In the shadow of the architectural gem, Union Station, was privileged to address the Kansas City Chamber, Kansas City Power & Light and Hallmark Corporation on my measure of the midterms a week out.

A photo finish is predicted in the governor’s race just across the state line in Kansas where independent Greg Orman could keep Democrat Laura Kelly from reclaiming the office for her party – Kathleen Sebelius the last Democrat to hold the title (though the party came close four years ago.)  Secretary of State Kris Kobach is counting on Trump coattails, which carried him to the Republican nomination, to work their magic next Tuesday.

The suburban fabric of Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder’s metro Kansas City seat is the petri dish for this year’s thriving pink wave underpinning the predicted blue wave.  But here Democrat Sharice Davids is capitalizing on a President Trump 16 points underwater.

In the neighboring congressional district, an open seat, Republican nominee Steve Watkins is fending off charges, not only of an embellished resume, but  just-breaking news placing him in the crosshairs of #MeToo and the family values caucus.

Kansas Republicans may be less stressed about the re-election prospects of their attorney general, Derek Schmidt, who, according to Governing magazine, “is well-positioned to win a third term.”  Keep an eye on him since his office in every state is seen as the bull pen for aspiring governors or U.S. Senators.

In one of the nation’s most contentious U.S. Senate contests, carefully tracked by this media market, Missouri Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley is trending ahead of Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.

If the caravan traipsing north through Mexico is this cycle’s October surprise, it is set to the backdrop of a deeply divided electorate as measured in the most recent NBC-WSJ poll, in the field rolling into this past weekend.  As the NYT’s Lisa Lerer put it in the context of pipe bombs and Pittsburgh, “many voters have seemed to retreat even more into their corners as a result of the discord.”