In an ominous omen for 2018 national Republicans are descending on House district that was carried with 60% of the vote in 2016, because signs are that a special election in Kansas is closer than anyone expected.
The Kansas City Star reported that Republicans are mobilizing an effort to save a House seat that was comfortably in their column, as the party suggests that there is nothing to see here:
However, the last-minute push by national Republicans has caused analysts in both Washington, D.C., and Kansas to say that the race could be more competitive than previously thought.
Clay Barker, the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, said the party had always planned a surge of activity in the final weeks of the election and that the push from national Republicans should not be interpreted as a sign the campaign is in danger.
“Special elections are weird. They’re unique because it’s off time. There’s no similar election you can look at. … It’s hard to figure out who exactly your voters are,” Barker said.
Outside conservative groups are pouring millions of dollars into a House special election for a district that leans (+15) for Republicans. Races in districts that lean plus double digits for either party don’t normally require massive outside spending, intervention by the Vice President, and a high-profile national Republican Senator like Ted Cruz.
Despite what Republicans are suggesting, they are freaked out that something is happening in this special election. That doesn’t mean that the Democratic candidate will win the race, a (+15) Republican district isn’t just going to flip, but if Republicans have to work this hard to keep safe districts in their column what is going to happen in the dozens of competitive House districts in 2018?
Pay attention to the special election in Kansas on Tuesday night, because a loss or a smaller than expected margin of victory could signal major midterm problems building for Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association