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Inside Politics

Incumbent Moore holding off Kobach

Democrat projected to hold onto Kansas' 3rd District

Rep. Dennis Moore held a comfortable lead over his challenger going into the election.
House: KS 03 Updated: 5:32 p.m. ET
Moore 55%
Kobach 43%
100% precincts reporting
Election Results Main Page

(CNN) -- CNN is projecting that Democratic three-term Rep. Dennis Moore will keep his seat by defeating Republican challenger Kris Kobach in Kansas' 3rd District, which covers the Kansas suburbs of Kansas City.

Despite representing a district that gave President Bush 53 percent of the vote in the 2000 presidential election, Moore sat comfortably in front with a week remaining in the race.

According to a late-October KMBC 9 News-Kansas City Star poll, the incumbent Democratic led his Republican challenger by a 50 percent to 38 percent margin, with 11 percent undecided.

Such a lead was an unexpected luxury for Moore, who had never received more than 52 percent of the vote and won each of his past two general elections in tight squeezes.

Some of the credit for Moore's extended lead was given to the Republicans, who nominated Kobach, a conservative former Justice Department attorney, over more moderate Adam Taff, who gave Moore a tough race in 2002.

Kobach, a social conservative, received fundraising help from high-profile Republicans such as Vice President Dick Cheney and the National Republican Congressional Committee, but never gained a real foothold in the district.

The Johnson County paper, in an editorial promoting Taff over Kobach, had written, "Despite his pedigree degrees from Harvard, Oxford and Yale, Kris Kobach does not seem to have the common sense to come in out of the rain. He has tripped over his own feet on the abortion issue, taking a pro-choice stand in writing, then refuting his own verbatim statements. He boils over with temper tantrums, displays a super-thin skin and on top of that, he is arrogant. This is not a man who would wear well."

Moore used Kobach's hard-line conservatism against him in ads that portrayed the challenger as out of step with suburban moderates. One ad charged that Kobach "supports cuts in Medicare, supported freezing cost of living adjustments" and "advocated privatizing Social Security."

Kobach blasted Moore on economic issues in the final debate between the candidates.

"I think it's utterly clear to everyone here that when it comes to business issues, Mr. Moore's votes are so far out of the political mainstream that he can't even see the water from where he is," Kobach said.

Also in that final debate, Moore accused his opponent of pushing an "extreme" agenda that would bury the country in debt and impose more taxes on the middle class and poor.

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