Opinion Columns & Blogs

Nice to matter in presidential nominations

Kansas tends to be a non-factor in presidential nominations, as the races often are effectively over before we have a chance to vote. But not this year. As a result, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was in Wichita Friday for a campaign stop, and Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, were here Saturday. On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., held a large campaign rally in Lawrence Thursday. Though Kansas doesn’t offer many delegates, the caucuses had strategic value. Cruz’s dominating win helps solidify his standing as the top alternative to Trump. Rubio’s distant third-place finish had to hurt, especially when many of the state’s top elected officials endorsed him. Sander’s win helps counter the notion that Hillary Clinton is the inevitable nominee. Caucus sites were swamped, which created long lines and parking problems. That was inconvenient and frustrating for some, but it was encouraging that so many people wanted to participate. It was nice to mater. – Phillip Brownlee