Yesterday saw the first special Congressional election since the November general election. First, let's look at the district.
Kansas 04 is a very strongly Republican district. It last elected a Democrat in 1992 -- and that Democrat an exception to its historical pattern. In November, Mike Pompeo (now CIA Director) won with 60% of the vote, as did Donald Trump. (in 2012, Mitt Romney managed 62%.)
The Democrats' House Campaign Committee made minimal effort this time. (One last minute burst of get-out-the-vote calls.) But mostly, the Democratic candidate was on his own -- with whatever external funding he could raise on his own.
Before the vote, on of the DC political pundits (David Beard, Washington Post) gave this analysis:
>30: Good for Rs
20-30: Normal given Ds out party
10-20: Good for Ds,Trump a factor
0-10: Amazing! Bback killing Rs
And the actual results? Republican win . . . with a 7% margin (52-46).
Sure, any win is good, if you are thinking about your margin in the House. And Governor Brownback is a serious negative for someone who is part of his cabinet (State Treasurer).
Still, if you are brave enough to extrapolate from a single data point, this looks significant. If I was a Republican looking to the Georgia 06 election next week, this definitely would not have improved my overall happiness with the world.