The National Situation
It's hard to be optimistic. In the aftermath of November, we're gazing into the abyss - an abyss that Tweets back at us, often inaccurately and rarely coherently, with the recklessness of a madman. In the face of a new administration marked by oligarchs, ideologues, and an expanding web of conflicts of interest, we've determined to not only resist, but also mount an offense. And while much of the country awaits anxiously (and prepares diligently) for the 2018 cycle, New Jersey and Virginia will be the battlegrounds in 2017.
The Situation in Virginia
In 2017, Virginia can and should be the center of national political activity. The citizens of the Commonwealth will elect a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General. All 100 seats in our lower legislative body, the House of Delegates, will also be up for election. Yet the existence of these elections alone is not what intrigues us. It's also not the source of the tremendous opportunity we face.
In 2015, we held elections for all 100 House of Delegates seats. Of the 100, 71 of these seats were uncontested. Every incumbent in the general election won. Turnout was abysmal. As it stands, Democrats hold 34 of these House of Delegates seats - one vote away from no longer sustaining our Governor's vetoes.
We asked ourselves: how can this be? We have a Democratic Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General. We have two Democratic U.S. Senators. Hillary Clinton won Virginia by nearly 6 points, and she also won several House of Delegates districts currently represented by Republicans. A precinct-by-precinct approach to the data suggests the potential for monumental Democratic gains in 2017.
The spreadsheet below is publicly accessible here.
Activate Virginia was established to support Democratic candidates in the 2017 Virginia elections. We're committed to educating, organizing, and mobilizing the citizenry of the Commonwealth, while simultaneously helping candidates secure the resources necessary to win.