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Virginia

STATE HOUSE
STATE SENATE
CHAMBER MAKEUP
Democrats: 51
Republicans: 49
CHAMBER MAKEUP
Democrats: 21
Republicans: 19

Current state:

Overview

The States Project is making sure that we elevate the issues that we need to be elevating around abortion and around issues making sure we protect our future democracy and voting rights.”
Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Designee Don Scott, HD-80

In 2023 we flipped the Virginia House of Delegates and defended the State Senate, making history in the states once again! We powered $4.7 million in Virginia — more than double what any other national group did — in districts our research showed could determine control of each chamber.

From early in the cycle, it was clear that the rightwing was banking on Governor Youngkin’s popularity to drive state legislative results. Not only did Youngkin raise nearly $19 million for these races, his name and face were often prominently featured on the ads and mailers of rightwing candidates.

Ultimately, we knew candidates in the districts where we invested would need to outperform the previous cycle’s Democratic candidate for governor for the first time in 20 years in order to win both chambers. They did, and candidates running in districts that were part of our gold-standard Core Electoral Program, overperformed Terry McAuliffe’s results in his race for governor by 2 percentage points.

With majorities in both chambers, lawmakers in Virginia’s majorities can ensure harmful, rightwing policies don’t reach Youngkin’s desk, including dangerous and extreme abortion bans that he has advocated for. In fact, just two weeks after Election Day, these lawmakers filed a resolution to amend the state constitution to protect abortion access—a power that was only possible because they won both chambers.

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to defend democracy in states like Virginia now!

2023

  • We successfully defended the Senate majority and flipped two seats to build a new majority in the House of Delegates! This performance in Virginia state legislative races was historic — it was the first time both chambers were lost under a sitting Virginia governor in more than 50 years,
  • Every potential tipping point seat identified and funded by The States Project was crucial in powering new one-seat majorities in both chambers.

2021

  • While the rightwing regained control of the House of Delegates, our work in the districts with the closest margins meant that if 400 votes across three districts had gone the other way, we would have held the House majority.
  • Three of the candidates we supported won their seats.
  • Five candidates we supported lost by margins of 5 percent or less.

Special Election

In early 2021, our Giving Circles community powered a victory in a special election in HD-2. With the election held just weeks after a contentious 2020 election season, we saw how tight this seat could be due to low turnout. The candidate we supported won their seat by 263 votes, just 3 percent of the vote.

In the general election in November, that same candidate was able to safely hold their seat by a margin of more than 3,800 votes — proving the value of providing support when it matters most.

2019

In 2019, The States Project helped flip the House of Delegates, building a Democratic trifecta in the state for the first time since 1993! Our electoral effort helped to create a new majority of Virginia lawmakers who passed policy after policy to improve lives.

  • 11 candidates we supported won their seats, including three challengers who flipped seats to shift the balance of power in the state.
  • Four of the five top door knockers in Virginia participated in The States Project Door Knocking Challenge. In total, all of our participants knocked on over 30,000 doors. On average, candidates in the challenge knocked on 2,000 more doors than candidates who weren’t!
  • We supported the eight incumbents we had supported in 2017 who were running for re-election. Half of these races ended up being close (within 10 percent), and with our support, those incumbents performed as well as they had in 2017 despite a tougher electorate.

2017

In The States Projects’ earliest work in state legislative races, we helped flip enough seats in the House of Delegates to come within one seat of ending rightwing control in the chamber.