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

Ted Cruz appeared with him at a campaign rally in Wichita on Monday.

Thompson's strong showing will likely also energize progressives further and boost Democratic recruitment.

The outcome was a shot across the bow of national Republicans as the party faces three more special elections in Georgia, Montana and SC.

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

The tally, with a few provisional votes left to count, was 53 percent Estes, 46 percent Thompson. (Democratic nominee James Thompson regularly referred to his opponent as "Brownbacker Ron Estes.") That won't be the case in many districts the two parties fight over in 2018. "You play every game". And Estes' struggles were also seen as a rebuke to unpopular Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. Nor was Rep. -elect Ron Estes, the state treasurer, a particularly flawed GOP candidate. This was a special election to replace Mike Pompeo, who is now the CIA Director.

It was the first special congressional election since Donald Trump's election as president.

The race to replace former Rep. Mike Pompeo, who resigned to become the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was the first big test of Democratic anger of Trump. Trump won 60 percent of the votes cast in the 17-county congressional district this past November.

Now, the resistance turns to Georgia, which holds a closely watched special election next week.

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"On the Democratic side, they're putting a lot of chips on Mr. Ossoff winning, and on the Republican side, this is a seat that's been red since its creation in one of the reddest states in the country, so the stakes are high on both sides", said Channel 2 political analyst Bill Crane.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the NRCC's counterpart, closely monitored the race and eventually did 25,000 live phone calls to get out the Democratic vote there.

Estes, however, is set to prevail by less than 7 points, a warning sign for the House Republican majority less than 100 days into the Trump administration. A tally Tuesday morning showed more than 12,600 donors to Thompson.

"That certainly is going to shape how we look at the remaining special elections and the general elections next year". Pompeo cruised to re-election in November with 61 percent of the vote.

The district went for Trump in November, but only by single digits, raising Democratic hopes of another boost before the important 2018 elections.

"I would not say this is any kind of referendum on Donald Trump", Kansas Republican Party chairman Kelly Arnold said pre-election. He said he and his wife, Crystal, voted for Republican Ron Estes "just to support Trump". "I wanted to do everything I could to help turnout".

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. "A wonderful guy, I need his help on Healthcare & Tax Cuts (Reform)", Trump tweeted. The seat, which Pompeo won with almost 61 percent of the vote in November, looked until recently like a lock for Estes, the state treasurer since 2011.

Trump tells callers in the recording that Estes "needs your vote and needs it badly". After private polling showed Estes ahead by only a slim margin for such a reliably Republican district, the NRCC launched a late TV ad bashing Thompson and backing Estes, followed by a flurry of big-name rescue efforts: House Speaker Paul Ryan sent out a fundraising pitch for Estes, Sen. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence recorded get-out-the-vote calls on his behalf and Sen.

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