finish their schooling, get some experience, and then eventually think, I can run for office, I’m happy about that.”
Minnesota's local media is now reporting about the certainty of a Native American woman as the next lieutenant governor. (It's still not a national story? But the press and networks will catch on. Eventually.) Republican Donna Bergstrom, Red Lake, told the Pioneer Press: “I think it’s really a testament to the strength of our people. We survive, we adapt. We know how to overcome. And I’m just really proud to be part of that heritage.” And Democrat Peggy Flanagan, White Earth, talked about the Native vote. "We’ve seen races that have been flipped, that have been very close in legislative districts across the country, by the native vote,” she said. “I think it’s simply our time has come.”
Meanwhile in the northern part of Minnesota, Bergstrom tweeted last week from the Carlton County Fair in Barnum, Minnesota. She also opened an office in Duluth. Bergstrom is using two hashtags in her campaign,
#OverthrowTheStatusQuo and # ltcol2ltgov (She retired as a Lt. Col. in the U.S.M.C.)
How competitive is Minnesota? Well the state is already on the White House's list of places to be. Vice President Mike Pence will again campaign in the state at the end of this month.
Ahead in Indian Country Today:
Weekend preview of Oklahoma, Arizona primary elections
Tuesday night (live blog) and results