So Chase lost her fight for the GOP governor nomination to Youngton, a political newcomer from a reddish district. It actually came as a bit of a surprise to watchers, as he seemed to have very little support early on.
Still, he’ll likely be facing Terry McAuliffe, who already served a relatively popular term as governor and is one of the Dems best fundraisers. The Dems are also likely to be more united, as Chase’s wing of the VA GOP is already causing a fuss due to her loss.
Youngton, which I may be spelling wrong, faces long odds in VA. Northam has managed to recover from his incident a year and a half ago to end up being pretty popular, and Dems overall are scoring higher on popularity in VA than their GOP counterparts. Pot, police reforms, and voting rights policies in particular have scored high marks.
VA also managed to weather the covid storm pretty well comparatively. Our economy went into a recession, of course, but a much more shallow one than expected and we are already recovering.
Given his status as a relative newcomer, with very little name recognition, facing off against a popular former governor, with huge fundraising potential, in a climate where Dems are scoring higher marks, it looks like the GOP will have to wait a cycle to try and take back the governors mansion. They also likely won’t be able to take back the state house, given that places like Fairfax and Henrico have shifted hard blue.
The state Senate is another matter. While dems hold a majority, it’s a little more fluid, and we have yet to see what the independent redistricting process ends up handing them.
Most estimates suggest that Dems will come out better off, regardless of how it goes, given how much of a Republican bias the current maps have (which is less than they had after the court battle got them changed slightly). Any reorganization that makes the districts more even, especially districts in the New River Valley and coast areas, will favor dems. As cities like Roanoke and Blacksburg will have outsized effects on smaller, more even districts.