Home 2015 elections Virginia House of Delegates Predictions (9/27/15)

Virginia House of Delegates Predictions (9/27/15)

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I put up my predictions for the Virginia State Senate yesterday. Today, I turn to the Virginia House of Delegates. Again, my predictions are based on the CNU polling (+13 generic ballot advantage for Republicans in both State Senate and House of Delegates races), internal polling results I’ve seen or heard rumors about (but in the latter case, I usually can’t confirm them and therefore place little if any confidence in this data point), the latest campaign finance numbers from the State Board of Elections/VPAP, what I’m reading, seeing, hearing from Democrats – including campaign operatives – and expected turnout (very low, which unfortunately but clearly favors Republicans). With that…

P.S. If a district isn’t mentioned, it’s because it’s uncontested and/or not in the slightest bit competitive. Also worth noting is that in many of these districts, Democrats would have a lot better chance if they had the money to get their resources out. This somewhat begs the question as to WHY Democratic House candidates don’t have more money. Part of the reason, no question, is that there are numerous House Dems (look it up on VPAP; it’s pretty obvious) who a) don’t fundraise much in general; and b) to the degree they do have money, don’t give much of it to the House caucus. Not good, especially in the case of Democrats in wealthy, deep-blue districts.

House of Delegates

HD 2 (a district that leans “blue,” one that Mark Warner won by 6 points in 2014 and Mark Herring won by 12 points in 2013) — Joshua King (D) vs. Mark Dudenhefer (R): The district leans Democratic, but there’s a big Dem dropoff in odd/off years. Also, Dudenhefer has outraised King (who got in late to the race after the first Democratic candidate had to drop out) and has more cash on hand by a nearly 4:1 margin. So, I’d have to say this one Slight Lean Republican Pickup.

HD 12 (a purplish-blueish district where Mark Herring got 50% in 2013 and Mark Warner 52% in 2014) — Laurie Buchwald (D) vs. Del. Joseph Yost (R). Yost had more than three times the cash on hand of Buchwald as of 8/31, which is highly unfortunate. Given that, I’d have to call this one a Lean Republican Retention.

HD 13 (a purple district where Mark Herring got 51% in 2013 and Mark Warner 47% in 2014) — Don Shaw (D) vs. Del. Bob Marshall (R). Shaw is running a strong campaign, having outraised Marshall (although Marshall still had more cash on hand as of 8/31). Slight Lean Republican Retention.

HD 21 (another purple district where Mark Herring got 50% in 2013 and Mark Warner 50% in 2014) — Susan Hippen (D) vs. Del. Ron Villanueva (R). Continuing a frustrating theme, the Democratic candidate yet again faces a big financial disadvantage in a district that WOULD be winnable with sufficient resources to get our voters out. Instead, I’d rate this one Likely Republican Retention.

HD 24 (E.W. Jackson won this district, that’s how “red” it is!) — Ellen Arthur (D) vs. Del. Ben Cline (R). I hear that Arthur’s done an excellent job calling out Cline for refusing to debate her, but still, given the district’s overwhelming “red” lean…Safe Republican Retention.

HD 25 (Similar analysis as HD 24) — Candidates here are Democrat Angela Lynn and Del. Steve Landes (R). Safe Republican Retention.

HD 27 (Solid “red” 55% Obenshain/52% Gillespie district) — Democrats have a strong candidate, Marty Mooradian, but the district’s “red” lean, combined with a 4:1 cash-on-hand advantage for Del. Roxann Robinson (R) makes this one, unfortunately, Likely Republican Retention.

HD 28 (Politicaly “red” Obenshain/Gillespie district) — If Speaker Bill Howell (R) had lost his primary race to Teapublican Susan Stimpson, Democratic nominee Kandy Hilliard might have had a shot, but Howell (and his enormous cash advantage) won the Republican nomination, so… Safe Republican Retention.

HD 31 (Purple district in which Mark Herring got 51% in 2013 and Mark Warner 48% in 2014) — Another district where Democrats could have a much better shot with ample resources. Fortunately, Democratic nominee Sara Townsend had a small cash advantage over Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R) as of 8/31. Still…would have to say Slight Lean Republican Retention.

HD 32 (A 55% Mark Herring/50% Mark Warner district) — Del. Tag Greason had a significant cash advantage over Democrat Liz Miller as of 8/31. Miller came within 3 percentage points of beating Greason in the 2013 gubernatorial election year, but with lower Democratic turnout this time around, I’ll have to rate this one Leans Republican Retention.

HD 32 (A 55% Mark Herring/51% Mark Warner district) — Democrat Kathleen Murphy defeated Republican Craig Parisot back in January by a 51%-49% margin. The rematch sees Murphy holding a $200K+ cash-on-hand advantage as of 8/31, so I’d rate this one Leans Democratic Retention.

HD 37 (A solid-“blue” 60% Mark Herring/56% Mark Warner district) — Incumbent Del. David Bulova also holds a cash advantage over Republican challenger Sang Yi, so…Likely Democratic Retention.

HD 40 (A “red” district that even crazy E.W. Jackson was able to win, albeit only by a point) —  Del. Tim Hugo (R) faces Democrat Jerry Foltz. Safe Republican Retention

HD 42 (A slightly “blue”-leaning district, where Mark Herring to 53% and Mark Warner 50% of the vote) — Del. Dave Albo (R) holds a huge cash advantage over Democrat Joana Garcia and is well liked in the district for whatever reason, despite the slight “blue” lean.  Safe Republican Retention

HD 43 (An overwhelmingly Democratic-leaning district) — Del. Mark Sickles also holds a huge cash advantage over Republican Anna Urman. Safe Democratic Retention

HD 46 (An even MORE overwhelmingly Democratic-leaning district where Mark Herring got 75% of the vote) — Del. Charniele Herring (D) also has a huge cash advantage over Republican Sean Lenehan. Safe Democratic Retention.

HD 50 (A purple district where Mark Herring got 50% of the vote in 2013) — Del. Jackson Miller (R) has a nearly $260k (!) advantage over Democrat Kyle McCullough. Safe Republican Retention.

HD 55 (A strongly “red” district which Ed Gillespie won 58%-39% over Mark Warner) — Del. Buddy Fowler (R) is about even in cash on hand with Democrat Toni Radler, but given the district’s overwhelmingly “red” lean… Safe Republican Retention.

HD 61 (Another strong “red” district which Ed Gillespie won by 14 points over Mark Warner) — Del. Tommy Wright (R) has an overwhelming cash advantage over Democrat Greg Marston, so given the district’s overwhelmingly “red” lean… Safe Republican Retention.

HD 61 (Another strong “red” district which Ed Gillespie won by 7 points over Mark Warner) — Del. Riley Ingram (R) has an overwhelming cash advantage over Democrat Sheila Bynum-Coleman, so given the district’s solidly “red” lean… Safe Republican Retention.

HD 68 (A “red”-leaning district which Ed Gillespie won by 4 points over Mark Warner and Mark Obenshain by 5 points over Mark Herring) — Del. Manoli Loupassi (R) has a $160k cash advantage over Democrat Bill Grogan, so combined the district’s “red” lean… Safe Republican Retention.

HD 82 (A strongly “red”-leaning district which Ed Gillespie won by 15 points over Mark Warner) — Republican Jason Miyares has a small cash advantage over Democrat Bill Fleming, so in combination with the district’s “red” lean…Likely Republican Retention.

HD 86 (A strongly “blue”-leaning district which Mark Warner won by 18 points in 2014) — Democrat Jennifer Boysko had a nearly 2:1 cash advantage over Republican Danny Vargas as of 8/31. Combined with the district’s strong “blue” lean, let’s call this one Likely Democratic Pickup.

HD 87 (A “blue”-leaning district which Mark Warner won by 6 points and Mark Herring by 12 points) — Democrat John Bell had a nearly 10:1 cash advantage over Republican Chuong Nguyen as of 8/31, and given the district’s Democratic lean, let’s call this one Lean Democratic Pickup.

HD 93 (A “blue”-leaning district which Mark Warner won by 12 points and Mark Herring by 10 points) — Del. Monty Mason (D) had a nearly 2:1 cash advantage over Republican Lara Overy as of 8/31, and given the district’s Democratic lean, let’s call this one Lean Democratic Retention.

HD 94 (A “purple” district which Mark Warner won by 2 points and Mark Obenshain by 2 points) — Del. David Yancey (R) had a greater-than 2:1 cash advantage over Democrat Shelly Simonds (who I hear is doing a good job otherwise) as of 8/31, so let’s call this one Lean Republican Retention.

HD 100 (A “purple” district which Mark Warner won by 1 points and Mark Herring lost by 2 points) — Del. Rob Bloxom (R) had a nearly 8:1 cash advantage over Willie Randall (D) as of 8/31, so…Likely Republican Retention.

OVERALL: There are several districts that could be very close. Overall most incumbents should be safe. Overall, Democrats potentially could hold steady or possibly picking up a seat (or two?). Again, if Democratic candidates had more money, and also if Democrats would pay a lot more attention to state and local races than they do, we could pick up a bunch more seats. But nooooo… Sigh.

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    It looks like your analysis is spot-on. Just a couple of additional thoughts.

    HD12: Del. Joe Yost, while being a good soldier for Bill Howell in many ways, also is pretty original in the bills he introduces, some fairly progressive. His bill allowing for the cultivation of industrial hemp passed, I believe. He is very strong on mental health issues. He even put in a bill to add meningitis vaccine to the required ones for children. He had a bill that would allow the SCC to authorize industrial-size solar installations. So, I’m pretty confident he will easily win in a district that should be competitive. The fact that he’s from the Blacksburg area also helps him, even though Blacksburg and Montgomery County lean Democratic.

    HD24: You are right that Ben Cline will easily win, in spite of an excellent campaign by Ellen Arthur. She’s on a hopeless mission, what with much of Augusta County being in the 24th. Augusta is one of the most Republican counties in the state. The people there also vote in every election and usually go 70% or so for whoever has the “R” after their name. The fact that Lexington is also in that district doesn’t mean much, even though it’s a Democratic stronghold in a sea of red. Amherst County is almost as bad. When I analyzed the 6th District a few years back, one of the things I noted was that Augusta County, as well as Rockingham County, vote so Republican and at such a high rate that Roanoke City, a Democratic sure thing, is more than neutralized. And, so, we are forced to live with Bob Badlatte in the  House of Representatives.