Democrats flip 42nd state legislative seat since Trump took office

Democrats claimed victory in a Missouri state Senate seat Tuesday in their 42nd red-to-blue flip since President Donald Trump took office.

Democrat Lauren Arthur, a state representative, led Republican Kevin Corlew, also a state representative, by more than 20 points with over 80% of precincts reporting in a district that backed both Trump in 2016 and Mitt Romney in 2012.

The district has gone Democratic before. Jason Kander won it by 11 points during his failed 2016 Senate bid.

The swing is significant given the seat’s previous representative — Republican Ryan Silvey — who won re-election in 2016 by 20 percentage points.

Arthur’s win represents the 42nd state legislative seat Democrats have flipped since Trump took office in January 2017, a trend that national Democratic operatives argue shows voters are prepared to rebuke the President in November.

Tom Perez, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, cheered the news on Tuesday, touting Arthur as a “dedicated public servant” who will be a “strong, independent voice fighting for children, working families and seniors in Missouri’s Northland.”

“Tonight’s result is the latest example of the unprecedented energy we’re seeing across the country, and further proof that when we organize, we can win everywhere,” Perez added.

The election also serves as the first time that voters in Missouri have gone to the polls since Republican Gov. Eric Greitens resigned in disgrace amid a series of scandals.

Democrats in the state have sought to link all Republicans to Greitens, including Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who is seeking to oust Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in November.

McCaskill heralded Arthur’s win on Tuesday.

“Congratulations Senator Arthur! It’s a flip…red to blue,” she tweeted. “Thanks to all the hard work of Lauren and many volunteers we have won a state senate seat that Trump won and was held by a Republican. By a lot!! Not even close….”

Arthur’s new seat was opened earlier this year when Silvey joined the state’s Public Service Commission.

Despite the win, Republicans still control 24 out of 34 seats in the state Senate.