Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Politics & Polls #67: What happened in Virginia? with Larry Sabato and Geoffrey Skelley

November 17th, 2017, 9:48am by Sam Wang


Democrats scored big wins last week in New Jersey and Virginia elections. Julian Zelizer and I chew it over with Larry Sabato and Geoffrey Skelley. Plus a tiny bit about whether Alabama will elect a child molester as senator, or choose a Democrat who prosecutes KKK terrorists. Life is full of hard choices. All in the new Politics & Polls.

Tags: Politics · Senate

6 Comments so far ↓

  • LondonYoung

    My takeaway – over the last eight years we have been trained to believe that the GOP has a big turnout advantage in midterms. But maybe that was just the “out of the Whitehouse party” effect. The VA turnout was very interesting. Those house of delegates seats that flipped were all PVI D+ for sure, but the GOP had won them in the past – and that is called turnout.

    • Josh

      Those districts were also drawn by Republicans…

    • Sam Wang

      It is highly unusual for the popular vote to be won by a 9-point margin, yet for the chamber to not flip. That can only arise as a result of partisan gerrymandering. There is no other way it can happen.

    • LondonYoung

      When I select “state legislatures” at gerrymander.princeton.edu it looks like VA is presented as dark gray indicating “nonpartisan”?
      Am I doing this right?

    • Brian Remlinger

      That’s because VA was districted by a split-control statehouse (Rep House, Dem Senate, Dem governor), and we only show the test results for state legislatures if they were under single-party control. The House was gerrymandered to benefit Republicans while the Senate was gerrymandered to benefit Dems, but the Senate map was poorly drawn and Republicans flipped it in 2013. The House map has probed more resilient.

    • LondonYoung

      Ah, things are always more complicated when the microscope is brought into focus …
      And I bet the gerrymandering was more about keeping the current officeholders snug and secure than seeking an advantage for their parties as a whole …
      Do you know of a source for Cook PVI’s of state legislatures? I like to run your tools on PVI rather than local election results …

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