Saxman: Political Climate Change — House of Delegates Edition
With two weeks to go, let’s look at the 2019 results and how the Generic Ballot shift at the national level could impact control of the Virginia House.
When looking at the House races this year in Virginia, please consider the following National Generic Vote averages.
I look at these numbers like ocean tides – they come in and go out. They show how the political climate changes from year to year. And you really can’t do too much about it, except watch.
2020 GOP picks up a net 14 US House seats with Democrats at +3.1 – Democrats have a super slim majority. Joe Biden wins Virginia 54-44. Reminder Trump also got 44 in 2016.
2018 Midterms? Democrats win net 41 seats in US House at Dems +8.4
2016 – Republicans +1.1 and lose 6 seats but still won 241 for a solid majority. Today they have 213 and are in the minority.
Okay – how about 2017? That’s when Virginia Democrats swept three statewide offices and won 15 seats in the House. Try +10.5 for Democrats. That was the Trump Suburban Tsunami in the first year of his administration.
And 2019? That’s when the Democrats won control of both the Virginia House and Senate.
So from 2019 to today, the Generic Congressional Vote has dropped from +7 to +2.3 Democrats…
or (-4.5) from 2020 polling average, (-4.7) since 2019 average, and down from +10.5 in 2017 or (-8.2).
Now apply those tidal shifts to the victory margins below from the 2019 House of Delegates races.
- 83rd Delegate Nancy Guy won in 2019 +0 .1
- 75th Delegate Roz Tyler + 2.1
- 85th Delegate Alex Askew + 3.4
- 28th Delegate Joshua Cole +4.1
- 10th Delegate Wendy Gooditis + 4.5
House would be 50-50 here if the GOP doesn’t lose any seats. Most vulnerable are the Open Seat of Del. Kirk Cox (HD 66) and Del. Roxann Robinson (HD 27).
- 73rd Delegate Rodney Willett + 4.6 House control would flip to GOP.
- 40th Delegate Dan Helmer +4.8
- 31st Delegate Elizabeth Guzman +5.4
- 72nd Delegate Schuyler Van Valkenburg + 6.6
- 50th Delegate Lee Carter + 6.8 (lost his nomination)
- 12th Delegate Chris Hurst + 8.2 – this would be a tie if tide goes out from 2017 at this level. Interestingly, this is where we hear polling is in the race vs Republican challenger Jason Ballard – tied. I know I am comparing 2017 with 2019. This is just a drill. If this were a real emergency…
- 21nd Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler (+ 9.2) GOP internals have it +3 for Convirs-Fowler but have her only at 43 – which is NOT the place an incumbent should be this close to an election.
- 51st Delegate Hala Ayala + 9.2
- 68th Delegate Dawn Adams + 9.4
- 91st Delegate Martha Mugler + 9.7
That’s how I look at the overall picture of the House races – tidal shifts.
I hear lots of polling results from both parties. As long as the pollsters correctly poll the population who actually shows up to vote, the polls are right.
If they don’t? Umm…well…
I remember several Virginia House Republicans telling me in 2017 that their polls had them up 10 points two weeks out of the election. They lost by 10. Ed Gillespie told me on Election Day that he thought he would win by 1. He lost by 9.
Right now, the statewide races are inside the Margin of Error and so too is control of the Virginia House.
What’s going to happen?
“We’ll see…” said the Zen master.