Cruz: Close House race in Kansas 'a warning sign'

13 April, 2017, 02:34 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Image Thompson campaigns for Congress in Wichita Kansas

In the run-up to the 2010 elections, when Republicans once again recaptured control of Congress, the NRCC used close special elections in Pennsylvania, which they lost, and Hawaii, which they won, to convince Democrats the field was tilting against them.

Republicans, who hold a 237-193 majority, will be defending seats in special elections in Georgia, South Carolina and Montana, where Donald Trump Jr.is planning to campaign for a GOP candidate next week. Kansas 4th District congressional candidate Ron Estes, right, and Sen. Even in special elections, where turnout is unpredictable and normal rules don't apply, the districts are conservative enough that Republicans could very well win the three remaining seats.

In response, Republicans made last-minute efforts to campaign for Estes.

Thompson has already indicated he plans to make another run for that seat in 2018.

In the Kansas special election on Tuesday to replace former congressman (and current Central Intelligence Agency director) Mike Pompeo, the Republican candidate won by seven percentage points (52.5 percent to 45.7 percent, with nearly all precincts reporting). The results show that "You fight".

"But they vote straight-line Republican", she said.

"Mr. Estes may have won this battle, but he has not won the war", Thompson said, to appreciative screams from the crowd.

Estes is the state treasurer.

"Beyond that, it's clear that grassroots supporters will continue to play a pivotal role in the 2018 midterms by supporting and energizing House Democratic candidates deep into the map", spokeswoman Meredith Kelly said.

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Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who served on Trump's transition team, pushed back on the idea the vote would be a reflection of Trump's first few months as president.

Republicans have held off a surprisingly strong Democratic challenge for a Kansas House seat in the first congressional election since President Donald Trump's November victory. And Estes' struggles were also seen as a rebuke to unpopular Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. An election eve story by CNN, headlined "GOP cavalry heads to Kansas ahead of close House election", noted that: "The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is not spending money on this race at all, and even the Kansas State Democratic Party rejected Thompson's requests for funding for mailers".

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. While the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a phone campaign to reach 25,000 households on the day before the election, the committee did not devote other financial resources, the Kansas City Star reported.

Trump tweeted his support for the Republican candidate on Tuesday as voters were casting ballots. A tally Tuesday morning showed more than 12,600 donors to Thompson. Very few voters turn out for these special contests compared to regular November elections, making it hard to read too much into the results without risking inaccurate interpretations.

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. Obama, at that point, was at a 50 percent approval rating.

Kiowa County voters gave Estes 80 percent of the vote and Edwards County voters, 78 percent.

One Republican House member who was granted anonymity to speak candidly on the special election told CNN that the outcome should be viewed as a warning.

The Republican Party had to scramble furiously, in ways no one expected, to win by about 8 percentage points. "And I need your vote for Ron Estes on Tuesday".

"Great win in Kansas last night for Ron Estes, easily winning the Congressional race against the Dems, who spent heavily & predicted victory!"

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