Virginia General Assembly Election Preview

As many of you are likely aware, the 2023 Virginia General Assembly elections will be historic. With mere two-vote majorities existing in both the House of Delegates and Senate of Virginia, control of both chambers hangs in the balance. There will also be tremendous turnover in both bodies and a huge loss of institutional knowledge as a result of a very large number of retirements, a large number of House members opting to forego their House seats to run in the Senate, and legislative districts drawn by the Supreme Court that have created a large number of open seat races.

WANADA has prepared a chart to help you identify the announced candidates for the House and Senate Districts in Northern Virginia. It shows the current slate of announced candidates, how each district performed in the last two gubernatorial races and contains color coding that shows the partisan lean of each district based on an average of the last two Governor’s races. A dark blue or dark red color indicates the district is likely to go to the Democrats or Republicans, respectively. A light blue or light red color means the district leans to the Democrats or Republicans, respectively. A green color means the district is a toss-up or too close to call based on past performance.

Using this analysis across the entire state, Democrats appear to have a very slight edge in the Senate (22 solid or leaning to the Democrats, 17 solid or leaning to the Republicans and one toss-up) and a larger but not insurmountable edge over the Republicans in the House races (49 solid or leaning to the Democrats, 17 solid or leaning to the Republicans and 10 toss-up races). These results are based on averaging of the district performance in the last 2 Governor’s races, so are by no means definitive, particularly at this early stage in the cycle. It is important to remember that 2023 could yield completely different electorate turnouts, districts could move more towards one party or another and, of course, candidate quality can trump historical voting trends. As a result, the ultimate outcome on which party will control the House and Senate is too close to call at this time. It will likely be a long evening in November before we know who wins control of the House and Senate in Virginia.

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