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The Question for 2017: To What Extent Can Virginia Dems Turn Our 3% “Win Rate” (2011-2015) Around?


Interesting analysis by Activate Virginia which finds that:

In the 2011, 2013, and 2015 cycles, incumbent House Democrats have had success defending against Republican challengers (89% Win Rate). Yet Democrats can’t seem to win open seats (13% WR) or in challenges against Republican incumbents (3% WR).

So this is the (huge) challenge facing Virginia Democrats in 2017 (and 2019 and…), even with the surge of anti-Trump energy, organizing, candidates, etc. out there. Yes, at the moment, prospects for Virginia Democrats in 2017 look a lot better than the 2011-2015 results would imply. But to really turn that abysmal, historical 3% “win rate” (against Republican incumbents in 2011, 2013 and 2015) around, we are going to need a bunch of things to come together: strong candidates, much higher financial and non-financial support than we’ve seen in the past, and more broadly an effective translation of anti-Trump sentiment into effective political action – most importantly, VOTING by people who normally just show up in presidential election years – locally here in Virginia.

For now, I like a lot of what I’m seeing (although I do wonder if all the different groups that have sprung up the past few months are going to “play well” – let alone effectively – together), but based on the historical evidence, I’d chalk myself up as no more than “cautiously optimistic” at the moment…


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