To recap, Republicans hold a dominant 67-32 lead in the Virginia House of Delegates. However, despite a heavy GOP gerrymander, President Barack Obama won 48 of those districts. In fact, 18 of those GOP-held districts were Obama districts and fertile ground for pickups. The problem, of course, is that off-year turnout is lower among base Democratic groups. Thus, Republicans have build their huge majorities where none should exist.
But that appears to be changing this year. While no one is predicting a chamber flip, even Republicans acknowledge the possibility of eight seats flipping, if not more. A 60-40 would put us within 10-11 seats of flipping the chamber in
2016 2015, a presidential year. Very doable.
And taking the chamber doesn't just mean better governance for Virginia, it means Democrats have a say in the 2020 redistricting. Remember that Republicans hold eight of the 11 U.S. House seats, despite having lost the state to Obama by four points. Taking and controlling at least one of Virginia's legislative chambers in 2020 could mean a three-seat pickup (or a net six-vote swing in the Dems' direction), or even better. Yeah, this is playing the long game, but it's about time we start playing the long game.
We had four Virginia delegate candidates on our fundraising page, but the opportunities keep popping up so we've added a fifth: firefighter and paramedic Rob Farinholt in this Hampton Roads-area district. It was a 52-47 percent Obama district, and according to the campaign's latest poll, it's looking like a fantastic pickup opportunity: The incumbent Republican Del. David Yancey has a 48-47 lead over Farinholt, essentially tied and under the magical 50 percent mark. Better yet, Democratic Guv candidate Terry McAuliffe is leading 50-40, and the generic legislative ballot is 48-41. Likely voters want to vote for the Democrats.
We're seeing numbers like that all over the state. Democrats are poised to take advantage of the shutdown politics and a dysfunctional Republican Party. If you want to make Republicans pay for all their craziness this year, here's your chance to do so. So let's help our good friends in Virginia fighting the good fight and donate $3 or whatever you can to beat Republicans up.
A total of 2,700 of us have already given. We've got a week left to make a difference, so let's double that number! Chip in your $3 and help build Virginia's blue wave!