the GOP spent close to $100,000 on ads
And left out of this story was the fact many other groups spend much more money to support Thompson. The Daily Kos alone spent $150,000 to get Thompson elected.
Special elections generally are weird compared to general elections, so it is no shock that normal voting trends are not seen in a special election, especially after the last one being so crazy and negative on both sides.
But what is special is right now you have never seen as much energy and anger and activism pushing the far left, if they can’t win elections now, with the best support and energy they have shown in special elections in over 30 years, it does not look good for them in the General to come. This is a do or die time for Liberals, if they lose now when they only have a couple races to concentrate on and they are benefiting from the general hate of Trump, then they can expect to lose big in the next General elections too when their energy and motivations will be less and it has to be spread out more.