Jonathan Chait: “The election results, both in the aggregate and in many of the particulars, vindicate the belief that voters tend to punish rather than reward parties and candidates they associate with radical ideas. To be sure, a tendency is not a rule. The largest factor driving election results is external world events: economic prosperity (or its absence), rallying around the flag in the event of a foreign attack, or widespread disgust with a failed war or major scandal. Midterm elections generally have large swings against the president’s party. One reason 2022 defied the pattern is that the Dobbs decision made Republicans, not Democrats, the party carrying out radical change. Candidates and parties seen as safe and moderate have an advantage — one that may not always override other factors but which matters quite a bit.”
“This is a fairly uncontroversial finding among political scientists. Yet in recent years, many influential figures in the Democratic Party had come to disbelieve it. A series of mistakes followed from this belief that Democrats would pay no penalty or may even benefit from moving farther away from the center. There are also signs in the recent election cycle they are coming to grips with the fallacies in their assumptions. A decade of magical thinking may be coming to an end.”
Elaine Godfrey: “If any state was going to devolve into chaos after a disappointing election for Republicans, it would have been Arizona—ground zero for election denial in 2020, and where this year, primary voters nominated an entire slate of fringe election cranks to all of the state’s major offices.”
“Instead, the midterms delivered a sure blow to the election-denial movement, both there and everywhere else: The most prominent conspiracists, such as the Arizona secretary-of-state candidate Mark Finchem and Pennsylvania’s Doug Mastriano, lost by significant margins; some of these candidates even acknowledged their losses by—surprise!—actually conceding. On Monday night, Lake was declared the loser in her race for Arizona’s governorship, adding a final note to what has seemed like a comprehensive repudiation of the denialists. And where experts and reporters had anticipated widespread election-fraud mayhem, nothing close to it has yet emerged.”
“It would be foolish, though, to pronounce ‘Stop the Steal’ dead. The movement may have fizzled without Donald Trump, but if he runs again in 2024, we haven’t seen the last of it.”
CO-03. Adam Frisch (D) conceded to Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) in the race for Colorado’s 3rd congressional district, saying that an expected recount was unlikely to change the outcome of the election, The Hill reports.
Associated Press: “With nearly all votes counted, Republican incumbent Lauren Boebert led Democrat Adam Frisch by 0.16 percentage points, or 551 votes out of nearly 327,000 votes counted.”
Denver Post: “Last week, Boebert cited low enthusiasm for up-ticket Republicans as a reason for her near-loss. And while Republicans across Colorado — and much of the country — fared more poorly than expected in the midterm elections, political scientists said the bombastic and often-controversial congresswoman’s poor showing likely also serves as a referendum on her.”
“Boebert’s first term in office has been marked by scandal and investigations far more than policy successes.”
WEST VIRGINIA GOVERNOR and U.S. SENATOR. West Virginia Metro News relays that Republican Secretary of State Mac Warner “has his eye on” a bid against Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in 2024, though it also notes that he could instead run to succeed termed-out Gov. Jim Justice or seek re-election.
The Senate contest got started Tuesday when GOP Rep. Alex Mooney launched a bid to take on Manchin (see more on Mooney below), who has not yet announced if he’ll run again, but the Republican primary for governor has been underway for almost a year longer. Back in December of 2021 auto dealer Chris Miller, who is the son of Rep. Carol Miller, declared he was in and would partially self-fund, and Metro News wrote last month that he had about $970,000 on-hand.
The younger Miller, columnist Steven Allen Adams wrote last year, “has mostly been front and center in his family’s car dealership commercials, where Miller is known for wacky and humorous antics, including spoofing former president Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.” However, Adams added that Miller had plenty of connections of his own within GOP politics.
One person who probably won’t want to see Miller in the governor’s office, though, is Justice. Last month, the GOP governor and Rep. Carol Miller found themselves on opposite sides in the fight over Amendment Two, which among other things would have let the legislature exempt vehicles from personal property taxes. Justice cited the fact that the congresswoman’s family owns seven auto dealerships in his quest to derail the measure, declaring, “Just ask yourself—the automobile dealers, you know, does Congresswoman Miller have a conflict? Are they going to get real, live money? They sure are.” Voters went on to decisively reject Amendment 2.
Justice, for his part, has not ruled out a Senate bid, which would bring him into conflict with Mooney. The governor also had some choice words about his would-be primary rival during the Amendment 2 fight, saying, “From the standpoint of Congressman Mooney, I honestly don’t know and I’m not throwing any rocks at Congressman Mooney, but I’ve been here for six years, but I’ve seen Congressman Mooney one time, one time in six years.”
Justice went on to trash Mooney, a former Maryland state senator who only moved to the state in 2013 ahead of his first congressional bid, by asking, “Really and truly, does Congressman Mooney even know West Virginia exists?”
WEST VIRGINIA U.S. SENATOR, GOVERNOR, and WV-02. Republican Rep. Alex Mooney on Tuesday announced that he would challenge Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who has not yet said if he’ll seek re-election in what’s become a dark red state, a move that underscores that the 2024 Senate cycle is already underway whether we like it or not.
Mooney is the first major challenger in the nation to kick off a Senate campaign, but his head start may not clear the primary field. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who lost to Manchin 50-46 in 2018, said last week he was “looking very closely at” a rematch. However, he responded to Mooney’s kickoff by acknowledging that he’d also been encouraged to run for governor, for Mooney’s open 2nd District, and for re-election in addition to the Senate, and that he would “give all of these options appropriate and due consideration.”
Gov. Jim Justice, who will be termed-out in 2024, also didn’t rule out a challenge to his one-time ally Manchin, saying, “I guess it’s possible … Who knows?” Justice, who defected from the Democratic Party to the GOP at a 2017 Trump rally, reiterated last week, “I do love the people of West Virginia, and I am looking really, really, really hard at some kind of national office. Who knows.”
Manchin, for his part, responded to Mooney’s kickoff, “I haven’t made a complete decision as of yet … I’ve never made a decision based on any opposition.” The senator may keep us guessing for quite some time if history is any guide: While he announced in July of 2017 he’d be seeking re-election, his fellow Democrats had to scramble to deter him from a last-minute retirement the following January. Trump took the Mountain State 69-30, and Manchin is almost certainly the one Democrat who would stand any chance here.
Mooney, for his part, has been talked about as a likely Manchin foe for years, and the senator made an unsuccessful attempt to beat him in this May’s primary. West Virginia lost one of its three House seats after the 2020 Census, and Mooney and fellow Rep. David McKinley both slugged it out in the new 2nd District in the northern half of the state.
Trump and the deep-pocketed Club for Growth both consolidated behind Mooney while Manchin starred in a commercial imploring Republicans to renominate McKinley. McKinley and his allies also tried to frame the contest as a battle between a seventh-generation West Virginian and Mooney, a former Maryland state senator who only moved to the state in 2013 ahead of his first congressional bid.
McKinley additionally made sure voters knew that his colleague-turned-rival was facing two investigations by the Office of Congressional Ethics for allegedly spending campaign funds on personal expenses and possibly obstructing the probe, and he even aired an ad showing a digitally altered image of Mooney in a prison jumpsuit. None of this was enough, though, to stop Mooney from winning 54-36 even though he represented considerably less of the new district than McKinley did.
The Office of Congressional Ethics announced weeks later that it had referred two Mooney probes to the House Ethics Committee. The document said there was “substantial reason to believe” Mooney had accepted a free family vacation to Aruba from a direct-mail firm his campaign has paid tens of thousands of dollars to in recent years and also having congressional staffers walk his dog and take his laundry to the cleaners. There have been no new public developments since then, though, and Mooney easily won re-election last week in his dark red House seat.
OHIO U.S. SENATOR. Sen. Sherrod Brown made it clear Tuesday that he’d be seeking a fourth term in Ohio, where he’s been the only state Democrat to prevail in any partisan statewide election over the last decade. The incumbent will be a top GOP target in 2024, and a few potential candidates have already made noises about taking him on.
State Sen. Matt Dolan, who poured $10.6 million of his own money this year into an unsuccessful bid for the state’s other Senate seat, confirmed his interest recently. “If we as Republicans make it about policies, economic policies that we would enact, and what will make America strong, and if we have the right person I think we’ll have an advantage,” said Dolan, a Trump skeptic who wound up taking third with 23% in the primary. “But it’s advantage to Sherrod Brown if we are running on anything than that.”
The Columbus Dispatch’s Thomas Suddes previously wrote in a September column that Secretary of State Frank LaRose “is among those gearing up to challenge Brown.” LaRose, who won re-election last week 60-39, does not appear to have said anything publicly about his interest yet, though.
Andrew Tobias of Cleveland.com also relays that wealthy businessman Bernie Moreno and Attorney General Dave Yost are thinking about it as well. Moreno dropped out of this year’s Senate primary after spending millions of his own money, saying, “After talking to President Trump we both agreed this race has too many Trump candidates and could cost the MAGA movement a conservative seat.” Yost, for his part, claimed re-election 60-40 this month.
NBC’s Henry Gomez name-drops venture capitalist Mark Kvamme as one of the Republicans who is “either courting party insiders and donors or being mentioned as prospects.” Kvamme, Gomez says, is close to former Gov. John Kasich, who was persona non grata in the Trump-era GOP even before he endorsed Biden in 2020. The article also name-drops Rep. Warren Davidson, a hardliner who considered bids for governor and Senate this year, as a possibility.
One person we thankfully won’t have to kick around anymore, though, is former Treasurer Josh Mandel, who lost the 2022 primary to Sen.-elect J.D. Vance. “Josh is not running for Senate in 2024 and has no plans to return to politics,” a longtime Mandel aide told Gomez.
UTAH U.S. SENATOR. Incumbent Mitt Romney has not committed to seeking a second term, but there’s been talk for months about who might wage a primary bid against the only Senate Republican who voted twice to convict Trump.
Politico reported earlier this year that Attorney General Sean Reyes would “make a final decision and likely announce his intentions” that May. The announcement has yet to arrive six months later, but the Deseret News said this week that Reyes “is still actively pursuing a campaign.” Romney himself acted unintimidated when the Reyes news first surfaced, telling Politico, “[W]ere I to decide to run again, the best news I could get would be that Sean Reyes was my opponent.”
INDIANA GOVERNOR and U.S. SENATOR. Sen. Mike Braun told News 8 right after Election Day that he’d announce “likely by Dec. 1” whether he’d seek re-election in 2024 or enter the race to succeed his fellow Republican, termed-out Gov. Eric Holcomb.
Democrat Jennifer McCormick, a former Republican who was Indiana’s last elected schools chief, says she’s created an exploratory committee ahead of a possible bid to succeed termed-out Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb in 2024.
McCormick was elected state superintendent as a Republican in 2016 by unseating Democrat Glenda Ritz, who was the last Democrat to win a state-level office, but she immediately began feuding with the rest of her party over her desire to increase scrutiny over charter schools. Things only got worse as McCormick’s tenure continued, and she decided in 2018 not to seek re-election two years down the line. (Republicans initially passed a law to make her post an appointed office starting in 2024, but they moved up the timeline after her retirement announcement.)
McCormick burned what few bridges remained with GOP leaders in 2020 when she endorsed several Democratic contenders, including Holcomb foe Woody Myers. Myers even announced that he’d keep her on as superintendent, something McCormick said she’d accept because of her “outrage” over the state’s “woefully underfunded” education system, but Holcomb’s landslide win made the point moot. McCormick went on to join the Democratic Party the next year.
LOUISIANA GOVERNOR. The state GOP’s executive committee provided a very early endorsement to Attorney General Jeff Landry on Nov. 6, but while his allies hoped this stamp of approval would help the party avoid the intra-party strife that damaged it in 2019, it doesn’t appear to have worked as intended.
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, a likely Landry opponent in next October’s all-party primary to succeed termed-out Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, tweeted, “This endorsement process looks more like communist China than the Louisiana we know and love.” State Sen. Sharon Hewitt, who recently confirmed her own interest in running, piled on, “the citizens of Louisiana do not need backroom deals and political insiders telling them who should be our next governor.”
Conservative megadonor Eddie Rispone, who lost the 2019 campaign to Edwards after a costly battle against then-Rep. Ralph Abraham, successfully pushed for party leaders to support Landry in order to avoid a repeat of what happened to him. Abraham, who retired the next year, is also for Landry.
Several members of the Republican State Central Committee, though, took the smaller executive committee to task for ramming through the endorsement without a vote of the full body, and one even publicly declared, “For a party that’s been harping for two years about election integrity and honoring the will of all legitimate voters, tonight’s action by the state GOP executive committee stinks like yesterday’s diapers.” State GOP chair Louis Gurvich responded Thursday that, while he’d wanted this news to be announced after the midterms, “the media reported the endorsement as the result of a leak.”
Landry is the only prominent Republican who has announced a campaign, but plenty of others are considering. Sen. John Kennedy didn’t dismiss the idea earlier this year, and he also wouldn’t shoot the prospect down Tuesday right after winning a new six-year term. He instead merely responded to questions about the gubernatorial race by saying, “I am so happy to be re-elected to the Senate and tonight that is the only thing I have on my mind.”
Another GOP member of Congress, Rep. Garret Graves, also promised a decision after the midterms, while state Treasurer John Schroder is considering as well. Plenty of other Republicans may also take a look at running to succeed Edwards in this conservative state.
Senator Kennedy, who was re-elected with 62% of the vote last week, not only confirmed on Monday that he was giving a new campaign “serious consideration” and would be “announcing my decision soon,” he also released an internal from Torchlight Strategies showing him well ahead of all his potential rivals. The results of the four-day survey, which began one day after Kennedy’s easy victory, are below:
- Sen. John Kennedy (R): 22
- State Secretary of Transportation Shawn Wilson (D): 18
- Attorney General Jeff Landry (R): 13
- Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser (R): 7
- Sen. Bill Cassidy (R): 6
- Rep. Garret Graves (R): 5
- Attorney Hunter Lundy (I): 2
- Treasurer John Schroder (R): 1
- State Sen. Sharon Hewitt (R): 0
In the very likely event that no one takes a majority of vote in the first round in October, the top two contenders would advance to a runoff regardless of party. Torchlight showed Kennedy besting Wilson 56-32 in a one-on-one, but his release did not include matchups against anyone else.
Kennedy’s pre-general election report showed him with $13.6 million in his Senate account in mid-October, and The Advocate’s Tyler Bridges writes that “he could shift to an outside super PAC for the governor’s race.” Bridges also says that, should Kennedy be elected governor, he’d be charged with appointing a new senator rather than Edwards.
Just before Kennedy released this survey, Bridges wrote that he “is so formidable that political analysts believe” that Graves, Nungesser, Schroder, and Hewitt were among the Republicans waiting to see what he’d do before making up their own minds about a campaign.
Nungesser, who has looked like an all-but-certain candidate for years, said he’d be doing a poll in December to assess his chances and would announce his plans in early January. On Monday, the lieutenant governor responded to Kennedy’s public flirtations by saying, “I guess we will wait and see what he does.”
Schroder, though, told Bridges, “Who else runs is not really a factor in my decision to run,” and he even set Jan. 12 as the date he’d make his intentions known. Hewitt, for her part, said she’d announce what she’s doing “in the coming weeks and months.” Another Republican, state Rep. Richard Nelson, also reiterated his interest, though he didn’t lay out a timeline. “The demographic I would appeal to is in the middle, not a partisan crowd,” said Nelson.
Landry, for his part, earned the backing of the state GOP’s executive committee earlier this month in a vote that infuriated would-be opponents and even some State Central Committee members, and the state GOP on Monday made its endorsement official. Chairman Louis Gurvich showed zero interest to try and soothe hurt feelings, though, saying, “Many of the reports of this endorsement were fake news that were based on leaks and bad information … Others who are crying over this endorsement are just upset because they didn’t have the support within our party to win the endorsement for themselves.”
No notable Democrats have entered the race yet to succeed Edwards in what will be a challenging race in this red state, though a few are showing some interest. Wilson, who was the one Democrat tested in Kennedy’s poll, said that Maryland Gov.-elect Wes Moore’s victory last week gives him optimism that another Black candidate like himself could win in Louisiana.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore also publicly expressed interest over the weekend for the first time, while New Orleans City Councilwoman Helena Moreno did not address the topic when Bridges asked if she was thinking about making the race. Navy veteran Luke Mixon, who took third in Tuesday’s Senate race with 13%, also did not rule out the prospect. But the man who took second place last week, Gary Chambers, made it clear he wasn’t interested.
PHILADELPHIA MAYOR. City Councilmember Helen Gym has been talked about for years as a potential candidate to succeed termed-out Mayor Jim Kenney next year, and she hinted at her interest by telling the Philadelphia Inquirer that “the right woman” would win the May Democratic primary. Gym, who is one of the more high profile progressives in Pennsylvania politics, became the first Asian American elected to the City Council when she won a citywide seat in 2015.
Former state Sen. Vince Fumo also name-dropped state Rep. Amen Brown as a possible contender, but Brown himself doesn’t appear to have shown any public interest yet.
Philadelphia requires local elected officials to step down in order to run for mayor, and four Democrats have done just that so far: former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart and former City Council members Cherelle Parker, Derek Green, and Maria Quiñones-Sánchez. Gym, Rhynhart, Parker, and Quiñones-Sánchez would each be the first woman to lead the city. It only takes a simple plurality to win the Democratic nod.
General elections are almost always afterthoughts in this dark blue city, but a few non-Democrats are making noises about getting in. The Inquirer says that David Oh, who is the only Republican member of the City Council, is mulling the idea.
Former Lt. Gov. Mike Stack also told the paper that he could campaign as an independent, modestly saying, “If Mike Stack’s in it, I’d bet on Mike Stack.” Stack is a former Democratic office holder who developed a truly awful relationship with his boss, Gov. Tom Wolf, after they were elected in 2014 after winning separate primaries: Wolf even pulled the lieutenant governor’s security detail in 2017 over allegations that Stack and his wife verbally abused his protectors and other state employees.
Wolf, though, didn’t need to deal with him for too much longer. Four candidates, including John Fetterman, challenged Stack for renomination in 2018, and the result did not go well for the incumbent: Fetterman took first with 37%, while Stack lagged in fourth with just 17%. The Inquirer wrote in 2020 that Stack had “moved to California to try his hand at stand-up comedy and screenwriting,” and you can probably guess how well that went.
Former City Councilman Allan Domb, a real estate tycoon nicknamed the “condo king,” announced Tuesday that he was joining the packed May 16 Democratic primary to succeed termed-out Mayor Jim Kenney. Domb has self-funded past campaigns, and the Philadelphia Inquirer back in September called him the wealthiest potential contender.
Domb, like many of his opponents, has framed himself as a needed change from Kenney, who infamously responded to the shooting that wounded two police officers this Fourth of July by saying he’d “be happy when I’m not mayor.” Domb, who called for Kenney’s resignation over the summer, launched his campaign by saying the city needs “strong leadership, a champion, and someone who wants the job and never gives up on the city.”
The Inquirer’s Sean Collins Walsh describes Domb as someone who “has more than 400 properties in the city that are worth well over $400 million” and a “centrist Democrat.” Walsh explains that Domb “has championed changes to the city’s highest-in-the-nation wage tax aimed at helping low-income residents, and opposed a tax on new construction that was approved by Council in 2021.”
The May Democratic primary swelled once again on Wednesday when businessman Jeff Brown, who owns 12 locations of the ShopRite grocery store chain, announced that he’d be competing to succeed termed-out Mayor Jim Kenney.
Brown is the first notable candidate who has never held elected office, and he says he plans to self-fund some of his bid. The Philadelphia Inquirer also notes that he “has long had connections in the city’s Democratic political class,” while a PAC he’s been involved in called Philly Progress PAC took in $934,000 last year.
Brown, who started a nonprofit to provide food access to underserved neighborhoods, clashed with Kenney in 2016 when the mayor successfully pushed for a sweetened-beverage tax. However, Brown now says that he won’t prioritize trying to repeal the
2024 U.S. SENATE RACES: Politico published an article early last month where reporter Burgess Everett asked each Democratic senator up in 2024, as well as allied independents Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whether they’d be seeking re-election. Since then two vulnerable senators, Montana’s Jon Tester and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, have reiterated that they haven’t made up their minds, while Ohio’s Sherrod Brown has announced he’s in. The responses from the other incumbents to Everett are below:
- AZ-Sen: Kyrsten Sinema deflected questions by saying she was focused on re-electing homestate colleague Mark Kelly. Sinema has spent the last two years infuriating her party, and Rep. Ruben Gallego has been openly musing about launching a primary bid against her.
- CA-Sen: Dianne Feinstein, who has faced serious questions about her cognitive health all year, has not discussed her plans, though Everett says that fellow Democrats are “already eyeing the seat as essentially open.”
- CT-Sen: Chris Murphy declared he has “no plans other than to run for re-election.”
- DE-Sen: Tom Carper, who considered retiring six years ago, said, “I’m gonna listen to people in Delaware, and I’m going to listen to my wife … it’s a bit early to be deciding.”
- HI-Sen: A spokesperson for Mazie Hirono said she’s “running for re-election.”
- MA-Sen: A spokesperson for Elizabeth Warren also confirmed she would seek a third term.
- MD-Sen: Ben Cardin said, “It’s too early to make those types of decisions.”
- ME-Sen: Angus King divulged, “I’m thinking about it. And I’ll probably make a decision early next year.” He continued, “I feel great. I feel like I’m accomplishing something. So, no decision.”
- MI-Sen: Debbie Stabenow said she plans to run again.
- MN-Sen: Amy Klobuchar declared it was “very clear” she’s in.
- NJ-Sen: Robert Menendez said it was a “long time from here to 2024, but I have every intention of running again.” Weeks later, Semafor reported that the senator is again under federal investigation.
- NM-Sen: Martin Heinrich revealed he was “putting all the pieces together” to run.
- NV-Sen: Jacky Rosen unequivocally announced, “I’m definitely running.”
- NY-Sen: Kirsten Gillibrand divulged she was “really excited” to seek another term.
- PA-Sen: Bob Casey said that running was “my goal,” adding, “We try not to talk about it ’til it starts.”
- RI-Sen: Sheldon Whitehouse was in no hurry to reveal anything, saying instead, “I actually like to do those announcements as announcements. And this is not the place for that announcement.” He added to Everett, “You’re not my vector for an announcement.”
- VA-Sen: Tim Kaine remarked that, while he wouldn’t make a decision until late 2022 or early 2023, he was “vigorously fundraising, doing everything that a candidate does.”
- VT-Sen: Bernie Sanders said that it was “too early to talk about” if he’d be seeking re-election.
- WA-Sen: Maria Cantwell divulged she plans to run again but there’s “plenty of time” before 2024.
- WI-Sen: Tammy Baldwin said, “I think I’m gonna run for re-election.”
VIRGINIA STATE SENATE. The first big special election of the new election cycle is coming up fast, as Virginia officials just set Jan. 10 as the date for the race to replace Republican state Sen. Jen Kiggans, who will soon enter Congress after unseating Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria 52-48 in the redrawn 2nd District. The battle will have major implications for Democrats, who hold the Senate by a narrow 21-19 margin but could pad their majority with a win.
Three candidates have already announced plans to run. Virginia Beach Councilman Aaron Rouse, a former Virginia Tech football star who briefly played in the NFL, kicked off a bid on Monday with an endorsement from Luria. Rouse won an at-large seat on the city council in 2018, so he already represents about two-fifths of the district he’s now running for. (He also briefly challenged Republican Mayor Bobby Dyer in 2020 but dropped out, citing the coronavirus pandemic.)
Former state Rep. Cheryl Turpin, who lost to Kiggans by a narrow 50.4 to 49.5 margin in 2019, likewise has said she’ll run, which would set up a matchup with Rouse. While plans haven’t yet been announced, the two will likely face off in a so-called firehouse primary, a small-scale nominating contest run by the Democratic Party (rather than the state). The lone Republican to enter so far is businessman Kevin Adams, a Navy veteran who doesn’t appear to have run for office before.
Because the election is being held to complete the final year of Kiggans’ term, it will take place in the old version of the 7th State Senate District in Virginia Beach, an area in the state’s southeastern corner with a heavy Navy presence. Kiggans, a nurse practitioner and former Navy helicopter pilot, won her only term in the Senate in that 2019 race against Turpin for an open Republican seat. The tight result that year was very similar to the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, which saw Hillary Clinton narrowly edge out Donald Trump 46.8 to 46.5 in the district.
But while Joe Biden cruised in 2020, winning the 7th 54-44, Democratic performance dipped badly the following year, when Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe 52-48 in the governor’s race. Democrats are naturally hoping to return to Biden’s form, but this contest will very likely be another tossup.
The race to succeed Kiggans for a full term, however, should be a more one-sided affair. Redistricting not only gave the district a new number, the 22nd, but it made it considerably more Democratic, as Biden would have won 59-39. All three candidates in the special election had already announced they’d seek the 22nd when it first goes before voters in November of next year.