As the Kansas Senate primary barrels to a close, tensions are rising between Senate Republicans and the White House over the potential nomination of Kris Kobach, who party officials fear would jeopardize the seat and further imperil their Senate majority.
Senator Mitch McConnell is worried that Mr. Kobach, the controversial former Kansas secretary of state who lost the 2018 governor’s race, may win the nomination in Tuesday’s primary, only to lose the seat in November — and he is frustrated that President Trump is not intervening in the race, according to multiple G.O.P. officials.
And there are plenty of party leaders who are hoping that in the end, Mr. Marshall will prevail. The crowded, negative nature of the Republican primary has made the race fluid and unpredictable, and Mr. Marshall has support from a stable of prominent, deep-pocketed groups and influential figures including former Senator Bob Dole, the Chamber of Commerce and a host of other conservative organizations.
“Next week is a huge week for the Republicans’ chance to hold onto the Senate,” said Scott W. Reed, the senior political strategist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pointing to the race in Kansas as well as one in Tennessee. “Nominating a stone-cold loser in Kansas will guarantee we lose in the fall.”
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