Though it appears that the Republicans may hold onto their seat in the 4th district of Kansas, the margin at this hour is slim and, as Rachel Maddow pointed out Tuesday, that should terrify the GOP going forward.
In an “unwinnable race” for Democrats, the fact that this contest is even being watched spells major trouble for Republicans in the Donald Trump era.
Maddow explains how the Kansas race is proof that the political energy across the country is with the Democrats:
If you look at the numbers, this is an unwinnable race for any Democrat. But we’re watching these numbers come in and whether or not this Democrat, James Thompson, pulls this out, people will be closely watching, even then, the margin in what ought to be a 30-point landslide safe seat for the Republicans. It’s the same dynamic that people will be watching this time next week in another supposedly red district in Georgia when Tom Price’s congressional seat comes up in a special election. These special elections are local, they’re about these particular candidates and these particular congressional districts, these particular states. But they are also a way to take the nation’s temperature, and right now that appears to be hot – at least on the Democratic side.
Not only did the Democratic candidate not have the support of the national party, but he was running in a district that Donald Trump won by nearly 30 percentage points last fall. That means that a good chunk of folks in the district who voted for Trump in November decided to pull the lever for the Democrat on Tuesday.
To make matters more pathetic, Ted Cruz was sent to the state to shore up support for GOP candidate Ron Estes, and Trump and Mike Pence were so afraid of losing the seat they recorded robocalls for the Republican.
The GOP candidate may very well win this contest, but the fact that the race wasn’t called the moment polls closed in Kansas says all we need to know about the political winds in this country.
This is just the beginning.