Who will beat Emanuel Cleaver, Sam Graves or Vicky Hartzler?

Emanuel Cleaver will win, again, in the U.S. House 5th District race.

Emanuel Cleaver will win, again, in the U.S. House 5th District race.

Answers: Nobody. No how. No way.

— In the 5th U.S. House District, a Republican hasn’t represented a large part of Kansas City south of the river (and points east in the now-gerrymandered map) since 1949.

Perpetual GOP candidate Jacob Turk is not going to beat Democrat Emanuel Cleaver this fall.

Cleaver too often these days just goes through  the motions of being the solid, liberal Dem that people have known and re-elected since 2004. He doesn’t get much done in Washington, D.C., but is civil about it, which counts for something.

Plus, people in these parts mostly give Cleaver, Kansas City’s first black mayor from 1991-1999, a pass on his laid back approach to governing. The badly divided Congress isn’t counted on to  get much of substance done anyway.

Turk did climb within 10,000 votes of beating Cleaver in 2014. However, in the 2012 presidential election, Turk trailed Cleaver by a whopping 80,000 votes. And in the 2016 elections, Democrats in the 5th District will be out in force to elect Hillary Clinton as president, which is extra bad news for Turk.

— In the 6th U.S. House seat, Republican Sam Graves is the prohibitive favorite to keep his seat against Democrat David Blackwell and Libertarian Russ Monchil.

Graves is one of those GOP members who never seems to get a lot of national attention, but does just enough to keep the people in Clay, Platte and parts of Jackson counties happy, along with residents in the large northern tier of Missouri.

He isn’t known for being much more than another Republican who says he’s tough on federal spending, while he talks up his support for rural parts of Missouri he represents.

The congressman has made news in Kansas City by opposing a major overhaul of Kansas City International Airport. It’s a popular position with people who favor KCI’s convenience while overlooking how outdated it is. As I wrote earlier this year, Graves also doesn’t seem to understand the importance of at least looking at going to a new, single terminal there.

Still, Graves will win easily on Nov. 8.

So will Hartzler in the 4th U.S. House contest, and that’s just sad.

She’s a Republican who sails to victory every two years, then goes and hides in Washington. Oh, she’ll emerge occasionally for the odd, unintelligent comment about global warming (doesn’t believe in it) or to take an absurd vote on violence against women.

Hartzler will defeat Democrat Gordon Christensen and Libertarian Mark Bliss, then drift mostly out of public view.

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