Much has been written about how Virginia has been ‘trending blue’ over the past decade. With the exception of a Republican win for Governor in 2009, Democrats have dominated Virginia’s state-wide elections for President, Governor, and Senator. Last year they even flipped 3 Congressional seats.
But where they’ve fallen short has been Virginia’s State Legislature where Republicans have controlled both chambers and thwarted the will of the people on everything from health care to common sense gun reform. 2017 saw the first signs of a much-needed state legislative remedy. 2019 can mark a satisfying conclusion that sets Virginia on a course towards Progressive representation for the next *decade*.
The results of the off-year 2017 Virginia elections for Governor and the Virginia House of Delegates have become the stuff of legend. In the run-up to 2017, RealClearPolitics had Democrat Ralph Northam leading with an average polling of 3.3%. The final results had Northam swamping his GOP opponent by 8.9%. Democrats also swept all other State Executive offices.
Similarly in the Virginia House of Delegates, the most experienced politicos predicted a single-digit pick-up of seats in that gerrymandered chamber. But Democrats went on to shock the world and pick up *15* seats, famously losing the 16th seat after an exact tie in the 94th District forced a winner’s name to be drawn out of hat. Had the Democrat won that race, they would have taken control of the Virginia House. NOTE: Every vote literally matters.
The Virginia State Legislative Elections on November 5, 2019 give us the opportunity to finish what we started on November 7, 2017: To make Virginia blue through-and-through.
Unlike in 2017, however, the Republicans know that we’re coming in 2019. So we must bring our A-Game. Right now only *4* seats stand between Democrats and total control of both chambers of the Virginia State Legislature – 2 in the Virginia State Senate and 2 in the Virginia State House. And while flipping 4 seats may be enough to flip those chambers, it isn’t enough for our current political climate. We need to crush the opposition in order to send them a clear message that rejects the Republican Party in the Trump Era.
STEP 1: ORGANIZE
We must review our best opportunities to flip seats in the Virginia State Legislature. Yes, we need Democratic votes everywhere. We learned from 2017 that Virginia seats *not* in play can easily surprise us. And we must also commit to defending *all* Democratic incumbents, especially those in swing seats that we won two years ago.
But I have a soft spot in my heart for flipping seats, and the following races provide our best opportunities to turn districts from red-to-blue. These are the races where we can focus efforts to donate, postcard, volunteer, and get out the vote.
Some have trended blue on their own. Some feature Republican retirements. Some were subject to court-ordered re-districting to undo unfair gerrymanders.
ALL ARE FLIPPABLE!
Virginia State Senate District 7 (Open GOP-held seat)
Candidate – Cheryl Turpin
2016 – Hillary Clinton won by .28%
2017 – Ralph Northam won by 8.23%
2018 – Tim Kaine won by 13.6%
Virginia State Senate District 10
Candidate – Ghazala Hashmi
2016 – Hillary won by 13.1%
2017 – Northam won by 15.54%
2018 – Kaine won by 23.1%
Virginia State Senate District 12
Candidate – Debra Rodman
2016 – Hillary won by 3.1%
2017 – Northam won by 4.35%
2018 – Kaine won by 15.4%
Virginia State Senate District 13 (Open GOP-held Seat)
Candidate – John Bell
2016 – Hillary won by 8.19%
2017 – Northam won by 11.28%
2018 – Kaine won by 18.8%
Virginia State House District 27
Candidate – Larry Barnett
2016 – Trump won by 2.35%
2017 – Northam won by 3.39%
2018 – Kaine won by 10.3%
Virginia State House District 28 (Open GOP-held seat)
Candidate – Joshua Cole
2016 – Trump won by 1.1%
2017 – Northam won by 3.36%
2018 – Kaine won by 12%
Virginia State House District 40
Candidate – Dan Helmer
2016 – Hillary won by 11.11%
2017 – Northam won by 10.98%
2018 – Kaine won by 18.1%
Virginia State House District 66 (re-drawn district; GOP House Speaker Kirk Cox’s seat)
Candidate – Sheila Bynum-Coleman
2016 – Hillary won by 4.64%
2017 – Northam won by 4.54%
2018 – Kaine won by 14%
Virginia State House District 76 (re-drawn district)
Candidate – Clinton Jenkins
2016 – Hillary won by 16.22%
2017 – Northam won by 27.46%
2018 – Kaine won by 25%
Virginia State House District 83 (re-drawn district)
Candidate – Nancy Guy
2016 – Hillary won by 4.93%
2017 – Northam won by 11.13%
2018 – Kaine won by 17%
Virginia State House District 84
Candidate – Karen Mallard
2016 – Trump won by 4.44%
2017 – Northam won by 5.08%
2018 – Kaine won by 9.2%
Virginia State House District 91 (re-drawn district)
Candidate – Martha Mugler
2016 – Hillary won by 4.61%
2017 – Northam won by 8.23%
2018 – Kaine won by 16%
Virginia State House District 94 (re-drawn district)
Candidate – Shelly Simonds
2016 – Hillary won by 16.77%
2017 – Northam won by 20.83%
2018 – Kaine won by 28%
Virginia State House District 100
Candidate – Philip Hernandez
2016 – Hillary won by 2.57%
2017 – Northam won by 8.93%
2018 – Kaine won by 14.4%
STEP 2: REGISTER
The Voter Registration Deadline for this year’s Virginia elections is Tuesday, October 15th. If an eligible Virginian isn’t registered, nothing else matters. Get them registered! See here for info: https://www.elections.virginia.gov/registration/
STEP 3: VOTE
Sadly, Virginia does not have no-excuse early voting. (Perhaps that is something a Democratic-controlled Legislature could work on…but we must elect them first). However, Virginia does allow for early absentee voting if you meet any of the 20 criteria, which can be found here: https://www.elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting/
If you meet any of those criteria, bank your vote early!
If you cannot vote early absentee, Election Day is Tuesday, November 5th and the polls are open from 6AM to 7PM. This is showtime. This is the ballgame. Leave it all on the field. Learn more here: https://www.elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/
STEP 4: WIN
Put in the work so that on the evening of November 5th we can rejoice in the headline: “DEMOCRATS FLIP THE VIRGINIA STATE LEGISLATURE BLUE”
The benefits of a win in Virginia will be immediate, numerous and impactful:
- Virginians will receive better access to healthcare and be safer from gun violence;
- Virginia will become the 37th state required to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment;
- Democrats will control Virginia’s 2021 redistricting process that will determine Congressional and State Legislative districts until *2032* and put an end to Republican gerrymandering;
- Democrats will have the momentum to put an end to the Trump Era in 2020;
- The Republican Party will sweat bullets over our ballots.
So let’s get to work!
ORGANIZE. REGISTER. VOTE. WIN.
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