Notes on the State of Virginia

It’s always an election year in Virginia. Lucky us.

Virginia is one of a very few states that doesn’t hold its state-level elections–for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general, as well as for the state senate and House of Delegates–on the same years as presidential and congressional elections. Combine this with the fact that Virginia mirrors the electoral profile of the rest of the country–highly Democratic, densely populated urban centers, balanced by a heavily Republican rural hinterland–and Virginia often serves as a bellwether for how the political mood of the country is changing in the first year of a new administration.

You can see how Democrats might be pretty excited about their sweep in this November’s Virginia elections. But the story is a bit more complex and interesting than just a backlash against President Trump and the Republican Party. For example, the first big lesson we can take from this year’s vote is actually about last year’s vote.

1. Hillary Clinton was a uniquely uninspiring Democratic candidate.

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