Virginia legislative races could make state a Democratic trifecta in 2019

The Virginia State Senate and the Virginia House of Delegates are holding elections on November 5, 2019. If Democrats gain two seats in each chamber, Virginia will become a Democratic trifecta. Republicans control the Senate 21-19 and the House 51-48 (one seat previously held by a Democrat is vacant). The term of Virginia’s governor, Ralph Northam (D), runs through 2021.
 
The state House last held elections in 2017, while the state Senate was last up in 2015. In the 2017 House races, Democrats picked up 15 seats and cut the Republican majority from 66-34 to 51-49. Fourteen of the Democratic pick-ups came in districts that voted for Hillary Clinton (D) in 2016.
 
Four races in Republican-held seats went to recounts. Democrats won one of the recounts and Republicans won three, including in District 94 where Del. David Yancey (R) won a coin toss after the election ended in an exact tie. That outcome gave Republicans a one-seat majority in the state House.
 
In the 2015 state Senate elections, Republicans held their 21-19 chamber majority. In the 2016 presidential election, 23 districts, including four Republican-held seats, voted for Clinton (D). There were no Democratic-held districts that voted for Donald Trump (R). State Sen. Dick Black (R-13), whose district voted for Clinton by 8.2 percentage points, announced he would not seek re-election in January 2019.
 
Three other states are holding gubernatorial elections in 2019: Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Louisiana could potentially become a Republican trifecta if the GOP defeats incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards. Edwards is Louisiana’s only Democratic statewide elected official. Kentucky, a Republican trifecta, could also feature a competitive gubernatorial race. Fifty-one percent of Kentucky voters disapproved of incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in a January 2019 Morning Consult poll.



About the author

Rob Oldham

Rob Oldham is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at rob.oldham@ballotpedia.org

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