Deep in the cornfields of Kansas, a blue light shone briefly into the starry night above Wichita.
And though the light projected by Democratic challenger James Thompson in the special election in the 4th Congressional District in Kansas was ultimately snuffed out by GOP Kansas State Treasurer Ron Estes, it put a blue tidal wave on the radar for 2017 and 2018 elections.
Democrats, in this special election, outperformed their previous election totals in this extremely red district by 20 percentage points. That is a massive swing, one that, should it hold across the country, could give the Democrats the House of Representatives in 2018.
This would have broad implications in a number of ways. First, this would completely change the scope of the Russia investigation into Trump’s campaign. Trump’s tax returns could be obtained and released by Congress. This would be extremely important because it would show the extent of how much foreign money he is bringing into his pockets. It would reveal if he is indebted to or financially compromised by a foreign government. It could lead to subpoenas under oath for some of the actors involved with this drama and possibly impeachment, if it is warranted (and I don’t say that lightly, impeachment isn’t one of those things that should be thrown around).
A blue wave would also mean that lots of GOP governors would be replaced with Democratic ones, setting up a possible redistricting wave the likes of which have not been seen since 2010. After seeing state after state fall to right-wing extremist views and policies, we are in desperate need of change. Independent redistricting would definitely assist this process.
Finally, a plethora of red state Democrats in the U.S. Senate are up for re-election in 2018. If the margins are moved that dramatically, it could ensure that several vulnerable incumbents could win re-election and put the Democrats in a good position to take back the Senate in 2020.
Of course, the real prize that year would be the White House. But one step, one race, one day at a time.