Republicans sweeping Missouri’s statewide offices on the general election ballot last week could hurt Democrats running for statewide seats in 2018, according to Columbia College political scientist Terry Smith. He says State Auditor Nicole Galloway and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill could have an uphill battle, if they seek re-election.

In 1996, Democrats swept all of the statewide offices on the ballot in Missouri. In the 2012 general election, they captured 5 of the 6 statewide offices on the ballot.

Smith says Missouri is no longer a red state with blue stripes.

“Missouri is a bright red state. How much of that was people who came to vote for Trump and stayed and voted for Republicans and won’t do that again or how much of it is just simply this trend or dynamic. Either way, I think that both of those folks are vulnerable,” says Smith. “Claire McCaskill would’ve been beaten by almost anybody other than the candidate who ran against her four years ago. She was lucky in that regard. Nicole Galloway was appointed to the position, so she’s never run a statewide campaign.”

Smith says Republicans will line up to run for auditor.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway

State Auditor Nicole Galloway

“That’s the biggest problem I think that Republicans will have in 2018 is having one of these fight to the death primaries among some really strong candidates and depleting that energy and some of the money,” says Smith.

In an earlier interview, Galloway told Missourinet that she plans to run for re-election next year. McCaskill announced in August that she’ll seek re-election.

Smith says 2018 will have a different electorate – one with more active voters, not just those who mainly vote during presidential election years.