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How Many House of Delegates Seats Could VA Dems Pick Up If We Win by 13 Points?

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According to the latest WaPo poll numbers (and also the April Quinnipiac poll), Democrats are currently headed towards a big win (Perriello by 13 points, Northam by 11 points) in the 2017 gubernatorial election vs. Ed Gillespie. I realize that the general election is still over 5 months away, and that polls are far from perfect, but for fun let’s just say that Democrats DO manage to win the governor’s race this November by 13 points. What would that potentially mean for the Virginia House of Delegates? Let’s look at some margins from 2013, when Terry McAuliffe won the governor’s race by just 2.5 points over Ken Cuccinelli — 10.5 points lower than a 13-point win. (Note: districts with a yellow background were won by Hillary Clinton in November 2016)

District 2: Futrell (D) 50.6%-Dudenhefer (R) 49.2% Note that this is an open seat, with two Democrats – Jennifer Carroll Foy and Josh King – and one Republican, Laquan Austion, running. Also note that Hillary Clinton won the district by an enormous, 56%-39% margin in 2016. Which means that a 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial nominee would all but guarantee a Democratic pickup in this district at the House of Delegates level.
District 10: Minchew (R) 57.0%-Johnson (D) 42.8%  Note that Hillary Clinton won the district by a narrow, 49%-45% margin in 2016. A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would would, at the minimum, narrow the gap big time in this district; at the maximum make it seriously competitive (for Democrat Wendy Gooditis).
District 12: Yost (R) 52.3%-Harder (D) 47.4% A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would likely flip this district at the House of Delegates level (for Democrat Chris Hurst).
District 13: Marshall (R) 51.3%-Qarni (D) 48.5% A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would almost certainly mean that we won’t have “Sideshow Bob” to kick around, mock, etc. any more. Sad news for “Sideshow Bob,” but happy news for Democrat Steven Jansen, Democrat Mansimran Kahlon, Democrat Danica Roem or Democrat Andrew Adams! 🙂
District 21: Villanueva (R) 54.4%-Hippen (D) 45.4% A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would almost certainly put this district into play at the House of Delegates level (for, hopefully, Democrat Kelly Fowler).
District 31: Lingamfelter (R) 50.4%-McPike (D) 49.4% A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would likely flip this district at the House of Delegates level (for either Democrat Elizabeth Guzman or Democrat Sara Townsend).
District 32: Greason (R) 51.4%-Miller (D) 48.5% A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would almost certainly flip this district at the House of Delegates level (for Democrat David Reid).
District 33: LaRock (R) 53.6%-Daniel (D) 42.8% A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would potentially put this district into play at the House of Delegates level.
District 40: Hugo (R) 60%-Foltz (D) 39.9% A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would quite possibly put this district into play at the House of Delegates level (for Democrat Donte Tanner).
District 42: Albo (R) 59.8%-Deitsch (D) 40.1% A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would almost certainly flip this district at the House of Delegates level (for either Democrat Kathy Tran or Democrat Nelfred “Tilly” Blanding, especially given that Albo has announced his retirement).
District 50: Miller (R) 54.9%-Cabellos (D) 44.9% A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would put this district into play at the House of Delegates level (for Democrat Lee Carter against a wounded Jackson Miller, who recently lost a special election for PW County Clerk of the Court).
District 51: Anderson (R) 53.7%-Heddleston (D) 46.1% A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would almost certainly put this district into play at the House of Delegates level (for either Democrat Ken Boddye or Democrat Hala Ayala).
District 67: LeMunyon (R) 54.5%-Nguyen (D) 45.3% A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would almost certainly put this district into play at the House of Delegates level (for either Democrat Karrie Delaney, Democrat Hannah Risheq (D) or Democrat John W. Carey).
District 68: Note that Del. Manoli Loupassi (R) had no Democratic opponent in 2013, but that Hillary Clinton won the district by a 51%-41% margin in 2016. A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would almost certainly put this district into play at the House of Delegates level (for either Democrat Dawn Adams, Democrat Mary Jo Sheeley or Democrat Ben Pearson-Nelson).
District 72: Note that then-incumbent Jimmie Massie (R) had no opponent in 2013, but that Hillary Clinton won the district in 2016 by a 49%-45% margin. Also note that this is an open seat. A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would possibly put this district into play at the House of Delegates level (for Democrat Schuyler VanValkenburg).
District 73: Note that incumbent John O’Bannon (R) had no opponent in 2013, but that Hillary Clinton won the district in 2016 by a 50%-43% margin. A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would likely put this district into play at the House of Delegates level (for Democrat Debra Rodman).
District 85: Scott Taylor (R) – now in the U.S. House of Representatives – won this district by 13 points in 2013, so this one’s a longshot. Still, a 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate might, just might, put this district into play at the House of Delegates level (for Democrat Cheryl Turpin).
District 94: Yancey (R) 51.2% vs. Farinholt (D) 48.6% A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would quite possibly flip this district at the House of Delegates level (for Democrat Zack Wittkamp)
District 100 (2015 numbers): Bloxom (R) 58.0%-Willie Randall (D) 42.0% A 13-point win by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate would possibly put this district into play at the House of Delegates level (for Democrat Willie Randall).

BOTTOM LINE: In sum, a 13-point Democratic win at the gubernatorial level this November could quite possibly put a slew of House of Delegates districts – the 17 “Hillary Clinton districts” plus possibly 1 or 2 others – into serious play. In several cases, a 13-point Democratic win for governor would almost certainly flip House of Delegates districts.  My best guesstimate on possible total pickups for Democrats with a 13-point gubernatorial win would be somewhere in the 8-14 range. Particularly at the upper end of that range, it would certainly make things a LOT more interesting in Richmond come January 2018. But first, obviously, we have to win big at the governor level, which is one reason why I’m backing Tom Perriello, who holds a (2-point) larger lead over Ed Gillespie than does Ralph Northam in the Quinnipiac and WaPo polls.

  • Inspector Spacetime

    People for a starting assumption should work with a 7% bump figure, and work from there.

  • Ken Wheeler

    Also, there is a noticeable drop off from Gov to down ballot races. We must focus on House of Delegate races as well as the Statewides. 100 percent of votes cast for a Dem HoD candidate, included up ballot Dem voting, the reverse is not true. The key to pushing turnout, and energy, is on the ground, neighborhood by neighborhood engagement, working to get HoD candidates elected. That will push Statewide elections as well. This needs to be a personal fight, in your neighborhood, to get the representation we deserve.