KS04: It’s Amazing it Was This Close
GOPer Ron Estes held on, defeating James Thompson by 7 points. But it’s shocking it was this close.
“Republican Ron Estes fended off Democratic challenger James Thompson in a contest for Kansas’ 4th Congressional District on Tuesday night, pulling off a victory in a district that previously leaned Republican by 29 percentage points.”
“Estes’ win averted a potentially shocking upset victory by Thompson. According to polls, Estes was ahead by 24 points in March, but internal Republican polling indicated the lead narrowed to one percentage point just days ago. Trump personally endorsedEstes in robocalls and on Twitter in the closing days of the race. Republicans flooded the district with tens of thousands of dollars in ad buys to ensure the seat stayed in GOP hands.”
But they had to bring in all the big guns-Trump, Ryan, Pence, Pompeo-and just held on.
“The relatively narrow margin for Estes’ win in what was previously an ultra-safe district — just shy of 7% — is likely rattling Republicans across the country.”
“Poll analyst Nate Silver, who runs polling site FiveThirtyEight, tweeted “any takeaway other than that #KS04 is *really* worrying for Republicans is overthinking it.”
No question, part of it was Estes was as Dave Weigel puts it ‘a very clunky candidate’ and Governor Sam Brownback is extremely unpopular. But again this is KS04. It had no right to be this close.
So how hard do Republicans want to hug Trump going forward?
“Though Thompson was likely bolstered by extreme public disapproval of Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who is currently at two-thirds unpopularity, observers noted the narrow margin of victory is likely to give other Republicans in Congress second thoughts about how closely they would like to be associated with Trump’s administration.”
There are over 100 Republicans sitting in districts that wouldn't have been heavily GOP enough to overcome the D swing we saw in KS tonight.
— Tom Bonier (@tbonier) April 12, 2017
The House Republicans in seats where Trump was below 50% might want to think about these Kansas numbers before casting their next CRA vote.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) April 12, 2017
Call it a warning shot.
A WARNING SHOT was fired from Kansas toward every R on the '18 ballot: Dems are energized, few districts are safe >https://t.co/Lld3sQoBcP
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) April 12, 2017
The clear lesson for House GOPers ought to be clear: save yourself. Don’t assume hugging Trump helps you.
Obama’s old speechwriter:
I'm pretty pumped about Kansas and none of your whiny takes are gonna ruin it for me.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) April 12, 2017
The takeaway for the Dems: challenge everywhere.
After unexpectedly close #ks04, Dem shouldn't treat any race, not in reddest district in USA, as write-off. They should fight everywhere.
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) April 12, 2017
The 50 state strategy.
The last time a Democrat won this seat was in 1992, when Dan Glickman, who was later President Bill Clinton’s agriculture secretary, hung on in one final race before being swept out in the Republican landslide of 1994.”
“And last year, Mr. Pompeo barely had a race at all: He won by 32 points, or by nearly 4.5 times more than Mr. Estes did on Tuesday.”
A political warning shot.
P.S. As regular readers know, I’m looking to put my hat in the ring here in the NY-2 district against Donald Trump and Paul Ryan hack, Peter King. King has won 13 straight races here but the SurveyUSA poll was encouraging. While initially I-as an as yet unknown-trailed by 38 points, after comparing my policy stances vs. Kings I came within 11.
Again, King has been a juggernaut. He’s also an Islamophobe who supported Trump’s Muslim ban and had signaled he would vote for Tryancare, so it failed but not thanks to Peter King.
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