The Kansas special election was a test for party leadership. Everyone failed
Apr 17 2017 by Larry Hoffman
"To fellow grass-roots progressives leading the resistance in the streets, at townhalls, and at the doors, these results are proof that our movement can have a profound impact at the ballot box in the months ahead", said Jim Dean, head of Democracy for America.
Following his victory, Estes, who has served as state treasurer for the past six years, told supporters that he's ready to put his fiscally conservative experience to work in Congress. "That's the big thing right now". "Obviously, there's still some discussion about Obamacare and repealing and replacing that. And we knew they would show up, and they did show up".
The unofficial results were reported by the 17 county election officers in the 4th District on election night.
While Thompson's fundraising prowess has been impressive, the amount of money collected in the Georgia race by Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old former congressional staffer and filmmaker, has been particularly notable.
But the race became surprisingly competitive and drove Republican leaders into a last minute push for Estes. The president joined the effort for Estes through social media and get-out-the-vote calls. The special election Tuesday between Democrat James Thompson and Estes to fill the seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo is being watched across the nation for signs of a backlash against Republicans or waning support from Trump's supporters.
Another nail-biter for the GOP and Trump comes next week in Georgia, where polls suggest Democrats have a chance to win a suburban Atlanta district once held by Newt Gingrich. The civil rights lawyer is a Bernie Sanders Democrat and proudly touted his endorsement from the 2016 presidential candidate's political group, Our Revolution. The second-term governor is deeply unpopular across the political spectrum, and the Thompson campaign was viewed as having likely succeeded in binding Mr. Estes, a stranger to controversy, to Mr. Brownback, one of the most divisive figures in the state. No fewer than 75 Republicans won a year ago by margins of 20 percent or less, so even if Republicans experience a swing against them of "only" half that size, they're still in for a world of hurt.
To take back the House, Democrats will need to net 24 seats in 2018, a task that many analysts once considered nearly impossible due to the slim number of competitive congressional districts on the map.
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Thompson spokesman Chris Pumpelly said Estes' victory required recorded calls from Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and other help from Republicans nationally.
Libertarian Gary Johnson received more than 55,000 votes in Kansas (4.7 percent) when he ran for president last fall. Rockhold finished with just under 1 percent of the vote in Cowley County.
The Republican Party had to scramble furiously, in ways no one expected, to win by about 8 percentage points. Many are looking to flip the 2nd District seat held by Rep. Lynn Jenkins or the 3rd District seat held by Rep. Kevin Yoder in 2018, the Eaglereports.
Kansas Farm Bureau president Rich Felts said rural voters decided the 4th Congressional District race, where the KFB's endorsed candidate Republican Ron Estes won.
Neal Allen, a professor of political science at Wichita State University, said Tuesday's election was "much closer than it should have been".
"A wonderful guy", Trump tweeted about Estes on Tuesday.