How Many Seats Could Virginia Dems Gain in the House of Delegates in 2015?


    I made a graph (broken into two parts because it’s so wide; click on each to “embiggen”) of the 100 Virginia House of Delegates seats, with their performance in 2013 measured by the percentage that Mark Herring received. Out of these districts, which could be possible pickup opportunities for Democrats this year? By far and away, that would be district 86, held by retiring incumbent Tom Rust and a great pickup opportunty for Democrat Jennifer Boysko, who lost by just 32 votes in 2013. Other than that one, in descending order of Mark Herring 2013 percentages down to 50%, Democratic pickup opportunties would be: David Ramadan (87th), Jim LeMunyon (67th), Tag Greason (32nd), Dave Albo (42nd), Scott Lingamfelter (31st), Bob Marshall (13th), Randy Minchew (10th), Joseph Yost (12th), Ron Villanueva (21st), Jackson Miller (50th) and Rich Anderson (51st). Of course, Democrats would need strong candidates in those districts, with enough resources to compete.

    A few other districts that COULD potentially be competitive include 49% Herring 2013 performance districts in the 94th (David Yancey) and 100th (Rob Bloxom), and 48% Herring districts in the 28th (Bill Howell) and 68th (Manoli Loupassi). Beyond that, it’s really getting to be a longshot in an odd-year, low-turnout election, but the next two would be Tim Hugo (40th) and Glenn Davis (84th), both in 47% Herring 2013 districts.

    As for Democratic incumbents’ most vulnerable seats, those would be the 34th (a 55% Mark Herring 2013 district held by Kathleen Murphy), the 93rd (a 56% Mark Herring district held by Monty Mason), and possibly the 2nd (a 56% Mark Herring district being vacated by Michael Futrell). Hopefully, we’ll be fine in all of those, though. Anything else I missed?

    Bottom line: Democrats should certainly pick up one seat in 2015 (Jennifer Boysko in the 86th), with the potential for several more, depending on how strong our recruiting is, how well funded Democratic House candidates are this year, what the national mood is looking like this fall, etc.

    • Dan Sullivan

      With her experience from the 2013 race, she will approach 2015 much better prepared to take back the seat Ron stole from Bobby Mathieson in 2011.

      Now, I admit I am biased because I have known her since we met dialing for Obama back in ’08, but I believe she is much more committed to working for the seat than Mr. Villanueva.

    • BatCave

      and lays out the map for pick up opportunities in the House of Delegates.  And it’s timely, considering that the governor is talking about pick up opportunities in the state senate, specifically in the 7th and 8th districts in Hampton Roads.

      But, the party has to start concentrating on getting SOME Democratic base voters to start voting in statewide races, but also in years like 2015, when there are no statewide races on the ballot.  It’s clear the party does not have the ability to turn these voters out based on the results of state legislative races during the last decade, and it seems no one else does either.

      I have an idea what they could do, but clearly who knows if it would work, but why not give it a try?  Why not take the two races for state senate in the 7th and 8th districts, along with 6 seats in the House of Delegates Lowell referenced above and set up an operation like the Obama campaign did in 2008 and 2012, and run them like that?  Of course, you probably wouldn’t have the volunteer base to do this, so it would require getting the governor to raise a bunch of money to do this.  Hire a former Obama field rep and put one in each of these eight districts, let them hire some field staff, and have them do their thing.  It would really be interesting to see if this type of system perfected by the Obama campaign could work in a legislative race. All I know is, whatever has been tried the last 15 years is simply not working – and if they keep approaching it the same, way, they’ll keep getting the same results.  All the nay sayer’s will come out and say it can’t be done, etc., but it might be worth a try.  And frankly, what do they have to lose but the same seats they have been losing for 15 years.  

      We never talk to our base voters in these off years elections and we need to start doing so and get them engaged.  

      And of course, with our useless state party chair missing in action (He’s Waiting for Hillary so he can be back in the spotlight) if this is going to get done, it will have to get down by the governor.

      How’s that choice for state party chair working out for you governor?

      Meanwhile, Democrats nationally have launched the the  2020 campaign, a super PAC devoted to flipping key state legislatures ahead of the next round after the 2020 elections.  Why aren’t they using Virginia this year as a test laboratory?  

      It wouldn’t take a lot of money by super PAC standards to have a huge impact this fall in Virginia.

      Read the article:…          

    • BobGoldstein

      This is indeed a great idea and a great graph, but the 32nd House District – incumbent Tag Greason – is missing. Herring took 54% in the 32nd, and Liz Miller got 48.5% against Greason in 2013.  Liz is running again and this should be considered one of the top five pickup opportunities for sure.

      BTW, Lowell, you accidentally referred to Lingamfelter’s district as the 32nd; he’s actually in the 31st.

    • pvogel

      I believe the  democrats  are  getting  stonger over time,  and we are getting far enough  from gerrymandering of 12010  that the   incredible  gerrymandering is  getting  distorted

    • dave.arlington

      I think that anyone looking as deep in the red as Tim Hugo in the 40th is going to come out disappointed.

      We are talking about a district that delivered:

      more than 50% for Ken Cuccinelli

      more than 50% for EW Jackson

      more than 51% for Romney

      and almost 55% for Ed Gillespie.

      I think I see a pattern emerging…

    • DCCyclone

      Dudenhefer is running to win his old seat back, he’s obviously a proven vote-getter there since he was the incumbent when Futrell beat him, and I don’t know anything about Roderick Hall.  Googling his name turns up nothing except that he’s a candidate in this race.