James Thompson shook up the entire Republican Party in a special election for the 4th Congressional District in the State of Kansas
Ron Estes won the election with 52.5 percent of the vote compared to Thompson’s 45.7 percent
The Republican Party made a last minute donation of $120,000 for a smear campaign against Thompson
President Donald Trump made a “robocall” on behalf of Estes
A special election in Kansas for the 4th Congressional District may have given a glimpse into a very shaky future for the Republican-led state.
Inside the Murdock Theatre in Wichita, Kansas, it was anything but tears at the James Thompson watch party as the numbers came in showing Ron Estes with the victory. While some may have seen the results of the special election as a loss, they were not looking at the bigger picture.
Estes won the special election with 52.5 percent of the vote to Thompson’s 45.7 percent. It was an election that was never supposed to be that close. An election that prompted Republicans throughout DC to come to Estes’ aid.
The Estes campaign was far from being a smooth operating machine like Kansas Republican campaigns in the past. Estes did not show up to several debates, which spawned the hashtag #whereisron. An internal poll showed Thompson trailing by only one point. Luckily the Republican Party came to Estes’ aid when they realized just how lax and sloppy he was running his campaign.
The Republicans put $120,000 behind Estes to create a last minute smear campaign against Thompson. Then they decided to double down and have President Donald Trump do a “robocall” backing Estes.
Hello. This is President Donald Trump, and I have something big to tell you. This Tuesday, April 11, there is a very important special election for Congress in Kansas. On Tuesday, Republican Ron Estes needs your vote and needs it badly. Ron is a conservative leader who’s going to work with me to make America great again. We’re going to do things really great for our country. Our country needs help, Ron is going to be helping us, big league. But I need Republicans like Ron Estes to help me get the job done. This is an important election and I need your vote for Ron Estes on Tuesday. So, April 11, Tuesday, please join me in supporting Republican Ron Estes for Congress. He’s going to help me do a really, really good job for our country. Thank you very much.
Along with the painfully Trump-esque robocall, The Donald also used his weapon of choice against Thompson. His Twitter account.
Republicans did not stop there. They also dispatched Vice President Mike Pence, and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to help Estes win a race that he was clearly on the brink of losing.
Where were the Democrats
Unfortunately, Thompson did not receive the same amount of support from the Democratic Party. The Thompson campaign managed to raise over $250,000 in small contributions, but the Democratic Party did not step in until the last hour when it was already too late.
The Thompson campaign believes that the Democratic Party shied away because they believed it to be a losing fight from the start. Washington Democrats claim that they kept a distance due to fear that getting involved early in the campaign would have “nationalized” the election and pushed people back to their partisan roots.
At the end of the day, the Thompson campaign just sent a very clear message to the Republican Party that their death grip on the State of Kansas is no longer as strong as it once was in just previous years.
The Thompson campaign just managed to shake up the entire Republican Party with a 60-day campaign and little to no help from the Democratic Party. It should be interesting to watch the 2018 elections play out, as Thompson said Tuesday night, he would be running again.