In collaboration with moderate Republicans, Democrats in the Legislature just showed strength in passing a sales-tax hike, but things look bleak for Democrats in some big fall contests. In the gubernatorial race, Rasmussen Reports has Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., beating state Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, 58 to 27 percent — compared with the 55 to 33 percent spread in a February poll. Rasmussen also has either GOP contender for U.S. Senate, Rep Todd Tiahrt of Goddard or Rep. Jerry Moran of Hays, crushing any of the Democrats' challengers, state Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, Baker University administrator Lisa Johnston or communications executive Charles Schollenberger. The best of the bad showings for Democrats was in a Tiahrt-versus-Haley matchup, which favored Tiahrt 50 to 29 percent. In the poll, 32 percent had "very favorable" opinions on Tiahrt and Moran, but a gap opens on the flip side — with 16 percent viewing Tiahrt "very unfavorably" and 6 percent feeling similarly about Moran.