With 1Q23 campaign finance numbers now in, it’s a good time to reevaluate Virginia House of Delegates and State Senate for where they stand in terms of competitiveness. Which is exactly what long-time Virginia political guru Chaz Nuttycombe has done, with his top-line takeaways as follows:
After reviewing the Q1 finance reports for this year’s state legislative elections in Virginia, we have 5 district rating changes, 3 in the Senate and 2 in the House. 4/5 of these changes favor Democrats. VA Senate | Tilt D → Lean D
SD-17 | Toss-Up → Tilt R SD-27 | Lean R → Tilt R SD-30 | Likely D → Very Likely D HD-41 | Solid R → Very Likely R HD-71 | Likely R → Lean R
For all the ratings, see CNalysis. I agree with almost all of these, by the way, as well as with the overall rating of the VA Senate leaning Democratic. The key districts to focus on, by the way, if you want Democrats to hold their 22-18 State Senate margin (or even increase it) are laid out here:
- Make sure we hold SD30 – which we should, given its partisan lean and the strength of the candidates (Democrat Danica Roem vs. Republican Robert Ruffolo or Republican William Carroll Woolf III)
- Hold SD24 (Democratic Sen. Monty Mason vs. Republican Danny Diggs) – this one’s really crucial; go Sen. Mason!
- Pick up SD31 (Democrats Russet Perry or Zach Cummings vs. Republican Juan Pablo Segura) – this one’s going to be a monster race, probably the most expensive in Virginia in 2023
- Pick up SD16 (Democratic Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg vs. Republican Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant) – another huge one
- Hopefully pick up SD27 (Democrats Joel Griffin or Ben Litchfield vs. Republicans Tara Durant or Matt Strickland vs. Independent Monica Gary)
- Still hoping to win SD17 (Democratic Del. Clint Jenkins vs. Republican Del. Emily Brewer or Republican Hermie Sadler), but Jenkins’ anemic fundraising – and campaign in general – don’t bode well at all, unfortunately.
As for a path for Democrats to take back the House of Delegates, see here:
- Make sure we win HD84, which we should, given that it’s a 55%-45% Dem performance district based on 2022 midterm results (Democrat Nadarius Clark or Democrat Michele Joyce vs. Republican Rod Thompson or Republican Michael Dillender)
- Also make sure we win HD65, a 54%-45% Dem performance district based on 2022 midterm results (Democratic former Del. Joshua Cole vs. Republican Michael Kasey or Republican Lee Peters, III)
- Win HD58 (Democratic Del. Rodney Willett vs. Republican Riley Shaia) and HD97 (Democrat Michael Feggans vs. Republican Del. Karen Greenhalgh), both 53% Dem performance districts based on 2022 midterm results
- Win HD21 (Democrat Joshua Thomas vs. Republican Joshua Joseph Quill or Republican John Stirrup) and/or HD82 (Democrat Kimberly Pope Adams or Democrat Victor McKenzie or Democrat Branden Riley vs. Republican Del. Kim Taylor), both 51%-49% Dem districts based on 2022 midterm results.
- If possible, win HD57 (Democrat Susanna Gibson or Democrat Bob Shippee vs. Republican David Owen) and/or HD89 (Democrat Karen Lynette Jenkins vs. Republican Don Carey or Republican Baxter Ennis or Republican Jason Wooldridge), maybe even HD22 (Democrat Travis Nembhard vs. Republican Ian Lovejoy) or HD41 (Democrat Lily Franklin vs. Republican Lowell Bowman or Republican Chris Obenshain) or HD71 (Democrat Jessica Anderson vs. Republican Del. Amanda Batten)
P.S. I may try to rate some of the key Democratic primaries as well, but for now, suffice it to say that there are a bunch that are very competitive, such as in SD11 (Sen. Creigh Deeds vs. Del. Sally Hudson), SD13 (Sen. Joe Morrissey vs. former Del. Lashrecse Aird), SD18 (Sen. Louise Lucas vs. Sen. Lionell Spruill), SD29 (Sen. Jeremy McPike vs. Del. Elizabeth Guzman), SD33 (former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy vs. former Del. Hala Ayala), SD35 (Sen. Dave Marsden vs. Heidi Drauschak), SD36 (Sen. George Barker vs. Fairfax County School Board member Stella Pekarsky), HD07 (Mary Barthelson vs. Paul Berry vs. Shyamali Hauth vs. Karen Keys-Gamarra) HD57 (Susan Gibson vs. Bob Shippee), etc.