See below for excellent analysis by Virginia-based political analysis Chaz Nuttycombe of the 2020 election in VA07 between Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) and Del. Nick Freitas (R). Key points:
- The Richmond suburbs swung towards Spanberger, while the rural parts of VA07 – except for Goochland County – swung towards Freitas.
- Freitas wasn’t a super-strong Republican candidate because he didn’t come from the heart of the district (Henrico and Chesterfield); because “he didn’t really run a great campaign”; and because “he wasn’t a great candidate.”
- I agree strongly with Chaz on this point, and am just grateful that VA07 Republicans nominated Freitas instead: “I think the VA GOP kind of shot themselves in the foot with their nominee here. If they nominated Tina Ramirez, I think she may have won. She was really the only candidate I saw as a threat to Spanberger.”
- I also agree strongly with this: “We don’t know what the lines will look like in 2022. But Spanberger’s going to be in a tough position in a Republican midterm regardless. This is going to be her toughest race yet. No contest.”
P.S. One small correction: instead of “Republicans,” Chaz meant to say “Democrats haven’t hit rock bottom in rural Virginia at all.”