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- Missouri Democrat Mike Revis became the 35th candidate to flip a GOP statehouse seat since President Donald Trump’s election.
- The win is the latest in a series of Democratic special election victories in unlikely places, including Alabama and Wisconsin.
- The Democratic swing is a good sign for Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, one of the most vulnerable Democrats running for reelection this year.
In November 2016, President Donald Trump won an eastern Missouri district by 28 points over his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
But on Tuesday night, Democrats managed to swing Jefferson County by 31 points, electing Democrat Mike Revis to the statehouse with 51.5% of the vote – a three-point margin over his GOP opponent.
This is a good sign for Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, one of the most vulnerable Democrats running for reelection this year in a state Trump swept by 18 points.
“Rep.-elect Mike Revis’s victory tonight will undoubtedly send another shockwave through the GOP as we continue to run the best candidates focused on addressing local issues and improving their neighbors’ quality of life,” Jessica Post, executive director of a the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, a group focused on electing Democrats on the state level, said.
Revis, a 27-year-old National Rifle Association member who grew up in the district and attended the University of Missouri, is a procurement manager at Anheuser-Busch who ran on protecting workers’ rights and labor unions.
“What drew me to running – and really sparked my interest in getting involved in politics – was Missouri’s passage of ‘right to work’ shortly after Gov. Greitens took office,” Revis told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, referring to the laws that allow employees in unionized workplaces to avoid joining the union or paying dues.
His Republican opponent, David Linton, campaigned largely on his anti-abortion and pro-Second Amendment positions.
The win is the latest in a series of Democratic special election victories in unlikely places, including Alabama and Wisconsin. Since Trump’s election, Democrats have flipped 35 statehouse seats.
The GOP retained its super majority in the statehouse, winning three other seats on Tuesday night, but, as University of Chicago political scientist Daniel Nichanian noted, Democrats made net gains of between 19 and 53 points in the other races, as compared to 2016.
Democrats made significant gains in Virginia’s 2017 state-wide elections, in which the party unexpectedly erased a 32-seat deficit in the statehouse while simultaneously electing a new Democratic governor by double the margin that Clinton won the state in the 2016 general election.