Winds Of Change Blow Through South As Democrats Are Winning Special Elections On GOP Turf


For the second time in less than a month, a Democrat has pulled off a stunning victory over a Republican candidate, by flipping a State House race in an almost hopelessly red legislative district. On Tuesday night, Democrat Cyndi Munson scored an improbable 54-46 victory in Oklahoma’s House District 85, a suburban district Northwest of Oklahoma City. Since 1965, when the district was first created, it had never been won by a Democrat. That changed on Tuesday night.

The 85th District went 61-39 for Mitt Romney in the 2012 election. Yet, on Tuesday night, in a traditionally low turnout special election, the district turned a surprisingly solid shade of blue. Speaking to supporters after she’d won, Munson acknowledged the magnitude of her achievement, proclaiming:

Each time I heard it was an uphill battle I got more strength. This is amazing!

Munson lost her race for the same seat in 2014 by 13 points, but she battled back and emerged on Tuesday night a winner. She ran on a platform supporting education and women’s health, while opposing income tax cuts for top earners. In a deep red district her message resonated with voters, weary of the GOP’s extremist stranglehold on Oklahoma politics.

As astonishing as Munson’s victory was, it was not the first Democratic upset of its kind this summer. In August, Democrat Taylor Bennett pulled off a similar surprise in Georgia’s 80th House District. Despite being outspent 2 to 1 in a district Mitt Romney carried by a 56-43 margin over Barack Obama in 2012, Bennett coasted to a 55-45 surprise victory over his Republican opponent, Max Davis.

Bennett won not by following the conventional wisdom of downplaying social issues in the South, but by being outspokenly liberal on social issues and standing firmly in support of LGBTQ equality. Like Munson, he won in a special election, when turnout is usually down and as a result, Republicans historically have enjoyed an advantage. Not this time.

While it may be too optimistic for Democrats to take the results of two special elections and call it a trend, it is worth pointing out that in two heavily Republican districts in the South, Democrats have overcome long odds to flip seats from red to blue. Maybe, just maybe, those two victories are a sign of more to come, as conservative voters join the rest of American in becoming fed up with the Republicans’ inability to govern.

22 Replies to “Winds Of Change Blow Through South As Democrats Are Winning Special Elections On GOP Turf”

  1. Now, if all that stupid will just keep showing it’s face and stay out from under whatever rock it usually hides under for another year we might get lucky and still have a democracy after 2016.
    To me that looks likely.
    fingers crossed and candles lit.

  2. we have all got to be relentless. it starts now. time to kick some GOP azz… and don’t forget, we have our good friend karma along for the ride.

  3. American’s especially the younger ones are sick and tried of Republican’s ranting on social issues. People want politician’s to do what is good for the constituents.

  4. People are starting to realize Republicans have nothing for nor do they represent the middle class and the poor, they are only out for the top 1% and therefore should be trounced nationally.

  5. It’s a good start… now, let’s see if that momentum created by these wins in special elections turn into a tidal wave in 2016

  6. I see the neighbors are getting weary of the “Raid Caddy” passing thru in the night and not getting Roach fares to support the local economy. Bye Roaches, & take that Kocheyed kooky Roach of a Guvna’ with you. All folks in Muskogee are not Okies. We just live here, along with our brains & self respect. Bye Guvna’ Fallus.

  7. I truly hope this is a sign of things to come and that the zombies are snapping out of it. Maybe people are getting tired of being used as pawns and then kicked to the curb after the elections are over. One can only hope.

  8. It is the sons of these small communities who will do the fighting and dying in the next Republican nonsensical war. It is the daughters of these small communities who will see their opportunities to participate in life reduced even further. It is the small children in these communities that will suffer the lack of heath and education resources that should be a given to any American child. Good for voters for looking out for their own best interests and getting off that thumping war on the world / war on society bandwagon of those fool Republicans.

  9. Last night in Nashville Tennessee an unapologetic liberal woman won the race for mayor over a former hedge-fund manager who touted his conservatism at every opportunity. I’m so proud of Tennessee Democrats! I’ve been a weary southern democratic woman in a red state for a long time and I see the tide turning. The GOP has just become too hateful for most good people to stomach and it’s turning people off the party and even the word “conservative”. About time.

  10. It’s too early to declare victory, but it is definitely in the air. You can almost smell it. The constant litany of negative everything coming from the gopers is wearing thin – thin enough to create a groundswell of rejection from the general populace.

    If the gopers handed out shovels to their ignorant base, those people would willingly dig their own graves. BUT… that doesn’t represent more than 30-35% of the potential voters.

    Big surprise coming.

  11. Not when he goes around lying about what the President said
    Once again, Sanders attacks the President:

    Biggest political mistake that he made is after his brilliant campaign in 2008, he basically said to the millions of people who supported him, ‘Thanks for getting me elected, I will take it from here.’ I will not make that mistake.” The President never said that. This is what he said I’m asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington … *I’m asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

  12. Jane.. I hope the Dem’s are NOT fair weather Dem’s.Hope the change is for real and long standing..then I will cheer!!!

  13. I’ve been posting as Jane for a few weeks on this site. Then I saw your comment. It sounded like me; I just couldn’t remember writing it. Maybe someone was spoofing me.

    Once I found my sanity again and squelched the paranoia, I modified my name to prevent future confusion. You might want to do the same to avoid association with my previous posts. And just in case another Jane comes along.

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