The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

What’s at stake in Virginia’s elections

The November election will be the first to use new district maps
Screenshot via USGS ArcGIS Online
The newly redrawn congressional districts in Virginia were made by court-appointed special masters.

The stakes for November’s election are high as Republicans and Democrats battle over all 140 seats in the Virginia General Assembly.

The election will be the first to use the new map of voter districts, which were redrawn by the Virginia Supreme Court.

The state Senate is leaning slightly towards the Democrats, said J. Miles Coleman, associate editor for University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, but the House of Delegates is a true “toss-up.”

He said that these statewide races have been extremely expensive for an off-year election.

“You see just millions of dollars being thrown around on advertising and campaigning, and though it would not surprise me at all, if for all these millions, the legislature stays exactly the same as it is now in terms of its composition,” Coleman said.

However, even if Democrats were to gain control of both chambers, they would still experience challenges due to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s veto.

“I would say in terms of stakes, for the Democratic candidates, they’re really not going to be able to pass a lot of their big ticket priorities on spending or infrastructure or education until they get a Democratic governor,” he said.

Meanwhile, if the Republicans manage to flip the state Senate, they could secure a government trifecta. Coleman said that Democrats are essentially playing on defense this November.

“They are playing so that the Republicans don’t get everything, and Virginia doesn’t start looking like, say, a Florida [under] DeSantis,” he said.

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