Virginia Democrats are projected to win control of both of the state’s legislature bodies, according to Decision Desk HQ, dealing a major blow to Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s agenda for the remainder of his term.
Democrats won control of the House of Delegates and maintained their grip on the state Senate. Tuesday’s election results mark a reversal from two years ago, when Youngkin was elected governor and Republicans won control of the House of Delegates.
Various Democratic figures jumped into the campaign. President Biden issued endorsements last week, while former President Obama recorded robocalls in various districts. Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) also made the trip to Virginia to campaign alongside a number of candidates.
Democrats in competitive races repeatedly hammered their GOP counterparts as “MAGA extremists” and warned that Republicans would move to pass an abortion ban in the state. The Democratic victory makes it highly unlikely that Youngkin’s endorsed 15 week ban with exceptions on abortion will pass through.
But Tuesday’s wins do not mean smooth sailing for the Democrats’ policy agenda. Democrats in the state legislature will likely clash with Youngkin, who could block a number of initiatives from being passed.
NEW: Voters rejected Republican efforts to take full control of Virginia’s state government, according to AP, keeping Democrats in power in the state legislature as a counterweight to Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin and his policy proposals. https://t.co/eHgY4DC3Ag
With Michael Feggans’ (D) win in #HD97, VA House of Delegates count is 51D-46R w/ three races still too close to call: #HD57 Gibson (D) vs. Owen (R) #HD71 Anderson (D) vs. Batten (R) #HD82 Adams (D) vs. Taylor (R)
Virginia Democrats who campaigned on protecting abortion rights swept Tuesday’s legislative elections, retaking full control of the General Assembly after two years of divided power.
The outcome is a sharp loss for Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who exerted a great deal of energy, money and political capital on an effort to secure a GOP trifecta.
Virginia is one of just four states holding legislative races this year, and it’s something of a microcosm of other closely divided states that will be critical in next year’s presidential election. That has fueled outsized interest in the legislative races, as both parties are closely monitoring the results for signs about voter moods heading into the 2024 campaign.
With a full statehouse majority, Democrats will have even greater leeway to thwart Youngkin’s policy agenda, though they will have to work with him to advance their own.
Every General Assembly seat was on the ballot this year, with the most competitive seats based in Hampton Roads and the suburbs of Richmond and Washington. Democrats flipped the House of Delegates and held the majority they’ve had in the Senate since 2020.