In tonight’s special election in Oklahoma, Democrat Allison Ikley-Freeman has defeated Republican Brian O’Hara 50.35 percent to 49.65 percent for the District 37 state Senate seat. With tonight’s win – barring a recount – Democrats have not only scored an unlikely victory in this deep red state, but flipped a seat that had previously been held by a Republican.

On June 6, 2017, Senator Dan Newberry (R) announced his resignation from the state Senate, effective January 31, 2018. Newberry, who had held his seat since 2012, won his 2016 race 55.7 percent to 40.1 percent, a staggering 15-point margin. Tonight’s victory is a 15-point swing back in the Democrats’ favor.

With Ikley-Freeman’s win, Oklahoma’s District 37 is only the latest in a string of districts with a double-digit swing to the left since the 2016 election. Trump, for his part, won this particular district with 67 percent of the vote.

This is the fourth wholly unexpected legislative pick-up for Democrats in Oklahoma since the 2016 election.

Ikley-Freeman’s victory is only the latest in a wave of Democratic success stories. On November 7th, in what is being viewed as a clear referendum on a flailing Trump administration, Democrats unseated Republicans in a number of races. Aside from winning New Jersey and Virginia’s gubernatorial races, Democrats picked up a staggering 15 seats in Virginia’s House of Delegates, giving them 49 seats out of 100. Several races are still considered too close to call.

Democrats also picked up a slew of other seats in smaller races around the country.

Since the 2016 election, Democrats have outperformed their 2016 general election results in 30 of 39 special elections, and have even outperformed their 2012 results in 27 of those races, not to mention the 2017 Election Day races. Even in solidly red districts, such as those in South Carolina and Kansas, Democrats have overperformed Trump’s numbers by double digits.

As the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress continue to thwart the will of their constituents to enact decidedly unpopular legislation, American voters have spoken loud and clear as they continue to flip seats from red to blue./

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