The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) announced 13 target House of Delegate districts held by Democrats. Republicans need to flip six seats in the General Election, and both parties have candidates in nearly every district in an effort to control the majority. The RSLC list of districts primarily focuses on areas around three urban centers: northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, and Richmond.
“Those are definitely where the battle is. It’s where we lost a lot of seats in ’17,” Prince William GOP Vice Chairman Willie Deutsch told The Virginia Star. “[It] also shows RSLC is trying to capitalize on perceived Democrat overreach in D.C. in these legislative races.”
In the 2019 House of Delegate races, Democrats took control by flipping six new seats, for a total 55 Democratic delegates, according to The Virginia Public Access Project. In the 2020 presidential election, voters in 61 House of Delegates districts voted for Joe Biden, according to CNalysis. Deutsch said that suggests that national politics helped Democrats win locally.
For the 2021 House races, Deutsch said it’s “all a question of do people believe there was overreach in D.C. Was 2020 more about voting out Trump, and people are already souring on Biden, or did people love Biden in ’20 and still love him now?”
The RSLC is targeting HD 10, HD 12, HD 21, HD 28, HD 31, HD 40, HD 68, HD 72, HD75, HD 83, HD 85, and HD 91. VPAP has a list of competitive districts that shows Democrats won five districts that slightly lean Republican, all included on the RSLC list: 28, 12, 91, 85, and 10. The rest of the districts in the RSLC’s list lean slightly Democratic, according to the VPAP list.
In Prince William, Deutsch said, “The 40th and 28th were very narrow Democrat wins in ’19. A slight change in the winds and we pick those up. We had four seats where the Democratic incumbent was kept under 53 percent and those were two of them.”
Among competitive districts not on the list is HD 13, in Prince William. Deutsch said, “13th and 10th were two of the four closest challenges we had in 2019. We had four seats where the Democratic incumbent was kept under 53 percent and those were two of them.”
He said, “We have a top of the ticket working crazy hard, but like we saw in 2020 there is a scenario where we pick up house seats while narrowly losing statewide. Either way, we are seeing growing frustration in the state among independents with the radical left’s view on [Critical Race Theory,] COVID shutdowns, and defunding the police. I expect Virginians will want to put a check on this agenda in the fall.”
The RSLC also announced a new ad as part of a six-figure media campaign targeting the 13 Virginia districts. The ad focuses on issues like tax hikes, teachers’ unions, and crime rates. “Whether in Washington or in Richmond, when Democrats win, the people lose,” the ad states.
In the RSLC press release, President Dee Duncan said, “Democrat-run Washington has given us an economic crisis, has politicized our children’s education to please their teachers’ union backers, and has put public safety at risk; Democrat-controlled Richmond has produced the same failed results.”
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