The 2023 Virginia general election is critical; we must flip the House and expand the Senate majority to pass legislation on education, voting rights, and gun control and fight back against attacks on access to abortion and LGBTQ+ rights. Democrats lost the House majority in 2021 by only 733 votes, and the Senate majority is vulnerable.
The million-dollar question in Virginia is – was Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin’s election in 2019 evidence of a growing red wave… or a fluke? Youngkin’s election may have simply been a response to President Biden’s unpopularity and/or resentment over federal Covid policies. Or is Virginia truly a purple state now? This question will be put to the test by the important November 2023 legislative elections, which could easily flip the red Assembly chambers back to blue. And consequences are far-reaching: a blue General Assembly will impede or block Gov. Youngkin’s right-wing legislative agenda on abortion, education, and other key priorities.
A reason for optimism as well as celebration – A US House seat became available with the death of Rep. Don McEachin, and a special election was held in Feb 2023. It was won handily by Jennifer McClellan, who made history as the first Black woman from VA in Congress. And although the seat was already strongly Democratic, McClelland’s margin of victory (74% – almost 3x that of her Republican opponent) exceeded expectations. So despite VA’s Republican governor and red House of Delegates, Democrats in VA appear to be running stronger than ever. Could be more evidence of Democratic “Midterm Magic” with voters rejecting Republican extremism.