After Democrats flipped Kentucky's gubernatorial office, people speculated it meant trouble for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, sending "MoscowMitchIsNext" to trend on Twitter.
As of Wednesday morning, the hashtag "MoscowMitchIsNext," had nearly 5,000 tweets tied to it with people expressing their opinion that McConnell should be worried about his place in the Senate.
During Tuesday's election, Andy Beshear, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Republican Governor Matt Bevin by a narrow margin of less than half a percentage point. Despite the close race, which Bevin refused to concede, McConnell's critics saw the Democratic victory in a historically red state to be indicative of the senior Kentucky senator's fate.
Kentucky voters first elected McConnell to his position in the Senate during the 1984 election and he's since become the longest-serving senator for the state. He's up for re-election in 2020 and some speculated his time in office may be coming to an end. McConnell has faced heavy criticism since President Donald Trump took office with some claiming he isn't loyal enough to Trump's agenda and others arguing he's not breaking with it enough. A Morning Consult poll conducted in July also found him to be the most unpopular senator.
Holly Figueroa O'Reilly, the founder of Blue Wave Crowdsource, an organization that turns online activism into ground campaign support for Democratic candidates, wrote on Twitter that the election was "scaring the pants" off McConnell.
Despite the gubernatorial loss, Trump, who campaigned for Bevin during a Monday night rally, claimed on Twitter that Kentucky's election showed McConnell would "win big" in 2020. O'Reilly responded to the president's tweet with the comment that the Senate majority leader would "beg" for the president to not stump for him ahead of the election.
Jon Cooper, chairman of The Democratic Coalition expressed the sentiment in a Tuesday night tweet that McConnell was the only person going to sleep worse than Bevin.
Former fighter pilot Amy McGrath announced in July that she would challenge McConnell for his seat in the Senate. During the 2018 election, she fell short of winning a spot in the House of Representatives, but she raised more than $10 million within the first three months of her campaign for McConnell's seat, indicating she may have a real shot at it.
Some people used the "MoscowMitchIsNext" hashtag to promote McGrath and share that they were donating to her campaign with the hopes she could oust the longtime senator.
Trump wasn't the only one who didn't see the Kentucky election to be a telltale sign that McConnell wouldn't return to Washington, D.C., as a senator in 2021. Scott Jennings, who served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush and held a senior position on McConnell's 2002, 2008 and 2014 campaigns, wrote on Twitter that it was important to look at the election as a whole.
He pointed to Daniel Cameron, who served as legal counsel to McConnell, winning his election. On Tuesday night, he became the first black person to be independently elected to the position of the attorney general and the first Republican attorney general elected in the state in more than 70 years, according to The New York Times.
"Only Bevin lost, but one bad apple does not spoil the bunch," Jennings wrote on Twitter.
Kentucky voters cast ballots for eight positions Tuesday night, and Republicans, three of whom were incumbents, won all but the gubernatorial race, as reported by The New York Times.
House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, also from Kentucky, told The Hill.TV Monday that there's a "shot" McConnell could be vulnerable in 2020. However, he added that part of the reason he's polling poorly is because Trump voters don't think the senator helps the president enough—but that doesn't mean they'll break with McConnell to vote for a liberal Democrat.
Still, it might not be an easy victory for McConnell. Yarmuth added that if for some reason, Trump isn't on the 2020 ticket, the race would be "much more winnable" for a Democrat.