Speed Reads

the moment of truth

Kansas special election presents a test for the GOP's future

Kansas is holding a special election Tuesday to replace Mike Pompeo, the Republican congressman who left his seat in January to become President Trump's CIA director. While the state is typically a GOP stronghold, the Republican Party has ratcheted up its election efforts in recent weeks to ensure a victory for Republican state party treasurer Ron Estes, belying a bit of uncertainty about the race. "The Republicans are absolutely panicking," said Chris Pumpelly, spokesman for Estes' Democratic opponent, James Thompson. "They are absolutely supposed to win this seat, but all of a sudden, they're bringing in all their heavy artillery."

Republicans are facing off against the fact that Kansas' Republican governor, Sam Brownback, was recently rated the second-least popular governor in America in a Morning Consult poll, as well as simmering dissatisfaction over the Trump administration's rocky start.

This is the first special election since Trump took office in January.