What do the Kansas and Georgia elections tell us about 2018?

State Treasurer Ron Estes on Tuesday defeated Democratic challenger and prominent civil rights attorney James Thompson 53 percent to 46 percent. And the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent nothing in the 4th, while its GOP counterpart spent $100,000. The race was important because both sides put all their resources into it - Mike Pence, Ted Cruz and even Trump recorded get-out-the-vote messages.

Estes supported Trump in 2016 and backs a number of the president's policies, including repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, defunding Planned Parenthood, and building a wall along the border with Mexico.

With upcoming special elections in Georgia and Montana - both races where the Democratic Party has invested more time and resources - Estes' win is being viewed as a potential harbinger of good news for Democrats. Ossoff handled all of the questions about national politics really well, but what jumps out at observers is that Democrats are recruiting younger candidates who are focused on grassroots party building. The new administration also has faced criticism due to allegations that members of the Trump campaign had colluded with high-ranking Russian officials.

After the election, and the collective Republican sigh, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers issued a statement describing what Kansans had just accomplished.

"Senator Flake sold out my online privacy", says the filter, which will accompany pictures taken at the town hall if Snapchat users so choose. With a fractured, 11-candidate Republican field, Democrats hope Ossoff can cross the 50% threshold and avoid a June one-on-one runoff with the leading GOP candidate. "For sure, I will have rural support", she said she thought. Instead, he won by four points - and we should note that Kansas, which the press is now conveniently characterizing as terminally red, twice elected far-left Democrat Kathleen Sebelius as governor last decade. Estes' narrow win could be a bad omen for U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, an Overland Park Republican who is up for re-election in 2018 in a district Democrat Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential race. "While Donald Trump is threatening the safety of marginalized communities, Democrats need to quit the dithering and ensure that Trump and his Congressional enablers feel politically unsafe in every corner of the country". Thompson opposed Kansas State Treasurer, (R) Ron Estes, for the Kansas 4th Congressional district.

The bill still needs the same number of votes for now - 216 - but Estes could get it one vote closer to that magic number.

This latest poll is "based on telephone interviews conducted April 5-9, 2017, with a random sample of 1,019 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia". "I mean, they're blind with rage. And we've shown that this district is not just competitive but that we can win it", Thompson said.

Democrat Jon Ossoff - a documentary filmmaker - is one of 18 candidates vying for Georgia's 6th congressional district seat, which had been occupied by now-Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

  • Larry Hoffman