Virginia’s been a purple state, but it’s trending blue. Clinton edged out Trump in 2016, and in 2017 Democrats won statewide offices handily, and reduced Republicans in the House of Delegates from 66 to 51. This year, due to redistricting, Republicans will be fortunate if they manage to hang on to 20 of the 40 seats in the State Senate. It is widely predicted that they will lose their one vote majority in the House.
Unless. Polls show Democratic voters more enthusiastic than Republicans, but the election is four weeks away, and that could change. President Trump could turn it around with one giant rally. With one such rally in Lake Charles last Friday, Trump denied Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards a majority in the jungle primary. Just before the Nov. 5th election, he’ll be going to Kentucky to help endangered Gov. Matt Bevin win reelection.
Louisiana and Kentucky are hard red, and Trump isn’t helping his own reelection chances by campaigning in them. Virginia, however, is ripe for the picking in 2020. If he’s going to win his landslide, Virginia would be part of the red wave.
He’s got some red meat to feed the crowd in Virginia. From Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon:
“Virginia turned down hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal money used to combat gun crime in 2018, rather than comply with federal immigration authorities, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. A series of Department of Justice memos show that two anti-gun-crime grants were transferred from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), which had previously administered the program, in Dec. 2018. The memos say the transfer was necessary after state officials refused to certify that Virginia would comply with federal requirements to share immigration information with federal law enforcement.”
While the State Senate may be too steep a hill to climb, the Republican majority in the House of Delegates can be saved. And Trump may have a little personal motivation to save it. When he addressed the House of Delegates on July 30th, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first meeting of the Virginia legislature, Delegate Ibraheem Samirah interrupted with a speech to the audience condemning Trump as a racist.
Delegate Samirah, like the rest of his Democratic colleagues, is eagerly looking forward to serving in the majority. They plan on transforming the political structure of Virginia. The only thing standing in their way is President Donald J. Trump.
Fritz Pettyjohn’s Uncle William served in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1786.