Election results show Virginia still moderate, says political expert

Tonight, Virginia state democrats are celebrating after winning two of three competitive congressional races in the Commonwealth.
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 2:49 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia Democrats took two of three competitive congressional races Tuesday night.

“The most significant victory, I think by far, was in the new 7th district, Abigail Spanberger, the incumbent Democrat, basically had to move all of her operations up north, and she managed to win in a district in a year like this probably should have gone Republican,” said Larry Sabato, UVA Center for Politics.

Not only did Spanberger win in the newly redrawn seventh district, but there was also a win for Jennifer Wexton in the 10th, which covers northern Virginia. Political analysts are also already talking about a potential Spanberger run for governor three years from now.

Meanwhile, Republicans picked up a competitive house seat in the state’s 2nd congressional district. Incumbent Elaine Luria lost her seat to Republican state senator Jen Kiggans.

“The new republican, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans, will have a good opportunity for a few years at least to solidify that,” said Sabato.

But overall, Sabato says the results from this election won’t shift Virginia more left or more right.

“I think it says for one thing that Virginia is still moderate, maybe moderate liberal in some respects and that you can’t go too far to the right or left. It tells us Virginia is pretty much where it was, and it has not been transformed into a Republican state just because Glenn Youngkin won narrowly in 2021,” said Sabato.

Sabato points out that a number of the candidates that Governor Youngkin endorsed, and left the state to campaign for, did not do so well.

Sabato also says a strong performance by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis means Youngkin may not have a place on the national stage, for now, as we head toward the 2024 presidential election.

We can expect a little time off from political ads and campaigns, but not for long. All 140 seats in the Virginia General Assembly are up for grabs next year.