Republicans win in Kansas...but it was close

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Tuesday's vote in Kansas is the first of several special elections this year that will fill congressional seats vacated by Trump appointments.

The Republicans infused the Estes campaign with additional funds, produced automated phone calls recorded by Trump, and sent in Republican US Senator Ted Cruz on Monday to campaign on Estes' behalf.

The Democratic candidate who ran an unexpectedly competitive race in a special congressional election in Kansas plans to run for the seat again in 2018. Brownback, one of the least popular governors in the United States, may have been more effective for Democrats in this race than anything Trump has said or done so far in his administration. After all, if a Democrat could win a district that Trump won big, why couldn't a Democrat win a district Republicans only carried by single digits? "You play every game".

With upcoming special elections in Georgia and Montana - both races where the Democratic Party has invested more time and resources - Estes' win is being viewed as a potential harbinger of good news for Democrats.

Estes was first elected state treasurer in 2010. He said he wants to work for free and fair trade, a balanced federal budget and the repeal and replacement of the Obama administration's health care plan. And skittish Republicans eager to avoid a devastating setback pulled out all the stops to defend their turf. Estes defeated Democrat James Thompson, drawing 52.5 percent of the vote to Thompson's 45.7 percent.

Trump won that district by just 1 percent in November.

Kansas' Fourth Congressional District, which is located in the south-central region of the state, is safely Republican and has not been represented by a Democrat since 1995.

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It's more tactical than that: What a special election really does is test the national parties.

Democratic National Committee member and Daily Kos member Chris Reeves said Tuesday that the blog set up its donation site last week.

Thomas Hauser, a 67-year-old Belle Plaine resident and traditionally a Republican says he voted for Democrat James Thompson on Tuesday, in part because they share a military background.

Maybe. What happens in April 2017 does not mean the same thing will happen in November 2018, when the entire House of Representatives is up for reelection. He said he and his wife, Crystal, voted for Republican Ron Estes "just to support Trump".

It was a victory for Trump as much as it was a victory for The Republican candidate. To this extent, the fact that Republicans managed to hold onto Kansas' 4th district in yesterday's special election is precisely the outcome the GOP wanted to see.

"Great win in Kansas last night for Ron Estes, easily winning the Congressional race against the Dems, who spent heavily & predicted victory!" "A wonderful guy, I need his help on Healthcare & Tax Cuts (Reform)", Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. The Belle Plaine couple voted for Estes. The race pits one young, Democratic favorite - Jon Ossoff - against a number of viable Republican candidates, one of whom has a background in the GOP establishment, and another of whom seems to have captured the support of voters more in the Trump mold. Republicans have a considerable advantage in the district, which is home to Koch Industries, as Pompeo was re-elected by over 31 points in November. In a district with a natural double-digit advantage for Republicans, that's certainly cause for concern - but what specifically turned off voters?

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