Republican Ron Estes Narrowly Wins Kansas Special Election

Alvin Kelly
April 21, 2017

If Ossoff can clinch 50 percent of the vote against a crowded field of Republican contenders, he will avoid a runoff election.

Democrats and pundits immediately began asking whether the outcome might have been different if Democratic groups - such as the DCCC, the Democratic National Committee and the Kansas Democratic Party - had done more to help Thompson.

While Estes took 53 percent of the vote compared to Thompson's 46, the jubilant reactions on the left could easily lead one to believe that the Democratic candidate pulled off a major upset. Rockhold received 2 percent of the total vote. "Obviously, there's still some discussion about Obamacare and repealing and replacing that". The 4th District is historically Republican and was only considered competitive in the days leading up to the election. Pompeo won reelection by 31 points past year. The Belle Plaine couple voted for Estes. GOP congressional candidate in the 4th district Ron Estes votes at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Tuesday, April 11, 2017, in Wichita, Kan.

The 60-year-old state treasurer defeated Democrat James Thompson, a civil rights attorney. Democratic voters are motivated like never before. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who won the Kansas caucus in the Republican presidential primary, campaigned for Estes over the weekend.

Estes, the state's treasurer, had been the favorite to win the election, but a campaign by Democrat James Thompson threatened the traditionally Republican seat.

"I want to congratulate Ron Estes on his victory", she said in the statement.

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So how desperate must Democrats and their pals in the press really be if they're doing cartwheels over losing by twice as much in a district which, having been represented by a Democrat for 18 years until 1995, is nowhere near as red as OH-02?

"It was a close race", he said, "and it shouldn't have been". "Trump won this district by nearly 30 points, and Pompeo never won less than 60 percent of the vote". But just five months ago, Trump won the district by 27 percentage points, a sharp turnaround driven by an energized Democratic base looking to strike back against Trump - and Kansas' unpopular Republican governor, Sam Brownback.

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.

"Republicans nationally should be very anxious", said Bob Beatty, a Washburn University political scientist.

Trump tells callers in the recording that Estes "needs your vote and needs it badly". "It's remarkable that Thompson got this close". And it will galvanize Democrats' candidate-recruitment efforts for next year's campaign.

Two Republicans strategists familiar with polling data in two of the special election races say the main problem is not that independents and moderate voters have swung en masse to Democrats. Republicans are defending three other GOP-leaning seats, and Democrats are protecting territory in California. Others are in Georgia, Montana and SC.

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