The following ratings and analysis of this year’s Virginia legislative elections are from political analyst Ben “Not Larry Sabato” Tribbett. As you can see, Ben has the House of Delegates right now as 47 “Lean R” or better vs. 43 “Lean D” or better, plus 10 tossups. As for the State Senate, Ben has it at 20 “Lean D” or better “before tossups are counted” and “a clear edge [for Democrats] to win a State Senate majority this fall.”
For comparison purposes, see Chaz Nuttycombe’s latest ratings, which have the State Senate as “Likely Democratic” (23-17) and the House of Delegates as “Lean Democrat” (53-47).
Personally, I lean a bit towards Chaz Nuttycombe‘s ratings, mostly because I’m betting on – or maybe more hoping that – the anti-Trump energy we saw in 2017 and 2018 will continue. Of course, as I’ve pointed out previously, these “odd-off” election years historically have seen very low turnout, with Democratic “dropoff” from presidential, midterm and gubernatorial years particularly pronounced. On the other hand, as I pointed out in this analysis, I believe there are many similarities, as well as some significant differences, between 2019 and 2007, when Democrats picked up four seats each in the House of Delegates (from 40 to 44) and State Senate (from 17 to 21). The question is whether – and to what extent – past will be prologue in this case.
Some of the House of Delegates districts where I’m a bit more optimistic than Ben is, by the way, include: HD27 (51% Northam district; Democrat Larry Barnett vs. Republican Del. Roxann Robinson), HD40 (55% Northam district; Democrat Dan Helmer vs. Republican Del. Tim Hugo), HD83 (55% Northam district; Democrat Nancy Guy vs. Republican Del. Chris Stolle) and HD100 (53% Northam district; Democrat Phil Hernandez vs. Republican Del. Rob Bloxom). In the State Senate, I’m a bit more optimistic than Ben about SD7 (54% Northam district; Democrat Cheryl Turpin vs. Republican Jen Kiggans), SD8 (50% Northam district; Democrat Missy Cotter Smasal vs. Republican Sen. Bill DeSteph), SD10 (57% Northam district; Democrat Ghazala Hashmi vs. Republican Sen. Glen Sturtevant), SD11 (53% Gillespie district; Democrat Amanda Pohl vs. Republican Sen. Amanda Chase), SD12 (52% Northam district; Democrat Debra Rodman vs. Republican Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant), and SD17 (50% Gillespie district; Democrat Amy Laufer vs. Republican Sen. Bryce Reeves).
With that, here’s Ben Tribbett’s preview/ratings for the 2019 Virginia legislative races. What do you think?