On the Gene Rossi Show earlier today, CNU Professor Rachel Bitecofer and Sen. Dave Marsden’s Chief of Staff Matt Rogers made their fearless predictions for the Virginia elections this coming Tuesday. See below for the audio, as well as the key takeaways.
- Matt Rogers thinks there will be 55 Democrats in the House of Delegates after the election and 25 Democrats in the State Senate. Rogers admits that he’s very “bullish,” but he believes the data – voter registrations (up statewide from 2017), early/absentee voting (up sharply from 2015), etc. – backs that up.
- For his part, Gene Rossi isn’t as bullish as Matt Rogers, but he does believe “there’s a good chance we’ll have Dick Saslaw as the Majority Leader” and a “pretty good chance we’ll have Eileen Filler-Corn as the first woman Speaker in Virginia.”
- On specific Senate races, Rogers believes that Democrat Cheryl Turpin will defeat Republican Jen Kiggans in SD7; that Democrat Ghazala Hashmi will defeat Republican Sen. Glen Sturtevant “in a walk” in SD10; that either Democrat Amanda Pohl or Republican Sen. Amanda Chase could win in SD11 (in part because of all the “ridiculous” things Chase has said and done); that Democrat Debra Rodman will defeat Republican Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant in SD12; that Democrat John Bell will defeat Republican Geary Higgins in SD13; that Democrat Amy Laufer vs. Sen. Bryce Reeves (R) in SD17 will come down to “a couple hundred votes either way”; that Democrat Qasim Rashid has a “puncher’s chance” against Sen. Richard Stuart (R) in SD28.
- On specific House races, Rogers thinks that Del. Wendy Gooditis (D) is likely to hold on against Republican Randy Minchew in HD10; that Del. Danica Roem (D) is going to win against Republican Kelly McGinn in HD13, although it could be “a little closer than expected”; that Democrat Dan Helmer is going to defeat Republican Del. Tim Hugo in HD40; that Democrat Sheila Bynum-Coleman could very well defeat Speaker Kirk Cox in HD66 (“Mr. Cox is going to be on the front page of the Virginia newspapers as the poster child of 2019’s wipeout”).
- On specific Senate races, Bitecofer believes that Democrat Ghazala Hashmi is “one of the more favorable pickups for Democrats” against Republican Sen. Glen Sturtevant in SD10; that Democrat Debra Rodman will beat Republican Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant in SD12, in part because Rodman’s doing a good job of “nationalizing the race“; that Democrat John Bell should defeat Geary Higgins (R) in SD13 (and that if Bell doesn’t win, it means a very bad night for Democrats); that Democrat Amy Laufer is “a reach” against Republican Sen. Bryce Reeves; that Democrat Qasim Rashid could possibly defeat Sen. Richard Stuart (R) in SD28 if it’s a “very good night” for Democrats.
- On specific House races, Bitecofer thinks that Del. Wendy Gooditis (D) is likely to hold on against Republican Randy Minchew in HD10; that Del. Danica Roem (D) “should be able to keep a hold of her seat” against Republican Kelly McGinn in HD13; that Democrat Dan Helmer is likely to defeat “dinosaur” Republican Del. Tim Hugo in HD40; and that Democrat Sheila Bynum-Coleman has a “great chance of upsetting” Speaker Kirk Cox (R) in HD66.
- Prof. Bitecofer said she’ll be coming out with detailed predictions/analysis on Monday. However, based on the CNU Wason Center’s polling (which shows Democrats with a “double digit” advantage in terms of voter enthusiasm and also the “generic ballot”) and also based on registration data, “astronomical” fundraising by Democrats and very high absentee ballot activity, “it suggests that election day on Tuesday, we’re going to see good, strong turnout for Democrats and that should translate into good, strong seat gains.”
P.S. Just for the record, I’m being cautious about what’s going to happen on Tuesday night, as we really need to see both Democratic and Republican turnout. Right now, I’m leaning towards a “most-likely” outcome of around 23 Democrats in the State Senate and 53 in the House of Delegates, but I do think there’s more upside than downside potential for Democrats…