Republicans Defeat Democrats, Winning Both Special Elections in Virginia Sweep

Republicans scored a massive victory in recently held Virginia elections, returning two GOP politicians to the local legislature following the defeat of the Democratic incumbents. The state is widely believed to be a critical battleground state in this year’s election that could vote either way.

Purple battleground

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While it has leaned Democrat in recent elections, Virginia is seen as a vital battleground state in the lead-up to the 2024 election, with a GOP win in the 2021 gubernatorial election and political commentators describing it as a competitive purple state.

Wide margin

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Tammy Mulchi beat her Democrat opponent Tina Wyatt Younger by 63.9 percent to 26.1 percent, winning the 9th state Senate District in Southside. Cardinal News reported that she succeeds state Senator Frank Ruff, who is retiring following a cancer diagnosis.

Eager to start

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“In Richmond, I am ready to get to work for our rural communities, family farmers, and southern Virginia,” Mulchi stated. “I know I have big shoes to fill with Sen. Ruff retiring, but I am ready to get to work.”

Wider margin

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In the Southside’s 48th House District, Eric Phillips defeated Melody Cartwright with 70.8 percent of the vote compared to Cartwright’s 29.2 percent. The vote was triggered by Republican Les Adam’s resignation, who seeks a judgeship in Danville.

Praises Youngkin

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“With Democrats in control of the General Assembly, Republicans need a fighter who will stand up for our way of life and push forward Gov. [Glenn] Youngkin’s conservative agenda,” Phillips said.

Analyst unsurprised

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“The sweep of these special elections on Tuesday was not a surprise,” David Richards, a political analyst and chair of the University of Lynchburg’s political science program, told Cardinal News.

Red districts

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“Both of these districts lean so heavily toward the GOP, but the House of Delegates and Senate retain their slight Democratic majorities regardless. I am not even sure that these elections tell us much about the way 2024 will go since they were quick elections with a low turnout in majority-Republican districts,” Richards said.

It was a given

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Scott Lucas, an international politics professor at University College Dublin, told Newsweek that the Virginia results do not “mean that much at a national level. Both of the seats were solid Republican seats before they went to special elections,” he said.

What could have been

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“If the Republicans had lost them, then that would have been a bit of a shocker because that would be an upset and it would portend that Virginia, at the local level, might be swinging very much to the Democrats ahead of the 2024 elections.”

GOP numbers rising

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The results could galvanize the GOP ahead of the upcoming presidential election. In both the votes, the Republican’s margin of victory was higher than previous results in those districts in 2020.

Solid Democrat victory in 2020

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In the previous 2020 election, President Biden won the state with 54.4 percent of the vote to Trump’s 44.2 percent.

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