'We've never seen anything like this': Democrat wins Kentucky seat by 36 points in district Trump won by 49

  • In deep-red Kentucky, Democrat Linda Belcher sailed to victory in the state’s 49th House District seat with 68% of the vote on Tuesday.
  • Belcher’s win marked an 86-point swing from the 2016 general election, when President Donald Trump won the district with 72% of the vote.
  • This is the 37th state legislative seat Democrats have flipped from red to blue since Trump’s election.

In deep-red Kentucky, Democrat Linda Belcher sailed to victory in the state’s 49th House District seat with 68% of the vote on Tuesday.

Belcher’s win marked an 86-point swing from the 2016 general election, when President Donald Trump won the district with 72% of the vote.

The seat was previously held by Dan Johnson, a controversial former pastor who committed suicide in December, a day after a media investigation exposed allegations that he sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl.

“People are using their votes and voices to take a stand against the anti-Kentuckian policies of the Republican majority,” Ben Self, chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party, said in a statement. “We are confident we will have continued success during the 2018 midterm elections. We have a record-breaking number of Democratic candidates, who along with energised voters, remain passionately focused on state and local issues concerning our children, working-class families and the future of our state.”

Belcher, a former educator who had previously held the seat and lost to Johnson in 2016 by 156 votes, ran against Johnson’s widow, Rebecca Johnson.

Across the 70 special elections in 2017, Democrats beat their Republican opponents by 10 points more than Hillary Clinton did in 2016 and seven points more than President Barack Obama did in 2012, according to data collected by the progressive website Daily Kos.

And the Democrats’ Kentucky win marks the 37th state legislative seat the party has flipped from red to blue since Trump’s election.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.