Home 2023 Elections The 2022 Midterms Are Over. Now It’s Time to Start Focusing on...

The 2022 Midterms Are Over. Now It’s Time to Start Focusing on Competitive 2023 Virginia State Senate, House of Delegates Races

All 40 State Senate seats and all 100 House of Delegates seats will be on the ballot next year.

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With the 2022 mid-term elections behind us, it’s time to start focusing our attention on the 2023 Virginia elections for House of Delegates (all 100 seats will be up, with Republicans currently holding a narrow 52-48 majority), State Senate (all 40 seats will be up, with Democrats currently holding a narrow 21-19 majority), plus a bunch of important local offices (e.g., for County Boards, School Boards, Commonwealth’s Attorneys, etc.). We’ll be looking at these races a lot more in coming months, but for now, see below for: 1) the partisan lean of State Senate and House of Delegates district, per VPAP; 2) Sam Shirazi’s competitive seats ratings; and 3) a tweet by Del. Danica Roem focused on Prince William County seats, such as HD21 and HD22, both of which  Dems will work to win next year.  A few key points include:

  • Per @vpapupdates‘s analysis, if the 2023 VA electorate is similar to 2022’s, the State Senate has 21 strong/lean D seats vs. 16 strong/lean R seats (+3 tossups); the House of Delegates has 50 strong/lean D seats vs. 40 strong/lean R seats (+10 tossups). If it’s more like the 2021 electorate, when Youngkin/Sears/Miyares all won, that would be significantly tougher for Democrats.
  • Sam Shirazi lists nine competitive State Senate districts – SD22 and SD30 (Likely Dem); SD16 (Leans Dem); SD17, SD24 and SD31 (Tossup); SD27 (Leans R); SD4 and SD20 (Likely R).
  • In SD22, first we’re going to have a special election on January 10, 2023 for the seat vacated by Jen Kiggans, who was elected to the US House. The candidates are Democrat Aaron Rouse and Republican Kevin H. Adams. So first Dems have to win the special election, then we’ll have to win the general election in November. This Virginia Beach district was won by Terry McAuliffe last year 52.3%-46.8%, and 58.6%-40.0% by Ralph Northam in 2017, so it definitely seems like it’s Likely Democratic (although special elections in December/January can be weird/funky, as most voters aren’t paying much attention that time of year, so Dems are really going to have to work to get the vote out!).
  • SD30 is in Prince William County, Manassas City and Manassas Park City, and will almost certainly see Democratic Del. Danica Roem facing Republican Ian Lovejoy. Last year, Terry McAuliffe won this district 51.5%-47.8%, and in 2017, Ralph Northam won it 54.9%-45.0%. So again, it “Likely Dem” seems reasonable, although I’d probably put it more as “Lean Dem” just to be cautious (and definitely to NOT take it for granted).
  • I’d actually argue that SD4 is closer to Safe Republican than Likely Republican, given that Youngkin won it by 9 points last year and Ed Gillespie beat Ralph Northam there by 2 points in 2017.
  • I’d also argue that SD20 is closer to Safe Republican, given that Youngkin won it by 15 points last year and Ed Gillespie won it by 2 points in 2017.
  • I’d argue that SD27 is Likely Republican, given that Youngkin won it by 8.5 points last year and Gillespie won it by 2.5 points in 2017 (which was an anti-Trump/”blue wave” year…not sure we can do any better than that).
  • SD17 (Suffolk, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Southampton, Brunswick, Greensville, etc.) was won by Youngkin last year by 5 points, but by Northam by 8 points in 2017, so it’s probably a tossup, as long as the Dem nominee runs a strong campaign.  SD24 was won by Youngkin last year by 3+ points, and by Northam by nearly 6 points in 2017, so hopefully Sen. Monty Mason (D) will run a strong campaign and hold this seat for Dems. As for SD31, this is a Loudoun-based seat held by Sen. Jill Vogel (R), who is rumored to possibly not be seeking reelection. SD31 was pretty much a tie last year between Youngkin and McAuliffe (50.0%-49.9%), while Northam won it by 8.5 points in 2017, so it’s definitely winnable if the Dem nominee (either Russet Perry or Zach Cummings) runs a strong campaign.
  • Sam Shirazi lists 16 competitive House of Delegates districts – HD58, HD94 and HD96 (Likely Dem); HD84 (Leans Dem); HD21, HD57, HD65, HD82 and HD97 (Tossup); HD22 and HD89 (Lean R); HD30, HD41, HD71, HD75, HD86 (Likely R).
  • HD58 is currently held by Del. Rodney Willett (D), is located 100% in Henrico County, and was carried by about 5 points by Terry McAuliffe last year. So yes, “Likely Dem” seems to be the right rating here. As for HD94, the district is 100% in Norfolk and was won by Terry McAuliffe last year by 4 points. So again, “Likely Dem” seems about right. As for HD96, it is 100% located in Virginia Beach, was won by McAuliffe last year by 8 points, so…again, yes, “Likely Dem” seems right.
  • HD84 is mostly located in Suffolk City, with smaller shares of Isle of Wight and Franklin City. It was narrowly won by McAuliffe last year, 50.9%-48.6%, and the incumbent is Del. Nadarius Clark (D). So…yes, Leans Dem.
  • As for the tossups, HD21 is in Prince William County (as noted above) and was narrowly won by Youngkin in 2021, but easily by Northam in 2017, so…sure tossup seems about right. Henrico-based HD57 seems tougher to me, as Youngkin won it by 3 points last year and Gillespie won it by just over 1 point in 2017, so I’d rate that one as Leans Republican. As for HD65, that’s a Stafford/Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania seat that former Del. Josh Cole (D) is running for, and which Youngkin narrowly won in 2021 and Northam narrowly won in 2017, so…sure, tossup! HD82 is a Petersburg/Dinwidde/Prince George/Surry seat which Youngkin won by 2 points last year and Northam won by 13 points in 2017, so…again, sure, tossup as well! And HD97 is a Virginia Beach seat that went by 2 points for Youngkin last year but by 9+ points for Northam in 2017, so…yet again, tossup seems right.
  • HD22 is in western Prince William County, went by 7 points for Youngkin last year and by 0.6 points for Gillespie in 2017, so…definitely leans Republican. And HD89 is a Chesapeake/Suffolk seat that went by 7.5 points for Youngkin last year but 5.5 points for Northam in 2017, so…leans (slightly?) Republican.
  • On the Likely Republican districts, HD30 is a Loudoun/Fauquier seat that went by 13.5 points to Youngkin last year and by 4 points to Gillespie in 2017; HD41 is a Montgomery/Roanoke County seat that went by 12 points to Youngkin last year but by 4 points to Northam in 2017; HD71 is a James City County/Williamsburg/New Kent County seat that went by 8 points to Youngkin last year but by 0.9 points to Northam in 2017; HD75 is a Chesterfield/Prince George/Hopewell seat that went by 8 points to Youngkin last year and by 3 points to Ed Gillespie in 2017; and HD86 is a Hampton/York/Poquoson seat that went by 9 points to Youngkin last year and by 0.5 points to Northam in 2017. So yes, to varying degrees, these all seem to be Likely Republican districts (note: for the Hampton Roads districts, Northam was from that area and was popular there, so he tended to overperform other Dems in 2017, so keep that in mind when look at the numbers).

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