Missouri's special election results: a blue wave or a blue trickle?

Posted on 7 February 2018 at 5:58pm

JEFFERSON CITY - After Missouri's special election Tuesday, a red House seat turned blue. But what that means for the future of two-party politics in Missouri is still in a gray area. 

Democratic candidate Mike Revis won Missouri's District 97 House of Representatives seat in Jefferson County. During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump won that district by 28 points.

The win has been hailed as the beginning of what could be a "blue wave" or even a "blue tsunami."

Local Democratic leaders said the win is a positive sign for them.

Darren Hellwege, chair of the Boone County Democratic Party, said the Revis race could be the start of Democratic successes that sweep from the state to the national level.

"There seems to be a lot of excitement, a lot of momentum for the Democratic Party," Hellwege said. "Whether we're talking about Jefferson County or southeast Missouri or here in parts of Boone County, these are places that supported President Trump, that supported Governor Greitens, and now may be having a bit of buyer's remorse."

But Missouri Republican leaders remain skeptical. 

Mike Zweifel, chair of the Boone County Republican Central Committee, said the importance of the District 97 race has been inflated. 

"It's always good to go and look at each race and see what happened and who got out to vote. But, the Republicans won three out of four special elections yesterday," Zweifel said. "If the Democrats think that winning one out of four races is a blue wave, more power to them. Republicans still have the super-majority in the House and Senate."

Revis may have appealed to some traditionally conservative values due to his support of Second Amendment rights.

According to his website, Revis "is a gun owner who enjoys shooting trap and hunting" and "is an NRA member."

The Revis victory marked the 35th time since Trump's election that Democrats have flipped a Republican-held state legislative seat.