About 2 months ago, I posted here about the fact that – as Mason Conservative first noted – only 15% of Virginia House of Delegates seats were being contested between a Republican and a Democrat. As I wrote at the time, this sucks on so many levels it’s hard to know where to start. As a progressive, it sucks. As a Democrat, it sucks. As a citizen who believes that our Democracy depends on competitive elections, it sucks.
Anyway, I was wondering how this suckiness has progressed (or regressed?) since June 19th. Courtesy of VPAP, here’s the sad story:
*We’re up to the whopping total of 23 contested House of Delegates races (out of 100) between a Democrat and a Republican. That’s 23% total contested races now, compared to 15% in mid-June. Yipee.
*However, I count only 9 Republican incumbents (out of 52) being challenged by a Democrat. Those would be: Vern Presley (D) vs. Del. Will Morefield (R) in the 3rd; Ward Armstrong (D; redistricted out) vs. Del. Charles Poindexter (R) in the 9th; Carl Genthner (D) vs. Del. “Sidedshow” Bob Marshall (R) in the 13th; Laura Kleiner (D) vs. Del. Dickie Bell (R) in the 20th; Adrianne Bennett (D) vs. Del. Ron Villanueva (R) in the 21st; Roy Coffey (D) vs. Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R) in the 31st; Pamela Danner (D) vs. Del. Barbara Comstock (R) in the 34th; Jack Dobbyn (D) vs. Del. Dave “Abuser Fees” Albo (R) in the 42nd; and Eric Clingan (D) vs. Del. Jim LeMunyon (R) in the 67th.
*UPDATE: Also note that there are several contested races between non-incumbents (e.g., House districts 2, 10, 12, 19, 87 and 98; Senate districts 13, 22, 30 and 31). However, this doesn’t change the percentage of contested races between a Republican and a Democrat, nor does it really change the overall conclusion. In the case of the Senate, the 30th and 31st are both solid Democratic districts, where Democratic incumbents are retiring, and where Republicans are challenging. In the 13th, I’m hopeful for Shawn Mitchell, especially if a loony-tunes Republican like Dick Black is that party’s nominee. See the comments section for thoughts from Isaac Sarver in particular, on the 2nd, 10th and 12th House of Delegates districts.
See the “flip” for more
*Bottom line: only 23% of Virginia House of Delegates districts currently have a contested race between a Republican and a Democrat, while only 17% of incumbent Republican delegates are being challenged by a Democrat.
*In talking to Democrats “in the know,” the consensus seems to be that Democrats are likely to lose a number of seats this November, from the current 39 Democratic delegates to perhaps the low-to-mid 30s.
*Also, in talking to Democrats “in the know,” the blame for this situation goes in a number of directions (in no particular order): 1) the DPVA and its “leader,” Brian Moran (what on earth is he doing, other than ripping off kids in his job as for-profit scam “colleges” chair? hello?!?); 2) the House Democratic caucus (formerly led by Matt Mansell, who left late last year); and 3) a horrible Republican redistricting/gerrymander that basically killed Democrats’ chances in the Virginia House of Delegates for the next decade.
So, that’s where we’re at right now in the House of Delegates. In the State Senate, I count 22 contested races out of 40 total Senate districts (55%) between a Republican and a Democrat. That sounds pretty good, except that 16 of those races have a Republican running against an incumbent Democrat. That compares to just 2 – count’em, TWO! – races in which a Democrat is running against an incumbent Republican (David Bernard vs. Sen. John Watkins in the 10th; Shaun Broy vs. Sen. Jill Vogel in the 27th). That’s a 13% challenge rate for Democrats against incumbent Republican Senators.
Needless to say, this is not good news, as we attempt to defend our narrow, 22-18 majority in the State Senate. Sigh…