Home 2021 Elections Audio: With 119 Days Until Election Day, Chaz Nuttycombe and Ben Tribbett...

Audio: With 119 Days Until Election Day, Chaz Nuttycombe and Ben Tribbett Analyze the Most Competitive Virginia House of Delegates Races

Highly competitive districts include HD10 (Del. Wendy Gooditis), HD12 (Del. Chris Hurst), HD21 (Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler), HD28 (Del. Josh Cole), HD66 (open seat), HD75 (Del. Roslyn Tyler), HD83 (Del. Nancy Guy),. HD85 (Del. Alex Askew)

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We’re now just under four months (119 days to be exact) until the election on November 2, with all Republican and Democratic nominees selected, and with the campaigns expected to really gear up by the end of the summer. So…not a bad time for Virginia political gurus like Chaz Nuttycombe and Ben Tribbett to assess where we’re at. Check out the audio, below, as well as my bullet points which summarize their ratings.

  • HD13: Chaz says Del. Danica Roem (D) is heavily favored for reelection (over Republican Christopher Stone), could win by double digits; Ben says “Danica is the heavy favorite.”
  • HD50: Chaz thinks it’s a “very likely Democratic race” for Michelle Maldonado, says “Lee [Carter] was a notorious electoral underperformer” and the Republican candidate (Steve Pleickhardt) isn’t really running a “serious campaign.” Ben says in an open-seat race, the top of the ticket will dominate, and it’s “very hard to imagine a scenario” in which Glenn Youngkin carries this district, making it “likely Democratic” for Michelle Maldonado.
  • HD93: Chaz thinks Del. Mike Mullin (D) is a “pretty heavy favorite for reelection” over Republican Jordan Gray. Ben says Mullin is a “little bit more vulnerable…than people may initially put down” but Republicans would need to have a really good year and Mullin’s Republican opponent would have to put a serious campaign together. So, for now Ben says it’s “likely Democratic.”
  • HD31: Chaz says Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D) is “likely” to win reelection over Republican Ben Baldwin. Ben has it as “leans Democratic,” says the Republican candidate isn’t impressive and so he could see moving this one closer to “likely Democratic.”
  • HD51: Chaz says Briana Sewell may be the best recruit for the House Democratic caucus this year, and that that this seat  (currently represented by Del. Hala Ayala, who is the Dem nominee for LG) is “likely Democratic.” Ben thinks Sewell could lose to Republican Tim Cox if the statewide Republican ticket wins the district, that it used to be a Republican-held seat (pre-Trump), that this is the type of seat Youngkin could make a breakthrough in post-Trump, so this district could tell us a lot about how suburban voters behave in the post-Trump era. For now, Ben has this race as “leans Democratic.”
  • HD68: Chaz thinks Del. Dawn Adams (D) is “heavily favored” against Republican Mark Earley, Jr. Ben thinks it “leans Democratic” and that there are “potential warning signs” it could be even closer, as Ben believes it’s a socially liberal/fiscally conservative district full of swing voters, a suburban district with exactly the kind of voters who moved away from Republicans during the Trump presidency. Overall, Ben puts it at “leans Democratic.”
  • HD72: Chaz thinks Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg (D) will win easily over Republican Christopher Holmes. Ben says this one’s “leans Democratic,” although the seat “could flip” if Youngkin wins it. Ben would really look at how much the Youngkin campaign focuses on Henrico County…
  • HD91: Chaz thinks Del. Martha Mugler (D) will win, that it’s “likely Democratic.” Ben agrees that this is “likely Democratic,” that Democrats are very organized here, that Mugler’s “well known” and “in good shape against Republican A.C. Cordoza.
  • HD21: Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler (D) is the incumbent here. Chaz has this race as “leans Democratic” while Ben has it as “slight lean Democratic” (over Republican Tanya Gould). The question is how the statewide GOP ticket does here. Chaz notes that the entire GOP ticket has roots in Hampton Roads.
  • HD40: Del. Dan Helmer (D) is the incumbent here. Chaz has it as “leans Democratic.” Ben puts this race as a toss-up, says this district is full of Asian-American voters, with a huge Korean-American population, and a Republican nominee (Harold Pyon) who’s Korean-American. Ben thinks this is a model that could work for Republicans, and that this is a “huge, huge danger” for Democrats…
  • HD10: Del. Wendy Gooditis (D) is the incumbent here. Chaz thinks Republicans have a strong candidate (Nick Clemente), but that Gooditis is the “slight favorite” given how the district has trended. Ben thinks Republicans have a “great candidate for this seat” and puts the race as “toss-up.”
  • HD63: Chaz says he may move this from “tilt Democratic” to “lean Democratic” for Del. Lashrecse Aird (D). Ben thinks Aird will be fine against Republican Kim Taylor, has it as “leans Democratic” potentially moving to “likely Democratic.”
  • HD73: Chaz says this is a “must-win” for Republicans to gain the majority, has Del. Rodney Willett (D) as “very slightly favored” over Republican Mary Margaret Kastelberg. Ben thinks this one is “Leans Democratic.”
  • HD85: Chaz has this one as “tilt Democratic” for Del. Alex Askew (D) over Republican Karen Greenhalgh. Ben has this one as “toss-up,” that Youngkin has a “slight advantage” in this seat.
  • HD83: Chaz has Del. Nancy Guy (D) “slightly favored” for this one, doesn’t think Tim Anderson (R) is a great candidate. Ben says “Tim Anderson is a clown…Republicans just completely fumbled it” and that it’s “slight lean Democratic” or even “lean Democratic” because Anderson’s such a bad candidate.
  • HD12: Chaz has this one – Del. Chris Hurst (D) vs. Republican Jason Ballard – as a tossup, that youth turnout will be a challenge and that Republicans have a good candidate. Ben thinks Hurst is favored, that Democrat won’t abandon him because of this drunk driving incident because he’s well liked and has done a good job, so has it as “leans Democratic.”
  • HD28: Chaz has this one – Del. Josh Cole (D) vs. Republican Tara Durant – is a tossup. Ben agrees that it’s a tossup in a highly competitive district.
  • HD66: Chaz ranks this district (which Del. Kirk Cox is vacating) – Democrat Katie Sponsler vs. Republican Mike Cherry – as “tilt Republican,” that Sponsler isn’t a good candidate. Ben has this as “slight leans Democratic,” says it’s an open seat, that Terry McAuliffe will beat Glenn Youngkin here, and that there won’t be crossover voting here. Ben adds that he doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with Sponsler that would cause her to significantly underperform McAuliffe.
  • HD75: Chaz has this one – incumbent Del. Roslyn Tyler (D) vs. Republican Otto Wachsmann – as slightly favoring Republicans. Ben has it as a tossup, says it’s a very diverse rural area, and that Tyler’s underperformance in 2019 will mean that the Democratic caucus doesn’t overlook it.
  • HD27: Chaz has this one – Del. Roxann Robinson (R) – as leans Republican over Democrat Debra Gardner as “leans Republican.” Ben thinks this is a suburban seat that will follow a similar pattern to HD51, so has it as “slight-lean Republican” but could be competitive for Democrats if Terry McAuliffe does well.
  • HD84: Chaz has this one – Del. Glenn Davis (R) vs. Kim Melnyk (D) – is “leans Republican.” Ben has it as “leans Republican” as well, despite Davis being what he calls “such a whiny little baby” and “hard to believe that he continues to win reelection.”
  • HD81: Chaz has this one – Del. Barry Knight (R) vs. Jeffrey Feld (D) – as “likely Republican.” Ben agrees.
  • HD96: Chaz has this one – Del. Amanda Batten (R) vs. Mark Downey (D) – is a Trump seat, so it’s “likely Republican.” Ben thinks it’s “Safe Republican.”
  • HD100: Chaz has this one – Del. Rob Bloxom (R) vs. Finale Norton (D) – as “likely Republican,” that Bloxom will win easily. Ben has it as “Safe Republican.”
  • HD26: Chaz has this one – Del. Tony Wilt (R) vs. William Helsley (D) – as “very likely Republican,” while Ben has it as “safe Republican.”
  • HD62: Chaz has this one – Del. Carrie Coyner (R) vs. Jasmine Gore (D) – as “Safe Republican,” and Ben agrees…
  • HD2: Ben has this one – Del. Candi King (D) vs. Gina Ciarcia (R) – as “Likely Democratic.” Chaz thinks it’s “just so blue now” that it’s safe Democratic…probably a double-digit win for King.
  • HD34: Ben has this one – Del. Kathleen Murphy (D) vs. Gary Pan (R) – is “Likely Democratic,” definitely not “safe.”
  • HD67: Ben says this one (Del. Karrie Delaney vs. Republican Bob Frizzelle) is Safe Democratic but is one to watch.
  • HD79: Ben has this one (Democrat Nadarius Clark vs. Republican Lawrence Mason) is probably 90% likely to go for Clark, but not 100% so it’s not “safe.”
  • HD86: Ben has this one (Democrat Irene Shin vs. Republican Julie Perry) with an “asterisk” to being solidly Democratic down the road.
  • HD87: Ben has this one (Democrat Suhas Subramanyam vs. Republican Greg Moulthrop) with an “asterisk” to being solidly Democratic down the road.
  • HD33: Ben has this one (Republican Del. Dave LaRock vs. Democrat Paul Siker) as “likely Republican.”
  • HD58: Ben has this one (Republican Del. Rob Bell vs. Democrat Sara Ratcliffe) as one to keep an eye on in coming years, but for now should be solid Republican.
  • HD82: Ben has this one as “likely Republican” because it’s an open seat (Republican Anne Tata vs. Democrat Scott Flax), that it’s “not a given” Republicans will do well in VA Beach this year…

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