Today, in the US, there is US House Seat that are having a Special Election. The 4th Congressional District of Kansas is having an election today to replace Mike Pompeo, who was chosen to be the new CIA director in the new Administration. The election has gained national interests after a GOP internal poll found that the Republican Candidate Ron Estes, is leading by only 1 point leading into the last week of campaigning.
Since then, several GOP heavyweights have come to the state, including Ted Cruz. President Trump tweeted support for Estes over the weekend. On the Democrat side, the DCCC gave James Thompson some money late in the week, though they have been pretty hands off on the race.
As FiveThirtyEight explained, this district is a ruby red district for the GOP, and the fact that the special election is anywhere near close should worry the Republicans. However, there is enough going on in Kansas that this result may not be duplicated elsewhere. Kansas has had a rough few years. When Sam Brownback won the Governorship in Kansas, he set off a series of tax cuts for businesses and wealthy homeowners to spur business investment in the state. He was helped in 2012, with a massive election where they replaced a ton of moderate Republicans with Far Right Republicans. Calling it a “real-live experiment,” Brownback and the legislature set off a chain of contentious budgets were he slashed major departments, education, and services from the state. In 2016, there was a voter revolt, which saw many in the legislature being voted out by moderate members of the party. The State has seen disastrous results. The Kansas Supreme Court mandated that Education was being underfunded and that must change. The state has consistently lagged behind other states during the overall economic recovery in the last few years, and the voters seem to be over the GOP brand in the state.
I feel that these factors are playing more into the close race than Donald Trump, even though the race now has national implications.
“All Politics is Local”
– Tip O’Neill
If the Democrats get a surprise win here, (Turnout so far is about 1/3 of that of the November Election) they will turn next to Georgia’s 6th District were a special election happens next week to replace Tom Price, who became the Human Health and Services Secretary. In Georgia, things are more complicated in the multi candidate race. If no one clears 50% in the results, the top two vote getters will have a runoff next month. Currently there is 1 Democrat running against 6 Republicans. The Democrat must clear 50% if he is to win the seat as the Republican vote with consolidate in a runoff. I feel that this race would be more indicative of a “Blue Wave” against Trump.
In the end, it will be interesting today where the Kansas election will go. The media will spin it regardless towards an anti-Trump message, even if the GOP wins the seat. The closer the result, the more the recriminations.