(GUARDIAN) A feeble win for a Republican in a special congressional election in deep Donald Trump country on Tuesday hung tantalizingly, for Democrats, as a potential signal of voter discontent with the president and of a restored congressional majority in the unexpectedly near future.
But the apparent single-digit victory by state treasurer Ron Estes over Democrat James Thompson in Kansas’ fourth congressional district was explained away by Republicans as the result of low turnout and voter discontent with one of the country’s least popular governors.
Republicans from the president down made the election, in a district Trump won by 27 points in November, a focus over the last week, with Trump calling Estes “a wonderful guy” on Twitter Tuesday morning. Trump and vice president Mike Pence recorded robocalls to stoke Republican turnout in the race, and senator Ted Cruz hosted a rally in Kansas Monday.
GOP ekes out election win for House seat