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Tim Kaine Pick for VP a Potential “Rare Opportunity for Virginia Democrats” in 2017

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From the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. You might also want to check out my post from February 2015 (need to update this) on the most vulnerable (e.g., ones that Mark Herring won in 2013) Republican-held Virginia House of Delegates districts to Democratic pickup. There are a bunch of them, if Democrats just turn out and vote!

RARE OPPORTUNITY FOR VIRGINIA DEMOCRATS

The Virginia House Democratic Caucus today continued to express its support for Secretary Clinton’s choice of running mate, Senator Tim Kaine.

“We could not be more pleased to see Hillary Clinton pick Senator Kaine,” said Del. Rip Sullivan, Campaign Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. “Senator Kaine is a statesman, a reliable progressive, and most importantly, he is an honorable man. He is the most genuine public servant I have ever met. We are confident that Senator Kaine will be an outstanding Vice President.”

This news also presents a rare opportunity for Democrats to make significant gains in next year’s House of Delegates races across the Commonwealth.

Governor Terry McAuliffe will appoint a replacement after Senator Kaine vacates his Senate seat in January, a special election will be held in November 2017 to elect Senator Kaine’s replacement. The special US Senate election in 2017 will — along with the Governor’s race, the Lieutenant Governor’s race, and the Attorney General’s race — drive up turn out.

Democrats will seize this opportunity next fall.

Right now, many highly conservative House of Delegates Republicans represent districts won by Senator Kaine in 2012, President Obama in 2012, Governor McAuliffe in 2013, Attorney General Herring in 2013 or Senator Warner in 2014.

All of these districts send members to Richmond every year who fight to keep women from making their own health care decisions, are allergic to any sensible gun safety proposals, deny the existence of climate change, and work to make it harder for Virginians to vote.

Why do these Democratic districts elect far-right Republicans? Low turnout.

Statewide turnout was 71.78% in the 2012 presidential election. It fell to 43% in the 2013 gubernatorial/lieutenant governor/attorney general election.Turnout plummeted to 29.1% in last year’s General Assembly elections. Low turnout elections disproportionately favor Republicans.

The special Senate election and the three statewide state elections will draw Democrats to the polls next fall. The stakes are high: the race could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate, and far right Republicans, such as Dave Brat and Ken Cuccinelli — have already expressed an interest in running for the seat.

All of the attention and interest in next year’s special Senate election will motivate Democrats, increase turnout, and help elect Democrats to the House of Delegates.