Cruz: Close House race in Kansas 'a warning sign'

Both Estes and Thompson had major get-out-the vote drives. Pompeo cruised to re-election in November with 61 percent of the vote.

Advance voting results and those put Democrat James Thompson well ahead of Republican Ron Estes. Democrats are expected to maintain a California seat vacated by former Rep. Xavier Becerra, now the state's attorney general.

The Kansas result also reflected blowback against the state's unpopular Republican governor Sam Brownback. Kansas 4th District congressional candidate Ron Estes, right, and Sen. Located in the middle of the country, they often act as a signpost, revealing how people in the USA feel about politics and where the country is headed.

Republicans have represented the district since Todd Tiahrt unseated veteran Democratic Rep. Dan Glickman in 1994. Thompson, is spending the final day of campaigning before Tuesday's election talking directly to voters. President Donald Trump stepped into a surprisingly competitive special.

And Trump, as well as, Vice President Mike Pence recorded a robocall endorsing the candidate for the seat.

During Thompson's campaign it was somewhat hard to recognise he was running as a Democrat.

Even when it came to phone banking, Republicans did more than the Democrats, said Chapman Rackaway, a political science professor at Fort Hays State University. Estes's percentage of victory exceeded that of Governor Brownback's margin in 2016 but fell far short of the majority racked up by President Trump.

Estes was first elected state treasurer in 2010. "In the next Congress, there will be fewer than two dozen House Republicans sitting in congressional districts won by Barack Obama in 2012", The Washington Post's Stuart Rothenberg writes. "As work begins on the next farm bill, we look forward to having Ron's knowledge and expertise on the side of Kansas farmers and ranchers", Felts said in a statement. For example, Thompson did not back down in debates when questioned on abortion rights, asserting that if it came up for another congressional vote, he would vote against the Hyde Amendment (which bans most federal funding for abortions).

Analysts say Libertarian candidate Chris Rockhold's bid for public office was a long-shot. It's important to note that local politics mattered in this race.

The fourth congressional district - like most of the surrounding area in south central Kansas - is rock-solid Republican. One GOP operative familiar with the special elections said the GOP realized there might be a problem when polling found that even low-propensity Democratic voters were interested in the race.

Trump tells callers in the recording that Estes "needs your vote and needs it badly". "For sure, I will have rural support", she said she thought.

Republicans struggled to pull out a win Tuesday in a Kansas special election.

In other words, the increased national involvement in the race, plus a late personal endorsement from Trump, took this race from a dead heat to a comfortable-if-not-spectacular win for the GOP.

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