Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

A narrow win for US Republicans in first post-Trump election

A narrow win for US Republicans in first post-Trump election

Kansas 4th District congressional candidate Ron Estes, right, and Sen.

Mr. Curtis also pointed to the campaign's strategy of tying Mr. Estes to Mr. Brownback, who has struggled with low approval ratings for the last two years. Ted Cruz who came to Wichita to campaign for Estes the day before a special election speak to the media during a news conference before their rally at Yingling Aviation, Monday, April 10, 2017, in Wichita, Kan. If the 25-point swing in Kansas was repeated nationwide in 2018, Democrats could win back the House in a landslide - and possibly even have a chance at the Senate.

In the campaign's final weekend, the NRCC spent close to $100,000 on the race, and the GOP-allied Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC paid for tens of thousands of get-out-the-vote phone calls.

See the special election results here.

And national Democrats' refusal to spend money helping Thompson meant the race flew under the radar - which some Democrats argued could have left Republican voters feeling no sense of urgency to turn out to vote.

A spokesman James Thompson says the first time candidate "shocked the entire country" Tuesday with his strong effort against Republican Ron Estes.

Pompeo repeatedly won with big margins, and President Donald Trump carried the district easily previous year.

Pawnee County: Estes received 44 votes (71 percent), Thompson received 18 votes (29 percent) and Rockhold received 0 votes.

He said the results show Democrats that, "You fight".

Thompson was not supposed to come this close to winning in a district where Trump and Pompeo both won by about 30 percentage points last November, said Burdett Loomis, a political science professor at the University of Kansas.

"The fact that the Democratic Party is trying to make this a referendum on Trump is bringing out even more folks, GOP base and those that didn't vote, so turnout is going to be extraordinary in this election", Republican candidate Bob Gray told VOA.

A drag on Estes' performance, however, was governor Sam Brownback, whose veto of bipartisan legislation to expand healthcare in the state survived a challenge in the legislature earlier this month. But on the morning after the election, it appears the president was savoring the unimpressive victory.

"We've got progressive people very angry and anxious about Trump's policies and this is the only race that's on the national stage", said Jen Cox, a Georgia 6th District voter who recently started activist group PaveItBlue to support Ossoff. Republicans are defending four GOP-leaning seats - the Kansas seat plus Georgia, Montana and SC - while Democrats are protecting a seat in a liberal California district.

Trump won 60 percent of the district's vote in November and Pompeo won re-election by 31 points.

It was a victory for Estes and for other Republicans in the state.

The PAC, which channels online contributions to Democratic candidates and has raised over $1.5 billion since its inception more than a decade ago, has had some of its greatest success since Trump's election.

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