The following infographics, courtesy of VPAP, tell us a great deal about diversity – or lack thereof – in the Virginia Democratic and Republican General Assembly delegations, as well as how that might change after this November’s elections.
Unfortunately, the x-axes aren’t labeled with numbers, nor is the raw data provided, so we’ll have to eyeball this. A few takeaways from the two infographics include:
- Democratic Virginia General Assembly incumbents are just over 40% female, around 15% under the age of 40, and about 35% non-white.
- In stark contrast, Republican Virginia General Assembly incumbents are basically older (around 93% are over the age of 40), overwhelmingly (around 90%) male, and essentially all-white. In sum, the Republican Virginia General Assembly is made up overwhelmingly of older white men. Shocker, eh?
- Democratic Virginia General Assembly non-incumbent candidates are younger (just over 30% are under the age of 40), majority (nearly 60%) female, and somewhat less non-white (looks like around 28%).
- Republican Virginia General Assembly non-incumbent candidates are more diverse than the overwhelmingly older white male incumbents, but are still pathetic in terms of diversity, with under 15% non-white, around 35% female, and about 19% under the age of 40.
- Let’s take a quick look at Virginia Senate Republican incumbents running for reelection to see what we’re talking about there. In short, the 15 white guys are named Tommy (Norment), Ryan (McDougle), Bill (DeSteph), Glen (Sturtevant), John (Cosgrove), Frank (Ruff), Bryce (Reeves), Dave (Suetterlein), Bill (Stanley), Mark (Peake), Steve (Newman), Emmett (Hanger), Mark (Obenshain), Richard (Stuart) and Ben (Chafin). And the three white women are extremist nutter Amanda Chase, Siobhan “Crybaby Politicians Whining to Expand Medicaid” Dunnavant and Jill “transvaginal ultrasound” Vogel.
- As for the Virginia House Republican incumbents running for reelection, the 37 white guys are named Terry (Kilgore), Will (Morefield), Israel (O’Quinn), Jeff (Campbell), Nick (Rush), Joe (McNamara), Charles (Poindexter), Danny (Marshall), Todd (Gilbert), Les (Adams), Christopher (Head), Michael (Webert), Terry (Austin), Ronnie (Campbell), Tony (Wilt), Chris (Collins), Nick (Freitas), Dave (LaRock), Tim (Hugo), Bobby (Orrock), Buddy (Fowler), John (McGuire), Rob (Bell), Matt (Fariss), James (Edmunds), Tommy (Wright), Lee (Ware), Kirk (Cox), Chris (Jones), Jay (Leftwich), Barry (Knight), Chris (Stolle), Glenn (Davis), Mark (Cole), David (Yancey), Keith (Hodges) and Rob (Bloxom). And the four white women are Kathy Byron, Roxann Robinson, Emily Brewer and Margaret Ransone. Last but not least, a bit of House Republican incumbent diversity: Jason Miyares’ mother is from Cuba, and he’s a member of the Latino caucus.
- Meanwhile, General Assembly Democrats look much more like Virginia’s actual demographics, which is about 62% non-Hispanic White, 20% African American, 9% Latino, and 7% Asian American. Plus, of course, Virginia is around (or slightly more than) half female, with a great deal of diversity in terms of religion, sexual orientation, sexual identity, immigration status, much of which is reflected in the Democratic General Assembly incumbents and candidates. As for Republican General Assembly incumbents, that diversity is almost completely lacking, and it’s not *that* much more diverse among the new Republican candidates, either.
- In sum, Virginia Republican General Assembly members and candidates are overwhelmingly older (>40) white males, while Virginia Democratic General Assembly members and candidates look a lot more like Virginia’s overall demographics. And perhaps not surprisingly, Virginia Democrats are also a lot more in sync with the *views* of Virginians on issue after issue, while Virginia Republicans are in the minority – sometimes small minority – on issue after issue. Of course, it’s the same on the national level, where the Republican Party is now the Trumpian party of “white nationalism,” xenophobia, racism, misogyny, homophobia, grievance, etc. Sadly, it appears that tens of millions of Americans are either cool with all that or actively cheer it on. Scary stuff, which is why we need to make sure to show up at the polls in every election, and to vote Democratic up and down the ballot when we do so.