Republican Estes wins Kansas House seat by narrow marginBy Darlene Powers Apr 12, 2017
Estes, the Republican state treasurer, is locked in a hard-fought battle with Democratic civil rights attorney James Thompson for the seat vacated by former Rep. Mike Pompeo.
The outcome does not radically alter the composition of power in Washington. Trump underperformed there in 2016, winning it by just 1.5 percentage points.
But, for now, today's win gives Republicans room to breathe a little easier.
President Donald Trump says he really hopes the Republican Party wins a special congressional election in Kansas. Instead, they came up short. Mike Pompeo, who vacated his seat to serve as Central Intelligence Agency director under President Donald Trump, has Republicans nervous and Democrats sensing an opportunity to rally momentum for the resistance.
It was the 93rd most pro-Trump district in the country.
Next week's special election In Georgia's 6th district - a seat Trump carried by only one point in 2016 - will be a more fair fight than this Kansas seat. Wichita is home to Koch Industries, the company led by conservative billionaire political donors Charles and David Koch.
"Lots of registered Republicans in [District 4] tweeting they voted for James Thompson!" one voter tweeted Tuesday.
Republicans familiar with recent polling describe extremely high Democratic intensity and very low GOP enthusiasm in what is likely to be a very low turnout special.
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But in the middle of last week Republicans began circulating an internal poll showing Thompson trailing by just 1 point, and the national party quickly invested almost $120,000 to back up Estes. "There are thousands of elections every year, though".
"When they think about choices, they tend to think big choices: change versus status quo", Rothenberg said.
National Democrats may now take heat from their base for not doing more.
Republicans had confidently projected victory. The National Republican Congressional Committee spent roughly $90,000 in last-minute TV and digital ads. "So if we can win, that just caps it off". The GOP has held the seat since 1995 and the closest race in the last 15 years was in 2010, where Pompeo enjoyed a 22 percent margin of victory. It's important to note that local politics mattered in this race.
Readers of a liberal blog have donated more than $200,000 in less than a week to the Democratic candidate in a special congressional election in Kansas. (They did not have enough votes to override Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's veto, though.) Brownback's deeply unpopular war on the state budget has made life hard for rank-and-file Kansas Republicans over the last four years.
But, Republican problems with their most loyal voters look to be exacerbated by two other factors: Lingering uncertainty about Trump and questions about whether a party that played the loyal opposition for the better part of the last decade can actually govern. Brownback passed a massive tax cut for the state's wealthiest in 2012, leading to the gutting of the state's education system that has become Democrats' main talking point.
Estes, the state treasurer, defeated Democrat James Thompson 52.5 percent to 45.7 percent, according to complete but unofficial results.
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