See Jerry Moran run. See Jerry Moran run fast. See Jerry Moran build a big lead in the polls and a big, big lead in fundraising.
Watch Todd Tiahrt sweat.
That's the state of Kansas' U.S. Senate race as 2009 winds down.
At some point, a fair question becomes: Can Tiahrt still do it? Is there enough in the tank for the congressman from Goddard to pull off a win over the congressman from Hays in next year's GOP primary?
Winning that intraparty skirmish is an especially valuable prize this time around, because the winner may just automatically become the winner in November, too. Democrats have no candidate and, as of last week, absolutely zero prospects for landing anyone of stature.
The whispering among some members of the Kansas political class last week centered on whether Tiahrt would even remain in a race that now tilts decidedly uphill.
But Tiahrt's camp is expressing a steely resolve to not only stick it out, but to whip Moran down the home stretch.
Aides lay claim to a not-so-secret weapon — legions of die-hard conservatives who, they say, prefer Tiahrt to Moran. Those voters may not show up in polls because they don't trust them enough to agree to be surveyed.
But history shows they are as reliable as hot summer days when it comes to turning out to vote in primary elections that most folks care little about.
"I will tell you it's not a double-digits race," Tiahrt aide Chuck Knapp said of the polls. "I know it's not."
Still, gut feelings are one thing, supposedly scientific polls something else. In the one public poll that's been released, by SurveyUSA, Moran had vaulted to a 43 to 27 percent lead as of early October with 30 percent still undecided.
The result showed decided movement toward Moran. In April, the finding was a virtual deadlock — 39 to 35 percent with Moran ahead, a set of numbers well within the poll's margin of error.
The split on the fundraising front was even more daunting for Tiahrt. As of Sept. 30, he had $1.4 million in his campaign account compared with Moran's $3.5 million.
Tiahrt says pundits like me are looking at the "easy" markers.
"What you don't know is what I'm doing on the ground," he said, a reference to the more covert, grassroots, get-out-the-vote effort that propelled Barack Obama so effectively a year ago.
Moran's camp doesn't buy the notion that Tiahrt will get all the conservatives. In fact, even some Tiahrt supporters acknowledge little more than a penny's worth of difference between the two on matters of deep concern to the right.
"Frankly, they are pretty close on the issues," said state Rep. Arlen Siegfreid, R-Olathe.
Case in point: The conservative Family Research Council gave Moran a 100 percent score in 2008; Tiahrt got the same number. The American Conservative Union gave Moran a 92 score in 2008 and Tiahrt a 91.
Still, some Republicans insist there are distinctions to be made. The trusted Almanac of American Politics describes Moran's voting record as moderate, Tiahrt's as conservative.
The campaign ahead is sure to clarify the distinctions.
But Tiahrt had better start running real fast, real soon.