House race in heavily GOP Kansas surprisingly competitive

Kansas Republican and state treasurer Ron Estes on Tuesday defeated Democrat civil rights attorney James Thompson to win a Congressional seat in a race that became an unlikely testing ground of an early backlash to President Donald Trump.

He proclaimed Tuesday's GOP victory in Kansas' 4th District congressional race a "great win" and said Ron Estes prevailed "easily" against Democrats who "spent heavily and predicted victory!" Estes received 53 percent of the vote, while Thompson received 46 percent, a margin of seven percentage points.

In Sedgwick County, Thompson won with 41,293 votes to Estes' 39,419 and Rockhold's 1,347.

Trump won 60 percent of the votes cast in the congressional district that includes the state's largest city of Wichita.

Though their candidate came up short on Tuesday night, local Democrats took some solace in the much narrower margin of victory for the Republicans in this special election.

Estes did, in fact, win the election for the House seat vacated by Mike Pompeo, who left to become Trump's Central Intelligence Agency director.

In an email, Parnell's campaign said that 31- to 7- point swing shows "there is a major opportunity for Democrats to pick up seats" in the 5th District, and in special elections in Georgia and Montana. In addition to the Kansas seat, Republicans are defending GOP-leaning seats in Georgia, Montana and SC - while Democrats are protecting a seat in a liberal California district.

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While the Kansas result suggested some blowback against Trump, another important factor was anger with the state's unpopular Republican governor Sam Brownback.

Yet all of this was unexpected effort against Democrats, who were boosted by grass-roots and independent voters in the district.

"Kansans are fortunate to have this committed public servant representing them in Congress", Ryan said in a statement. Also, the comment ignores the reality of what just happened in one of the most Republican states in the nation - and what it might mean for Trump going forward.

Here's what you need to know about the race for Georgia's 6th - the latest potential referendum on the President Donald Trump's administration. The district, located in the suburbs of urban Atlanta, has been traditionally a Republican stronghold. If Trump's approval rating stays at around 40%, Democrats will be projected to win the generic House ballot by about ten points.

"The 4th District is tough for Democrats", Loomis said.

All of which leads us to conclude that there are national factors that spurred Thompson's surprisingly close loss.

The special election was considered a bellwether of how Republicans might fare in next year's midterm elections, with anti-Trump sentiments among many voters. The results of a recent Morning Consult survey shows Brownback as one of the least-popular governors in the country - coming in a close second to New Jersey governor Chris Christie - with just over a quarter of Kansas citizens approving of him.

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