As always, I’ll be live blogging Virginia’s election results as they come in tonight (polls close at 7 pm – make sure you stay in line and cast your ballot!), with results from the State Board of Elections, the Fairfax County Board of Elections, etc. I’ll also be keeping an eye on Twitter feeds from Virginia political gurus like Not Larry Sabato (Ben Tribbett) and others (e.g., Dave Wasserman).
The main races I’ll be focusing on are Jennifer Wexton (D) vs. Barbara Comstock (R) in VA-10; Abigail Spanberger (D) vs. Dave Brat (R) in VA-07; Leslie Cockburn (D) vs. Denver Riggleman (R) in VA-05; Elaine Luria (D) vs. Scott Taylor (R) in VA-02; Tim Kaine (D) vs. neo-Confederate Corey Stewart (R) for U.S. Senate (mostly to see how badly Kaine can crush that nutjob, also what the margins look like and what that might mean for downballot “coattails”); Matt de Ferranti (D) vs. John Vihstadt (R/I) for Arlington County Board; Babur Lateef (D) vs. Alyson Satterwhite (R) for Prince William County School Board Chair; Virginia Beach City Council. I’m also interested in how Democrats do in deep-red districts such as VA-01 (Democrat Vangie Williams vs. Republican Rob Wittman), VA-06 (Democrat Jennifer Lewis vs. Republican Ben Cline) and VA-09 (Democrat Anthony Flaccavento vs. Republican Morgan Griffith).
Heading into election day, the consensus seems to be that Democrats will win VA-10, possibly VA-07, VA-05 and VA-02 as well. A good night for Democrats, IMHO, would be winning VA-10 plus one more of the winnable districts. A VERY good night would get us to a pickup of three House seats. A “blue wave” election would see Virginia Dems picking up four House seats, plus of course a wipeout (20+ points?) in the U.S. Senate race.
The final polling averages I’ve seen heading into tonight have Kaine and Wexton up significantly; Spanberger, Luria and Cockburn neck and neck. We’ll see soon enough what the results end up being. Also, keep in mind that how well – or not so well – Democrats do in Virginia will likely set the tone for the rest of the evening nationwide. If Democrats can win districts like VA-07, VA-05 and VA-02, there’s no reason I know if that we can’t win in suburban “purple” districts across the country…
Finally, here are a few numbers to keep in mind as results start coming in tonight:
- Statewide turnout in the last midterm elections, in 2014, was 41.6% (2,194,346 votes). In 2016, turnout was 72.1% (3,984,631 votes). In 2017, turnout was 47.6% (2,612,309 votes). I assume turnout tonight will be FAR higher than it was in 2014, when Democrats basically slept through the election – with disastrous results. The question is whether we get to 2017 gubernatorial-level turnout…or even higher? We’ll also see if the general pattern holds, that higher turnout is better for Democrats.
- Here’s turnout in a few key jurisdictions last year: Fairfax County 376k; Prince William County 142k; Virginia Beach 129k; Chesterfield County 119k; Loudoun County 117k; Henrico County 115k; Arlington County 86k; Richmond City 72k; Norfolk 54k; Alexandria 52k; Newport News 47k; Hanover County 43k; Albemarle County 42k; Stafford County 41k; Spotsylvania County 37k; Roanoke County 34k.