Virginia 2021: What Happened

Last night’s results in Virginia were certainly not what Democrats wanted. Republicans swept the three statewide offices, and Democrats will not keep their outright majority in the state house. The several uncalled races will determine whether Democrats can hold the chamber to 50-50 or whether they will be in the minority. 

So, what happened?

The 12-point swing happened. 

The below table shows those results for competitive districts.

DistrictIncumbent2020 Result2021 Result
HD 67Delaney (D)34.72%WIN
HD 42Tran (D)32.58%WIN
HD 13Roem (D)32.54%WIN
HD 32Reid (D)30.82%WIN
HD 50Carter** (D)26.09%WIN
HD 40Helmer (D)24.85%WIN
HD 2King (D)23.71%WIN
HD 76Jenkins (D)22.68%WIN
HD 94Simonds (D)21.30%WIN
HD 73Willett (D)20.51%WIN
HD 68Adams (D)19.40%WIN
HD 10Gooditis (D)16.20%WIN
HD 72VanValkenburg (D)15.91%WIN
HD 93Mullin (D)15.73%WIN
HD 83Guy (D)15.06%LOSS
HD 31Guzman (D)14.72%WIN
HD 51Ayala** (D)12.85%WIN
HD 21Fowler (D)12.51%WIN
HD 85Askew (D)11.93%UNCALLED
HD 63Aird (D)10.86%UNCALLED
HD 28Cole (D)10.52%LOSS
HD 66Cox** (R)10.31%GOP HOLD
HD 27Robinson (R)8.31%GOP HOLD
HD 91Mugler (D)8.25%UNCALLED
HD 75Tyler (D)7.31%LOSS
HD 100Bloxom (R)6.74%GOP HOLD
HD 12Hurst (D)5.58%LOSS

So, what does this mean for 2022?

Of course, that is the question on everyone’s mind, and of course, it’s way too early to draw specific conclusions. There are two toplines that we want to leave you with for now.

1. The era of high turnout might not be over.

While Democrats did not win the Virginia governorship last night, McAuliffe actually got more votes than successful Democratic candidate Ralph Northam in 2017. The only problem in 2021 was that Republicans were also super motivated. 

2. Voters are unhappy.

As we wrote about recently on our blog, Democrats need to decide if we want to win the 2022 midterms. Last night showed that typical midterm dynamics are starting to play out, where the incumbent president’s party typically sees losses in the first midterm.

Democrats need a real strategy for how we overcome those headwinds – last night showed we haven’t found it yet.

*This count excludes HDs 63 and 91.

**Denotes incumbent who did not run for re-election.