Saxman: Will Virginia Be a Congressional Bellwether? Also, All Eyes on Georgia

It looks like Virginia (a.k.a Election Nerd Disneyland) is going to live up to its reputation as a strong national bellwether. There are three congressional districts in play here that you should watch closely on Election Night in order to see how the rest of the country will vote.

They are the 2nd, the 7th, and the 10th.

Why? Well, they all line up with the rest of the country’s suburban swing districts and all are represented by Democratic women.

In the 2nd (Virginia Beach), incumbent Congresswoman Elaine Luria is challenged by State Senator Jen Kiggans. VA 2 is listed by Real Clear Politics as a Lean Republican (PICKUP) while 538 has this race as a Toss Up Youngkin won VA 2 last year 55-44.

In the 7th (Prince William/Stafford/Spotsylvania), incumbent Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger is challenged by Prince William County supervisor Yesli Vega. VA 7 is listed by RCP as a Toss Up and 538 has this race as Lean DemocratYoungkin won VA 7 last year 52-47.

And in the 10th (Loudoun/Prince William), incumbent Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton is challenged by Hung Cao. VA 10 is listed by Real Clear Politics as a Lean Democrat while 538 has this race as Likely Democrat. Terry McAuliffe won this VA 10 last year 50.5 – 48.9.

Virginia 2 – 7 – 10 goes Pickup/Toss Up – Toss Up/Lean Dem – Lean Dem/Likely Dem; Youngkin +11, +5, -1.6.

If VA 2 is won by Kiggans, the House will go to the Republicans. If VA 7 is won by Vega, the House majority will be in the low 230s – around 233. If VA 10 is as close as Cao’s internal poll suggests? Republicans could approach the 260s. But….

The highest the GOP has ever had is 247 members which was after the 2nd Obama Midterm in 2014.

When you throw in all the redistricting, strength of candidates, and local issues you will not be able to chart this exactly to VA 2 – 7 – 10; however, Election Night should be pretty close to those three seats.

*Side Note – it could be a late night with absentee ballots in Virginia being allocated by precinct this year.

Meanwhile over in the U.S. Senate races, the electoral bobber floats along with these states in order – Florida – North Carolina – Ohio – Wisconsin – Nevada – Georgia – Pennsylvania – Arizona – New Hampshire – Washington. According to 538’s listing of the races, Georgia is the McConnell Majority Maker in the Senate. They have some cool graphics at 538. Bold Italics = RCP average leading for the GOP.

President Obama is in to Atlanta today to campaign for Stacey Abrams and Senator Raphael Warnock. From the Atlanta Constitution Journal:

Obama continues to be popular with Democrats and is the rare national figure that both Abrams and Warnock can easily cozy up to. State party leaders hope Obama’s trip could drive up Black voter turnout and inject more energy into Georgia campaigns in the final stretch of the race.

If Democrats need Obama in Atlanta for Black turnout and energy, that’s not a good sign.

Meanwhile, multiple Virginia Republican sources tell me that they are hitting or exceeding their early ballot return numbers in the suburban areas of Henrico and Virginia Beach.

That’s the basic lay o’ the land – trending toward the GOP. We’ll check the tidal forecasts next week to see if there is a wave or not.

Midterms rarely go well for the party in power and this is American political pendulum swing brought to you by the Swingin’ Suburban voters who are deciding between Economy, Crime, and Abortion. Watch suburban college educated men and non-college educated women in various polling cross tabs to see where the Abortion v Economy vote actually goes this year.

States like New York and Oregon are seeing Republicans doing better in those states based on the issue of crime. Meanwhile the Oklahoma governor’s race is a Toss Up along with New Mexico, Minnesota, Michigan, and Kansas. That’s an unusual set of Toss Ups.

#AllPoliticsIsSTILLLocal #CandidatesMatter

Aaaand finally … how about the Democrats running on their record, you ask?

From Politico article about Joe Biden’s messaging:

But what if that conventional wisdom wasn’t just wrong but terribly, harmfully so?

That’s the warning being issued by one of the party’s most seasoned pollsters, STAN GREENBERG. In memos, private communications and interviews, Greenberg has been imploring the party to — let’s put this bluntly — shut the hell up about all the work it’s done. It’s not that voters don’t care. He says voters actively turn against Democrats when they hear it.

“It’s our worst performing message,” Greenberg told West Wing Playbook. “I’ve tested it. I did Biden’s exact words, his exact speech. And that’s the test where we lost all of our leads… It said to the voters that this election is about my accomplishments as a leader and not about the challenges you’re experiencing.”

Politics is not only local but personal. It’s also about the future and the future is not looking too hot right now. Folks are worried.

Hello, Janet Jackson….

And a great message from Michele (yes The Hammer) on Quadrant Living – Kingdom vs Culture.


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