When President #President Donald Trump named Kansas Congressman #Mike Pompeo to head the C.I.A. little did he know that the follow up election in the 4th Congressional District would give him a message he did not think to hear from a deeply Republican State.
The fact that Representative Pompeo is a member of the ultra conservative Tea Party faction of the Republican Party is a good indication that Kansas is a red state.
Further confirm of the political status of the Sunflower State is #Donald Trump’s own win in the state.
For this reason the result of the special election for Pompeo’s replacement was a foregone conclusion. This was not to be.
In recent weeks a safe victory became an uncertain one as the polls indicated that the Democrat candidate James Thompson stood a chance of defeating the Republican candidate State Treasurer Ron Estes.
The polls goaded the GOP to inject extra funds into the campaign. President Trump then publicly backed the Republican candidate and this was followed by Vice President Mike Pence and Texas Republican Ted Cruz making visits to Kansas to rally voter for Estes.
On Tuesday night the Republican candidate won with 52.5% of the vote against the Democrat’s 45.7%.
This is in stark contrast to Mike Pompeo’s win in November with a 30% winning margin.
The decrease in the Republican vote is a demonstration that the national opposition to the Donald Trump presidency is being felt even in traditional Republican states.
The opposition involves issues such as women’s rights with the hugely attended Women’s March on the day after Inauguration, the protests following the Moslem ban orders that are now blocked by the courts and in particular the heated national reaction against Paul Ryan’s proposed bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act that was withdrawn when it became obvious that enough Republicans opposed it to ensure its defeat on the floor of the House.
To these considerations must now be added the reaction to the American air strike on the air force base in Syria last week following the use of gas weapons against civilians by the Bashar Al-Assad regime.
This strike broke a campaign promise by Donald Trump that he would not have been involved in such international missions.
The Kansas result will surely have an effect on the #White House and its relations with Republican Senators and Congressman who will now face ever more contested re-election at next year’s midterms. At risk will certainly be the one seat Republican majority in the Senate and the Kansas election numbers may also indicate the possible loss of the Congress Republican majority.
In turn this will affect how the Oval Office will confront its international negotiations as it will also have to take into consideration the domestic political effects of its international policies.
Tuesday’s election results will also encourage the Democrats to be even more aggressive in their political battles in both the Senate and Congress, thus setting the stage for heated parliamentary sessions.
Furthermore, the report by the Washington Post that the FBI had obtained a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page as part of the investigations into possible collusion between with Russian agents during the presidential campaign will mean that the Oval Office will continue to feel the heat on the allegations for some time to come. No comment on the news has come from either the FBI or the Justice Department.
While the former foreign policy advisor denies wrongdoing these developments come at an awkward time as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Moscow to negotiate with the Russians over the crisis in Syria.
The combination of the international negotiations, the Kansas election result and the Carter Page revelation mean that the White House had a balancing act to play between domestic and international politics that will make its job even harder than it has been so far. November’s win now seems an eternity ago.