WATCH: No sugarcoating Pa. election results, Thune says

The outcome of Pennsylvania’s special House election on Tuesday is bad news for the Republican Party, according to the third-ranking GOP senator. 

"I don't think you can sugarcoat it. It’s not a good outcome. It was an even-steven race in a district we ought to perform better in,” Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenate to vote on Trump's Canada, Mexico trade deal Thursday Senate braces for Trump impeachment trial Republicans face internal brawl over impeachment witnesses MORE (R-S.D.) said in a Wednesday interview with The Hill. 

Democrat Connor Lamb declared victory over Republican Rick Saccone in the race for Pennsylvania’s 18th District, which has been GOP-held for years and went to President Trump by more than 20 points in 2016.


While Thune says “the candidates matter,” he wants fellow Republicans to “pay attention to the messages coming out of these elections and make sure that we are responding.”

Lamb’s win, though razor-thin at less than 700 votes, had Democrats sounding optimistic about November’s midterms.

"Win or lose, it's a victory, because the difference between them is so small in a district that President Trump swept,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told The Hill.

“Something fundamental has changed in this country over just the last year,” Blumenthal added. "People are seeing Donald Trump and they don't like it.”

Click on the video above to hear the senators in their own words.