The Washington Post sums it up: at least six seats lost by the Democrats (including their House Minority Leader) in the House of Delegates and either one (Bill Stanley over Roscoe Reynolds) or two (Bryce Reeves leads Edd Houck by 86 votes) in the state Senate. If it’s one, the Democrats retain control of the state Senate; if it’s two, then the Senate is tied and the Lieutenant Governor breaks all ties. The Democrats are in that kind of jubilant despair that you get when things aren’t quite as bad as you thought that they were going to be; public relief aside, losing your House Minority Leader* isn’t good news. Particularly since (as Larry Sabato noted last night) Virginia’s Senate redistricting process was in the hands of the Democrats and they still lost at least one seat. That’s not good news for Democrats on the national level.
Please note, however, that the goal here was not one/two seats in the Senate, but at least five. I have no desire to lecture Virginia Republicans, but if you’ve woken up this morning a bit upset that we didn’t do better down there I hope that you can do so with a clear conscience. There is no such thing as an unimportant election – which is why I want to congratulate Elizabeth Schultz, who has won her election to the Fairfax County-Springfield County school board. I interviewed her back in August over at RedState in large part to illustrate this very point: federal elections are important, but so are state and local. And state/local elections are often easier places in which to make an impact.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Although the WaPo referred to Ward Armstrong as the House Majority Leader. Well, it’s no secret which side the Washington Post is usually on.