How things changed in the Presidential election from 2016 to 2020 in Kansas

While Donald Trump handily won Kansas, he made no improvement over his 2016 performance while President-elect Joe Biden significantly out-performed Hillary Clinton. Trump won Kansas by 20 points in 2016 and by 16 points in 2020. Obviously, this is still a significant win, but not as strong as 2016. With higher voter turn-out in 2020, Trump’s total number of votes was 79,470 more than 2016 and yet his percentage of votes was less than a percentage point higher. Biden, on the other hand, got 120,803 more votes than Clinton and his share of the vote was 5 percentage points higher than Clinton’s. So while Kansas went strong for Trump in 2020, he did not improve (57% in 2020, 56% in 2016) while the Democrats significantly improved (41% in 2020 to 36% in 2016).

How “purple” is Johnson County?

There are seven Kansas Senate seats entirely within Johnson County. Of those seven, three are held by Democrats who easily won their races this year (Ethan Corson, who will replace Barbara Bollier in SD 7, won with 59% of the vote; Cindy Holscher, who took SD 8 which was held by Republican Jim Denning, won with 54% of the vote; and Dinah Sykes won re-election to SD 21 with 55% of the vote). None of the four Republicans who won their seats matched the percentage of the Democrats who won. (Beverly Gossage won SD 9 which had been held by Julia Lynn with 52% of the vote; Mike Thompson held on to SD 10 with 52% of the vote; Kellie Warren won SD 11 which had been held by John Skubal with 53% of the vote; and Rob Olson was re-elected to SD 23 with 53% of the vote.) Overall, Democratic performance in these seats is improving and Johnson County would appear to be not quite red or blue but instead a shade of purple.

The Kansas House seats are similar. There are 18 House seats entirely in Johnson County. Of those, 8 are held by Democrats and 10 by Republicans. Similar to the Senate races, they were nearly all quite close. Democrats who lost their races still were gaining between 47% and 50% of the vote with a couple of exceptions.

And at the top of the ticket, Democrats won all the races for federal offices in Johnson County. Biden won Johnson County 53% to 45%, Barbara Bollier won the U.S. Senate race in Johnson County 51% to 44%, and Sharice Davids was re-elected to Congress 52% to 45%.

In the past decade, Johnson County has become decidedly more competitive and decidedly more purple.

Wyandotte and Douglas Counties remain strong Democratic areas. Shawnee, Johnson, and Riley Counties would appear to be purple. Sedgwick County is split with the city of Wichita remaining strong for Democrats while the surrounding suburbs are strongly Republican. The rest of the state is decidedly Republican.