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House Overview |By David Wasserman, April 10, 2017
In the final hours of the special election to replace new CIA Director Mike Pompeo in Wichita, Kansas, Republicans are expressing alarm that Democrat James Thompson is within striking distance of carrying a seat President Trump won by 27 points last November. Although GOP state Treasurer Ron Estes remains the favorite heading into Election Day, we are shifting our rating from Likely Republican to Lean Republican.

Republicans familiar with recent polling describe extremely high Democratic intensity and very low GOP enthusiasm in what is likely to be a very low turnout special. More than that, Estes appears to be swept up in a last-minute vortex of factors outside his control: Democrats' anger towards Trump, independents' anger towards Gov. Sam Brownback and GOP dissatisfaction with early administration failures.

Another reason for KS-04's upset potential could be the manner of Estes's nomination. The special selection process fell to a committee of several dozen local GOP officials rather than a primary, which would have forced Estes to engage with base voters much earlier or could have produced an outsider nominee. A number of Republican notables, including Sen. Ted Cruz, are heading to Wichita at the eleventh hour in a bid to boost a lethargic base.

Even a single-digit finish in a seat like KS-04, with a Cook PVI score of R+15, would portend big trouble for Republicans in next week's special primary election in GA-06, which has a PVI score of R+8. There is a real chance Democrat Jon Ossoff, who is dramatically outspending the rest of the field while the main GOP contenders turn on each other, could hit 50 percent on April 18 and avoid a runoff. As such, we are moving GA-06 to Toss Up.