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The Kansas Congressional Race Upset That Wasn’t

Despite the hype, Republicans won a safe Republican seat Tuesday night in KS-04… back to your regularly-scheduled programming.

Despite a closer-than-expected margin, Republican Ron Estes won Tuesday night’s special election in Kansas’ Fourth Congressional District.

In a district Trump won by 27 percentage points, observers initially expected Estes to cruise to victory. Instead, he won by a respectable 7-point margin (52.5 percent for Estes, 45.7 percent for Democrat James Thompson). The seat was previously held by now-CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

In most races, Estes’ win would be considered a blowout, but given the media’s framing of this race, no margin short of Trump’s 27-point win would be big enough to quell “concern” among the media that the GOP is losing its grip.

Take a look at a few of the headlines before polls closed:

The Huffington Post: Kansas Democrats Are About To Show Just How Big The Anti-Trump Wave Actually Is

Politico: Democrats hope to deliver Trump stinging defeats in special elections

Vox: The GOP won this Kansas district by 31 points. Democrats think they can turn it blue.

NPR: A special election in Kansas could signal ‘big league’ problems for GOP, Trump

Mic News: The resistance might get its first electoral win since Trump — without Democratic money

Despite Democrats coming up short and Estes winning by a healthy margin, the narrative the next day in the New York Times read: “A Republican Wins in Kansas. It’s Still a Loss for the G.O.P.”

The next special election is a jungle primary in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District on April 18.