Just a “heads up” regarding two, excellent analyses about the Virginia election results posted today on Virginia Democratic blogs.
First, Ben Tribbett has a well-informed, highly-detailed, but pessimistic take on “The Future of The Virginia Senate”. I largely agree with Ben’s analysis, starting with the fact that the Senate redistricting map “was designed to please the current Democratic Senate incumbents- and was not designed as a 10 year plan to hold the Senate in the 2011, 2015 and 2019 elections it would be used in.” For instance, why did Saslaw cave to Gov. McDonnell and ditch the new, strongly Democratic-leaning (strongly) district for the metro Richmond area? And, while we’re bashing Saslaw, while he was gerrymandering, he seriously couldn’t find a few more dark blue precincts for Edd Houck in C-ville (note that Creigh Deeds won by 29 points, so he had a few to spare)? If Saslaw had done this, Houck would still be here today – easily. I mean, c’mon, if you’re going to gerrymander, at least do it effectively!
Anyway, getting back to Ben’s excellent analysis, he’s almost certainly correct that “going forward, Senate Democrats face the worst possible scenario.” One ray of hope I’d point (cling?) to is changing demographics, which could swamp the structural disadvantages that Ben correctly points out in his excellent article. At least I hope that happens.
Second, check out Vivian Paige’s astute article, Minority Status. In it, Vivian nails several points that can’t be repeated enough about the Virginia Democratic Party: a) almost complete failure of leadership; b) “no one takes a long view when it comes to planning for the Democratic Party;” c) “We have no bench and there is no effort to build one“; d) Democrats foolishly “thought…money would magically appear;” e) Senate and House Democrats are not working together but at cross purposes, seriously harming each other in the process; f) Ward Armstrong was a bad fit as minority leader; g) “Brian [Moran]’s resignation from the House to run for governor – a really bad move – resulted in an ineffective caucus chair;” h) the DPVA is nothing more than a hollow shell, “a conduit for funds;” etc. All true; thanks to Vivian for putting it out there for everyone to see!