Home 2019 Elections Early Read on the 2015 Battle for Control of the Virginia State...

Early Read on the 2015 Battle for Control of the Virginia State Senate


Sadly, the overwhelming number of State Senate districts are not seriously in play this year. As you can see, 26/40 seats are “safe,” with 7/40 “likely” holds, leaving just 7/40 for either “tossup” (1 district) or “lean” (6 districts). In other words, right now it looks like a status quo election for the most part, which would mean Republicans maintain (or slightly increase) their 21-19 control of the State Senate. The challenge for Democrats will be holding all of the seats they currently hold, including a few tough ones (retiring Sen. John Colgan’s seat; Sen. Lynwood Lewis and Sen. John Edwards), while picking up a Republican-held seat (maybe Dick Black’s?).

SD 1 (57% Mark Herring district in 2013): Sen. John Miller (D) vs. Mark Matney (R): Leans Democratic Hold

SD 2 (68% Mark Herring district): Sen. Mamie Locke (D) unopposed: Safe Democratic.

SD 3 (64% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. Tommy Norment (R) unopposed: Safe Republican.

SD 4 (61% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. Ryan McDougle (R) unopposed: Safe Republican.

SD 5 (73% Mark Herring district): Sen. Kenny Alexander (D) unopposed: Safe Democratic.

SD 6 (53% Mark Herring district): Sen. Lynwood Lewis (D) vs. Richard Ottinger (R): Leans Slightly Democratic Hold.

SD 7 (53% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. Frank Wagner (R) vs. Gary McCollum (D): Leans Republican Hold.

SD 8 (55% Mark Obenshain district): Dave Belote (D) vs. Bill DeSteph (R) or Craig Hudgins (R) for retiring Sen. Jeff McWaters’ (R) seat: Likely Republican Hold.

SD 9 (72% Mark Herring district): Sen. Donald McEachin (D) unopposed: Safe Democratic.

SD 10 (51% Mark Herring district): Glen Sturtevant (R) vs. either Emily Francis (D), Dan Gecker (D) or Alex McMurtrie (D) for retiring Sen. John Watkins’ (R) seat: Leans Republican Hold.

SD 11 (58% Mark Obenshain district): Amanda Chase (R), Sen. Steve Martin (R) or Barry Moore, Jr. (R) vs. no Democratic candidate: Safe Republican.

SD 12 (56% Mark Obenshain district): Siobhan Dunnavant (R), Vincent Haley (R), Bill Janis (R) and Edward S Whitlock, III (R) vs. no Democratic candidate for retiring Sen. Walter Stosch’s (R) seat: Safe Republican.

SD 13 (51% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. Dick Black (R) vs. Jill McCabe (D): Leans Slightly Republican Hold.

SD 14 (61% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. John Cosgrove (R) or William Haley (R) vs. no Democratic candidate: Safe Republican.

SD 15 (64% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. Frank Ruff (R) unopposed: Safe Republican.

SD 16 (69% Mark Herring district): Sen. Rosalyn Dance (D) or Joseph Preston (D) vs. no Republican candidate: Safe Democratic, although if Joe Morrissey runs as an “independent” and there’s a Republican as well, that rating could change.

SD 17 (53% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. Bryce Reeves (R) vs. Traci Dippert (D): Likely Republican Hold.

SD 18 (65% Mark Herring district): Sen. Louise Lucas (D) unopposed. Safe Democratic.

SD 19 (69% Mark Obenshain district): Michael Lawrence Hamlar (D) vs. David Suetterlein (R) for retiring Sen. Ralph Smith’s seat: Safe Republican.

SD 20 (59% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. Bill Stanley (R) vs. Kimberley Adkins (D) and Independent Green Elaine Hildebrandt: Likely Republican Hold.

SD 21 (51% Mark Herring district): Sen. John Edwards (D) vs. Nancy Dye (R): Lean Slightly Democratic Hold.

SD 22 (60% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. Tom Garrett (R) unopposed: Safe Republican.

SD 23 (74% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. Steve Newman (R) unopposed: Safe Republican.

SD 24 (68% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. Emmett Hanger (R) vs. Dan Moxley (R) and Marshall Pattie (R) vs. no Democratic candidate: Safe Republican.

SD 25 (56% Mark Herring district): Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) unopposed: Safe Democratic.

SD 26 (65% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. Mark Obenshain (R) vs. April Moore (D): Safe Republican.

SD 27 (62% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. Jill Vogel (R) unopposed: Safe Republican.

SD 28 (59% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. Richard Stuart (R) unopposed: Safe Republican.

SD 29 (59% Mark Herring district): Atif Qarni (D), Michael Futrell (D) or Jeremy McPike (D) vs. Hal Parrish (R) for retiring Sen. Chuck Colgan’s (D) seat: Slight Democratic Lean if Qarni’s the nominee; possibly a tossup if Futrell is the nominee; lean Republican pickup if McPike’s the nominee for these reasons.

SD 30 (69% Mark Herring district): Sen. Adam Ebbin (D) unopposed: Safe Democratic.

SD 31 (65% Mark Herring district): Sen. Barbara Favola (D) unopposed: Safe Democratic.

SD 32 (65% Mark Herring district): Sen. Janet Howell (D) unopposd: Safe Democratic.

SD 33 (60% Mark Herring district): Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D) vs. Stephen Hollingshead (R): Likely Democratic hold.

SD 34 (59% Mark Herring district): Sen. Chap Petersen (D) unopposed: Safe Democratic.

SD 35 (69% Mark Herring district): Sen. Dick Saslaw (D) unopposed: Safe Democratic.

SD 36 (63% Mark Herring district): Scott Surovell (D) vs. Jerry Foreman (R) for retiring Sen. Toddy Puller’s (D) seat: Likely Democratic hold.

SD 37 (58% Mark Herring district): Sen. Dave Marsden (D) unopposed: Safe Democratic.

SD 38 (68% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. Ben Chafin (R) unoppposed: Safe Republican.

SD 39 (59% Mark Herring district): Sen. George Barker (D) vs. Joe Murray (R): Likely Democratic hold.

SD 40 (74% Mark Obenshain district): Sen. Bill Carrico (R) unopposed: Safe Republican.


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