22 battleground seats to determine control of the VA House

Welcome to the Monday, October 18, Brew. 

By: Emily Aubert

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Virginia House elections feature 22 battlegrounds
  2. Upcoming special election in New Hampshire House district 
  3. More than 300 presidential documents issued in Federal Register in 2021 so far

Virginia House elections feature 22 battlegrounds

Elections for the Virginia House of Delegates are taking place on Nov. 2, 2021. Ballotpedia has identified 22 of the 100 races as battlegrounds.

Sixteen battlegrounds are elections for seats currently held by Democrats, while the other six are for Republican-held seats. Based on analysis of these districts’ electoral histories, these races have the potential to be more competitive than other races and could lead to shifts in a chamber’s partisan balance.

To determine state legislative battleground races in 2021, Ballotpedia looked for races that fit one or more of the four factors listed below:

  1. In the last state legislative election, the winner received less than 55% of the vote.
  2. The presidential candidate who won the district in 2020 is from a different party than the most recent state legislative election winner in the district, and the most recent state legislative election winner won by a margin of 10 percentage points or less.
  3. The presidential candidate who won the district in 2020 is from a different party than the most recent state legislative election winner in the district, and the incumbent is not on the ballot this year.
  4. The presidential candidate who won the district in 2020 is from a different party than the most recent state legislative election winner in the district, and that presidential candidate won the district by a margin of 20 percentage points or more.

​​

In 2019, Democrats won control of the chamber with a 55-45 majority. Twenty-nine races were decided by margins of 10 percentage points or less, and six of the 100 seats changed partisan control, passing from Republican to Democratic control. Republicans need to gain six seats to win control of the chamber in 2021. Democrats need to lose no more than four seats to maintain their majority.

The outcome of these races and the state’s 2021 gubernatorial election will determine Virginia’s trifecta status. Virginia became a Democratic trifecta in 2019 for the first time since 1994. If Republicans win control of the House or the governorship, they will break Democrats’ trifecta control of the state.

Keep reading 

Upcoming special election in New Hampshire House district 

Earlier this week, Jon Dunwell (R) defeated Steve Mullan (D) in the special election for Iowa House of Representatives District 29, switching the seat from Democratic to Republican control.

This was the third state legislative seat to flip party control nationwide in 2021 following a special election. If no more state legislative seats change party control in a special election this year, it would be the lowest number of such events since 2010, when no seats flipped. From 2010 to 2020, an average of 10 state legislative seats changed party control in special elections each year.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives is holding a special election on Oct. 26 for one of two seats representing the Cheshire 9 District. Andrew Maneval (D) and Rita Mattson (R) are running in the general election. The winner of the special election will serve until December 2022.

The seat became vacant after Douglas Ley (D) died from cancer on June 10. Ley had represented the district, along with fellow Democrat Richard Ames, since 2012. Ames and Ley were the top two vote-getters in 2020, receiving 29.5% and 27.5%, respectively. Mattson and Leo Plante (R) received 21.9% and 21.1%, respectively.

Heading into the special election, Republicans have a 207-188 majority in the New Hampshire House with five vacancies. New Hampshire has a Republican state government trifecta. 

As of October, 64 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 21 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. New Hampshire held 29 state legislative special elections from 2011 to 2020.

Keep reading 

More than 300 presidential documents issued in Federal Register in 2021 so far

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s overall regulatory activity, accounting for both regulatory and deregulatory actions. We periodically update you about its status—here’s a recent report.

From October 11 through October 15, the Federal Register grew by 880 pages for a year-to-date total of 57,524 pages.  By this point in President Donald Trump’s (R) first year as president, the year-to-date total was 47,952 pages.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 448 documents:

  1. 379 notices
  2. 12 presidential documents
  3. 27 proposed rules
  4. 30 final rules

Ballotpedia has maintained page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project since 2017. Click below to learn more about how the Federal Register has changed from the Trump administration to the Biden administration.

Keep reading




About the author

Emily Aubert

Emily Aubert is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.