Home Virginia Politics How Do State Senate, House of Delegates Members’ 2022 VAPLAN Scores Match...

How Do State Senate, House of Delegates Members’ 2022 VAPLAN Scores Match Up To Their Districts’ Progressive “Leans?”

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Yesterday, Cindy/VAPLAN came out with her eagerly anticipated, annual progressive scorecard for all Virginia General Assembly members. As always, there is a TON of information to digest in all of this. Of course, as Cindy pointed out in 2021, there are numerous caveats to these scores, for instance that members “have different opportunities to vote on various bills, by virtue of the committee assignments they have.” I’d also add that different members have different roles, with those in leadership, for instance, not necessarily working to optimize their OWN scores, but instead (or at least somewhat) focusing on racking up wins for the “team.” Still, I think Cindy/VAPLAN do amazing work, and that it’s by far the definitive scorecard for the Virginia legislature.

With that, I wanted to compare the 2022 VAPLAN scores to district “leans,” along the lines of what Progressive Punch has been doing for years. Basically, the thinking is to try and measure how progressive a member’s voting record compared to how progressive one would have expected that record to be (or that it COULD have been), all else being equal, based on the progressive “lean” of each member’s district.

To measure the “lean,” I took the 2017 margin in each district for Mark Herring. I used that metric because I wanted a relatively generic statewide race to compare things to, without a third-party candidate or strong “native son” effect (e.g., Northam in the Hampton Roads area). Also note that the redistricting “special masters” in their final memo on 12/7/21 used the 2017 Attorney General’s race to evaluate its new districts. Of course, 2017 was a strong “blue wave” election year, so one could argue that we should use another statewide election year, such as 2021 (which was a strong Republican year), but in the end, there’s simply no way to find the “perfect” comparison year, and regardless, all the members’ scores are *relative* to their district leans, and then ranked accordingly, so it might not make much of a difference anyway.

I then ranked the districts based on Mark Herring margins (giving an expected progressive rank), and compared those numbers to VAPLAN’s progressive rankings (giving the actual progressive rank). Finally, I produced the following graphics, which show how much MORE or LESS progressive than one would expect based on district lean each member of the House of Delegates and State Senate ended up scoring in the 2022 General Assembly session. Note, by the way, that I used district leans based on PREVIOUS district lines, since the new districts won’t really “kick in” until next year, unless courts order new House of Delegates elections this year. Keep in mind that some of these legislators will find themselves in much “redder” or bluer” districts, and are quite possibly adjusting their voting accordingly. For instance, Sen. Creigh Deeds will presumably be moving from conservative Bath County to deep-“blue” Charlottesville, while Sen. Lynwood Lewis will find himself in a much “redder” district than he’s in now.

With that, here are some highlights.

  • In the State Senate, 20 members scored less progressive than expected based on their districts’ “leans,” while 17 members scored more progressive than expected based on their districts’ “leans,” and 3 members (Republican Senators Siobhan Dunnavant, Frank Ruff, Bill Stanley) scored exactly as one would expect based on their districts’ 2017 AG race outcomes.
  • Among Senate Democrats, the members who voted less progressively than their districts’ progressive “leans” would imply are: Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (expected rank was 4, actual rank was 13, for a MINUS 9 score); Joe Morrissey (expected rank was 8, actual rank was 17, for a MINUS 9 score); Chap Petersen (expected rank was 12, actual rank was 20, for a MINUS 8 score); Lionell Spruill (expected rank was 2, actual rank was 9, for a MINUS 7 score); Jennifer McClellan (expected rank was 1, actual rank was 4, for a MINUS 3 score); Barbara Favola (expected rank was 7, actual rank was 10, for a MINUS 3 score); Dave Marsden (expected rank was 14, actual rank was 16, for a MINUS 2 score); Monty Mason (expected rank was 16, actual rank was 17, for a MINUS 1 score); Lynwood Lewis (expected rank was 20, actual rank was 21, for a MINUS 1 score); and Adam Ebbin (expected rank was 3, actual rank was 4, for a MINUS 1 score).
  • Among Senate Republicans, the members who voted less progressively than their districts’ progressive “leans” would imply are: Bill DeSteph (expected rank was 25, actual rank was 37, for a MINUS 12 score); Jennifer Kiggans (expected rank was 22, actual rank was 30, for a MINUS 8 score); Bryce Reeves (expected rank was 24, actual rank was 32, for a MINUS 8 score); Mark Peake (expected rank was 30, actual rank was 38, for a MINUS 8 score); Ryan McDougle (expected rank was 32, actual rank was 39, for a MINUS 7 score); Richard Stuart (expected rank was 27, actual rank was 33, for a MINUS 6 score); John Cosgrove (expected rank was 28, actual rank was 33, for a MINUS 5 score); Steve Newman (expected rank was 38, actual rank was 40, for a MINUS 2 score); Amanda Chase (expected rank was 26, actual rank was 27, for a MINUS 1 score); and Mark Obenshain (expected rank was 34, actual rank was 35, for a MINUS 1 score).
  • Among Senate Democrats, the members who voted more progressively than their districts’ progressive “leans” would imply were: Creigh Deeds (expected rank was 17, actual rank was 1, for a PLUS 16 score); Ghazala Hashmi (expected rank was 18, actual rank was 7, for a PLUS 11 score); John Edwards (expected rank was 19, actual rank was 11, for a PLUS 8 score); Scott Surovell (expected rank was 9, actual rank was 2, for a PLUS 7 score); Jeremy McPike (expected rank was 10, actual rank was 4, for a PLUS 6 score); Jennifer Boysko (expected rank was 11, actual rank was 6, for a PLUS 5 score); Louise Lucas (expected rank was 13, actual rank was 8, for a PLUS 5 score); George Barker (expected rank was 15, actual rank was 12, for a PLUS 3 score); John Bell (expected rank was 21, actual rank was 19, for a PLUS 2 score); Mamie Locke (expected rank was 5, actual rank was 3, for a PLUS 2 score); and Janet Howell (expected rank was 6, actual rank was 5, for a PLUS 1 score).
  • Among Senate Republicans, the members who voted more progressively than their districts’ progressive “leans” would imply are: Emmett Hanger (expected rank was 36, actual rank was 22, for a PLUS 14 score); David Suetterlein (expected rank was 37, actual rank was 24, for a PLUS 13 score); Todd Pillion (expected rank was 40, actual rank was 28, for a PLUS 12 score); Travis Hackworth (expected rank was 39, actual rank was 31, for a PLUS 8 score); Tommy Norment (expected rank was 33, actual rank was 26, for a PLUS 7 score); and Jill Vogel (expected rank was 31, actual rank was 25, for a PLUS 6 score).

  • In the House of Delegates, 51 members scored less progressive than expected based on their districts’ “leans,” while 45 members scored more progressive than expected based on their districts’ “leans” (four delegates – Democrats Paul Krizek, Shelly Simonds, Elizabeth Bennett-Parker; Republican Glenn Davis – scored exactly as one would expect based on their district leans).
  • Among House of Delegates Democrats, the members who voted less progressively than their districts’ progressive “leans” would imply include the following 22 delegates: Betsy Carr (expected rank based on district lean was 2, actual rank was 29, for a MINUS 27 score); David Bulova (expected rank was 21, actual rank was 44, for a MINUS 23 score); Vivian Watts (expected rank was 22, actual rank was 45, for a MINUS 23 score); Charniele Herring (expected rank was 5, actual rank was 26, for a MINUS 21 score); Luke Torian (expected rank was 10, actual rank was 31, for a MINUS 21 score); Mark Sickles (expected rank was 17, actual rank was 34, for a MINUS 17 score); Karrie Delaney (expected rank was 32, actual rank was 48, for a MINUS 16 score); David Reid (expected rank was 31, actual rank was 46, for a MINUS 15 score); Rip Sullivan (expected rank was 14, actual rank was 29, for a MINUS 15 score); Suhas Subramanyam (expected rank was 29, actual rank was 41, for a MINUS 12 score); Jeff Bourne (expected rank was 1, actual rank was 12, for a MINUS 11 score); Danica Roem (expected rank was 39, actual rank was 46, for a MINUS 7 score); Sally Hudson (expected rank was 7, actual rank was 14, for a MINUS 7 score); Delores McQuinn (expected rank was 15, actual rank was 22, for a MINUS 7 score); Mark Keam (expected rank was 18, actual rank was 24, for a MINUS 6 score); Jeion Ward (expected rank was was 8, actual rank was 14, for a MINUS 6 score); Ken Plum (expected rank was 13, actual rank was 18, for a MINUS 5 score); Alfonso Lopez (expected rank was 3, actual rank was 8, for a MINUS 5 score); Kathleen Murphy (expected rank was 35, actual rank was 39, for a MINUS 4 score); Kaye Kory (expected rank was was 16, actual rank was 20, for a MINUS 4 score); Eileen Filler-Corn (expected rank was 28, actual rank was 32, for a MINUS 4 score); Jackie Glass (expected rank was 4, actual rank was 6, for a MINUS 2 score); Patrick Hope (expected rank  was 6, actual rank was 7, for a MINUS 1 score).
  • Among House of Delegates Republicans, the members who voted less progressively than their districts’ progressive “leans” would imply include the following 28 delegates: Jason Ballard (expected rank was 45, actual rank was 87, for a MINUS 42 score); Rob Bell (expected rank was 67, actual rank was 97, for a MINUS 30 score); Karen Greenhalgh (expected rank was 48, actual rank was 75, for a MINUS 27 score); Philip Scott (expected rank was 69, actual rank was 96, for a MINUS 27 score); Dave LaRock (expected rank was 64, actual rank was 90, for a MINUS 26 score); Barry Knight (expected rank was 58, actual rank was 79, for a MINUS 21 score); Thomas Wright (expected rank was 82, actual rank was 99, for a MINUS 17 score); Emily Brewer (expected rank was 72, actual rank was 86, for a MINUS 14 score); Roxann Robinson (expected rank was 57, actual rank was 70, for a MINUS 13 score); Nick Freitas (expected rank was 81, actual rank was 93, for a MINUS 12 score); Rob Bloxom (expected rank was 60, actual rank was 72, for a MINUS 12 score); Marie March (expected rank was 86, actual rank was 97, for a MINUS 11 score); Tony Wilt (expected rank was 63, actual rank was 74, for a MINUS 11 score); Tara Durant (expected rank was 56, actual rank was 67, for a MINUS 11 score); John McGuire (expected rank was 74, actual rank was 85, for a MINUS 11 score); Kim Taylor (expected rank was 42, actual rank was 53, for a MINUS 11 score); Mike Cherry (expected rank was 54, actual rank was 65, for a MINUS 11 score); Chris Runion (expected rank was 71, actual rank was 81, for a MINUS 10 score); AC Cordoza (expected rank was 53, actual rank was 63, for a MINUS 10 score); Les Adams (expected rank was 84, actual rank was 92, for a MINUS 8 score); Margaret Ransone (expected rank was 79, actual rank was 87, for a MINUS 8 score); Michael Webert (expected rank was 76, actual rank was 83, for a MINUS 7 score); Todd Gilbert (expected rank was 94, actual rank was 99, for a MINUS 5 score); Kathy Byron (expected rank was 90, actual rank was 94, for a MINUS 4 score); Tim Anderson (expected rank was 52, actual rank was 56, for a MINUS 4 score); Ronnie Campbell (expected rank was 91, actual rank was 94, for a MINUS 3 score); Otto Wachsmann (expected rank was 51, actual rank was 53, for a MINUS 2 score); Wendell Walker (expected rank was 89, actual rank was 90, for a MINUS 1 score).
  • Among House of Delegates Democrats, the members who voted more progressively than their districts’ progressive “leans” would imply include the following 22 delegates: Candi King (expected rank was 30, actual rank was 3, for a PLUS 27 score); Elizabeth Guzman (expected rank was 40, actual rank was 14, for a PLUS 26 score); Mike Mullin (expected rank was 43, actual rank was 19, for a PLUS 24 score); Nadarius Clark (expected rank was 34, actual rank was 10, for a PLUS 24 score); Kathy Tran (expected rank was 33, actual rank was 14, for a PLUS 19 score); Cia Price (expected rank was 20, actual rank was 2, for a PLUS 18 score); Angelia Williams Graves (expected rank was 19, actual rank was 4, for a PLUS 15 score); Irene Shin (expected rank was 25, actual rank was 11, for a PLUS 14 score); Rodney Willett (expected rank was 55, actual rank was 42, for a PLUS 13 score); Schuyler VanValkenburg (expected rank was 50, actual rank was 38, for a PLUS 12 score); Brianna Sewell (expected rank was 47, actual rank was 35, for a PLUS 12 score); Wendy Gooditis (expected rank was 44, actual rank was 32, for a PLUS 12 score); Don Scott (expected rank was 24, actual rank was 13, for a PLUS 11 score); Marcus Simon (expected rank was 12, actual rank was 1, for a PLUS 11 score); Michelle Maldonado (expected rank was 38, actual rank was 28, for a PLUS 10 score); Dan Helmer (expected rank was 46, actual rank was 36, for a PLUS 10 score); Clint Jenkins (expected rank was 36, actual rank was 27, for a PLUS 9 score); Lamont Bagby (expected rank was 11, actual rank was 4, for a PLUS 7 score); Dawn Adams (expected rank was 49, actual rank was 43, for a PLUS 6 score); Sam Rasoul (expected rank was 26, actual rank was 21, for a PLUS 5 score); Cliff Hayes (expected rank was 27, actual rank was 24, for a PLUS 3 score); and Kelly Convirs-Fowler (expected rank was 41, actual rank was 40, for a PLUS 1 score).
  • Among House of Delegates Republicans, the members who voted more progressively than their districts’ progressive “leans” would imply include the following 23 delegates: James Morefield (expected rank was 100, actual rank was 60, for a PLUS 40 score); Terry Kilgore (expected rank was 99, actual rank was 62, for a PLUS 37 score); Keith Hodges (expected rank was 88, actual rank was 57, for a PLUS 31 score); Israel O’Quinn (expected rank was 98, actual rank was 67, for a PLUS 31 score); Amanda Batten (expected rank was 65, actual rank was 39, for a PLUS 26 score); William Wampler (expected rank was 96, actual rank was 70, for a PLUS 26 score); James Edmunds (expected rank was 77, actual rank was 52, for a PLUS 25 score); John Avoli (expected rank was 70, actual rank was 51, for a PLUS 19 score); Terry Austin (expected rank was 95, actual rank was 76, for a PLUS 19 score); Jay Leftwich (expected rank was 78, actual rank was 63, for a PLUS 15 score); Lee Ware (expected rank was 85, actual rank was 72, for a PLUS 13 scoe); Carrie Coyner (expected rank was 61, actual rank was 49, for a PLUS 12 score); Buddy Fowler (expected rank was 73, actual rank was 61, for a PLUS 12 score); Bobby Orrock (expected rank was 62, actual rank was 50, for a PLUS 12 score); Matt Fariss (expected rank was 87, actual rank was 76, for a PLUS 11 score); Anne Tata (expected rank was 68, actual rank was 58, for a PLUS 10 score); Wren Williams (expected rank was 93, actual rank was 84, for a PLUS 9 score); Chris Head (expected rank was 75, actual rank was 67, for a PLUS 8 score); Bill Wiley (expected rank was 80, actual rank was 76, for a PLUS 4 score); Scott Wyatt (expected rank was 92, actual rank was 89, for a PLUS 3 score); Joseph McNamara (expected rank was 83, actual rank was 80, for a PLUS 3 score); Jeffrey Campbell (expected rank was 97, actual rank was 94, for a PLUS 3 score); and Daniel Marshall (expected rank was 66, actual rank was 65, for a PLUS 1 score).

Anything else jump out at you?

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