A moral victory for Democrats in Kansas? | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A moral victory for Democrats in Kansas?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 12, 2017 at 8:12 AM

click to enlarge MORAL VICTORY: James Thompson claimed one in losing Kansas congressional race by 6.8 points.
  • MORAL VICTORY: James Thompson claimed one in losing Kansas congressional race by 6.8 points.
A special election in Kansas Tuesday night for an open congressional seat produced a win for the Republican in the heavily Republican district, but State Treasurer Ron Estes' victory for the seat vacated by Mike Pompeo was only 52.5 to 45.7 over a Bernie Sanders-backing, pro-choice Democratic civil rights lawyer, James Thompson.

Pompeo carried more than 70 percent of the vote in his races for a district that is among the most Republican in the country, with a population majority in urban Wichita. Thompson carried Sedgwick County, including Wichita, 50-47 (there was a Libertarian in the race, too.)

Donald Trump made a late visit for the Republican, but many pundits are reading the result as a warning signal for Republicans in mid-term elections. I hope that is true. But ..... congressional districting superiority by GOP-controlled statehouses has shrunk the number of winnable districts to a small number. Polls show the Trump base in state after state quite happy with his performance. Estes was apparently a particularly uninspiring candidate.

On the other hand, Sedgwick County went 54-36 for Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016 so perhaps there IS some hope in this outcome. (Pompeo beat his Democratic challenger 57-33.) Democratic spending here was paltry. Thompson chose to claim a moral victory, saying his effort sent a signal to Republicans nationwide. I'll grasp at that straw.

Could a really great Democrat, for example, build a sufficient margin in Pulaski County to overcome the outlying counties in Arkansas' Second District? Tim Griffin (twice) and current GOP incumbent French Hill have lost Pulaski to Democrats in three consecutive elections, Hill to an unfunded virtually anonymous Democrat.

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