Progressives around the United States who said throughout the Democratic primary that many currently red states that Sanders won could be turned blue were vindicated this month. While Kansas may still be a red state, Sanders-style progressive James Thomson gave republicans a run for their money in the first nationally followed post-election showdown between Democrats and Republicans.Instead of running a moderate, corporate campaign, Thomson embraced the progressive potential hidden within the heart of Republican America. This was a district where Trump beat Clinton by a whopping 27 points.
When the special election was getting started, no one would have even thought that a Democrat could come close to pulling off a win. Sadly for the Republican Party, their Democratic challenger was able to get 46% of the vote.Thomson was able to achieve this near upset with very little help from the DNC, who only started providing support right before the election. It took robo-calls from both President Trump and Vice President Pence, along with a rally by Senator Ted Cruz, to secure the Republican’s slight victory in the special election. It even took a Super PAC associated with Paul Ryan doing calls to push Republican candidate Ron Estes over the 50% threshold to win.
One truly needs to realize the significance of the near defeat the Republicans faced in Kansas. The last time a Democrat held this particular seat was back in 1992. It has been in Republican control for over two decades, but if the current trend continues, that might change. Senator Mike Pompeo won the exact same seat last year, with a 32-point margin. That margin of victory shrunk down to 7 points this year. The special election that just took place in Georgia was also a near loss for the Republicans. The American people are rejecting Trump’s agenda, and the GOP is feeling the heat.