It’s all over for the GOP. 2018 will be a disaster. We’ll lose the House. Why? Kansas. Kansas will lose us the House? No, Estes! Estes or Kansas? Estes is in Kansas! And he, what? Lost an election? No, he won the election. And that’s why we’ll lose the House? Yes. Because Estes won. By only a 7% margin.

Methinks they worry too much. Or doth cheer a little too lustily in the case of Democrats.

Ron Estes won a special election in Kansas’ deep Red 4th District, because former seat holder Mike Pompeo is now at the CIA giving Julian Assange some double-barrelled criticism. The race was unexpectedly close and support was required from the White House and Senator Ted Cruz, no less. The former State Treasurer beat back a challenge by Democratic candidate James Thompson by margin of 53% to 46%.

So what does this mean? Can we extrapolate all sorts of grand trends from this one election? Real Clear Politics’ Sean Trende cautions from reading too much into this special election. Local factors on the ground, like Governor Sam Brownback’s low approval ratings and Thompson’s relatively conservative stance on issues like 2nd amendment rights, were important in squeezing the margin. However, Trende also warns that if President Trump’s ratings remain relatively low going in to the midterm elections in about 18 months, then that could be a problem in terms of the GOP holding on to the House.

So Speaker Paul Ryan has Georgia on his minds now. And has apparently helped raise $22 million. The problem is, the GOP field is almost as crowded as the presidential primaries in the fall of 2015. The seat formerly held by Tom Price now at Health and Human Services, will be contested with all the candidates on one ballot and a runoff between 1st and 2nd place, if no one gets to 50%.

At last count, 11 Republicans and 5 Democrats have thrown their hats in the ring. That’s a lot of hats. Right now the media is all hot and bothered over liberal Jon Ossoff, born and raised in the 6th district. He attended Georgetown and LSE, and was an aide to Hank Johnson, who represents Georgia’s 4th district. A perfect young progressive wonk (he’s 30) and a native son.

Money is being spent on ads, and early turnout is high. Will Ossoff pull off an upset in another red district? If he does, you can be sure that the media’s joyful lamentations over the demise of the GOP will be deafening. Will it, however, signal a wave of House seats being flipped to Democrats in 2018? The mid-terms are 19 months away. That’s several life times in politics. We’ll just have to see.

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