Democrats will control Virginia government for the first time in more than two decades

Democrats won majorities in Virginia's House and Senate, giving the party full control of the state's government for the first time in more than two decades.

Posted: Nov 6, 2019 11:40 AM
Updated: Nov 6, 2019 11:40 AM

Democrats will win majorities in Virginia's House and Senate on Tuesday, CNN projects, giving the party full control of the state's government for the first time in more than two decades.

The victories put Gov. Ralph Northam and Democrats in the Legislature in position to pursue a progressive agenda -- including gun control measures, which majority Republicans had blocked, and a higher minimum wage.

With the "trifecta" of the House, Senate and governor's office, Democrats will also control the redistricting process after the 2020 census, drawing the new maps for congressional and state legislative districts.

The result on Tuesday night was a continuation of the years-long collapse of the GOP in what until recently had been a swing state. Virginia voted for George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election and elected Republican Bob McDonnell governor in 2009, but the state has backed Democratic presidential and gubernatorial candidates since those elections.

The victories completed a Democratic comeback in the state Legislature that began in 2017, when Democrats made major gains in the Legislature, largely through suburban districts, and Northam won handily in an early sign of backlash over Donald Trump's presidency.

That election left the GOP with a 51-49 House majority and a 21-19 advantage in the Senate, and Democrats immediately began targeting legislative seats in hopes of winning control this year.

Northam said Wednesday those recent wins in the state contributed to the Democrats' victories on Tuesday.

"What's going on in Washington right now, no doubt, it's a factor. And then, you know the gun violence issue in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We had a tremendous tragedy back in May," he told CNN's John Berman on "New Day" referencing the mass shooting in Virginia Beach in May that left 12 people dead. "I think they're very pleased with the progress that we as Democrats have made over the last couple of years and they really want us to continue working on that progress."

Another factor, he said, is House Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry into Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

"This President has been an embarrassment to this country," he said. "And sold ourselves to other countries, our allies. I mean it's just one thing after another and I think it's catching up with him. Certainly was a factor."

Democratic Sen. Dick Saslaw, a veteran lawmaker, strode to the podium at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Richmond on Tuesday night, telling the packed ballroom, "Thomas Jefferson told me there'd be nights like this."

Many Democrats attributed Tuesday night's energy to a main source: Trump.

"The temporary occupant of the White House and with his tweets, that made a difference," said Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, the current Democratic House leader and the person poised to become the first female speaker of the House. "That energized the base."

Republicans conceded Trump's influence loomed large as well. Chris Jankowski, a GOP strategist advising candidates in several competitive districts, said that Trump fatigue and concerns about gun violence played a big role in Democrats carrying the day.

"Trump and guns were the difference," Jankowski said.

Democrats were also not afraid to link the results in Virginia to the next big race on the calendar, arguing that the rejection of Trump and his policies here portend trouble for Republicans across the country in 2020.

"Donald Trump is too much," said Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. "It's not really leadership, it's just the shenanigans and the corruption. We're done with it. And that's why you see a blue wave tonight, one that will continue right into next election."

The new base of power in Richmond will certainly lead to a whole host of issues in Virginia getting a second look. Progressive issues like the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, a boost to the state's minimum wage, the expansion of reproductive rights and tighter gun control laws were all promises made by Democratic leaders Tuesday night.

But Republicans were already warning with this newfound power, Democrats could fundamentally re-shape Virginia in way that many voters might not expect. And they promised to not go down without a fight.

"We will fight that agenda at every turn, but with unchecked control of both Houses and a governor still desperately seeking rehabilitation, we will have our work cut out for us," said Del. Todd Gilbert, the current House majority leader. "One thing is for certain, Democrats will completely own the results of the next two years."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 698692

Reported Deaths: 13148
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion953091706
Lake50868931
Allen38607670
Hamilton34028404
St. Joseph33404537
Elkhart26868431
Vanderburgh21948393
Tippecanoe21483212
Johnson17346371
Porter17059297
Hendricks16638309
Clark12600190
Madison12239335
Vigo12109243
Monroe11253166
LaPorte10639204
Delaware10251183
Howard9572211
Kosciusko9009112
Hancock7866139
Bartholomew7807153
Warrick7660155
Floyd7509175
Wayne6849196
Grant6732167
Boone648199
Morgan6341137
Dubois6054117
Marshall5720108
Cass5658102
Dearborn565275
Henry5545100
Noble534983
Jackson489869
Shelby474495
Lawrence4304118
Gibson425788
Harrison425370
Montgomery414686
Clinton413953
DeKalb404183
Huntington373180
Whitley372639
Miami369965
Knox363889
Steuben359657
Putnam350760
Wabash344977
Jasper342246
Adams336852
Ripley332668
Jefferson306779
White306054
Daviess288199
Wells283680
Decatur278092
Fayette276762
Greene268785
Posey267533
Scott258753
Clay250944
LaGrange249670
Randolph233679
Washington228929
Spencer227231
Jennings224347
Fountain207245
Sullivan207241
Starke199452
Owen191056
Fulton189139
Jay184829
Carroll184520
Perry178536
Orange175852
Rush169424
Vermillion165543
Franklin164835
Tipton160743
Parke143516
Blackford132130
Pike129634
Pulaski112445
Newton102434
Brown98940
Crawford96814
Benton94913
Martin82115
Warren78715
Switzerland7688
Union69510
Ohio55411
Unassigned0405

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1039455

Reported Deaths: 18827
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1205361345
Cuyahoga1051802040
Hamilton774991164
Montgomery49566984
Summit44613904
Lucas39235757
Butler37466566
Stark31150890
Lorain23831467
Warren23725291
Mahoning20653581
Lake19760360
Clermont19325226
Delaware17811130
Licking15996205
Fairfield15520195
Trumbull15412458
Medina14693255
Greene14510233
Clark13455287
Wood12575182
Portage12183193
Allen11225229
Richland10924197
Miami10470211
Muskingum8653127
Columbiana8482225
Wayne8463209
Pickaway8394120
Tuscarawas8317239
Marion8302135
Erie7434153
Ross6650145
Hancock6608123
Geauga6462146
Ashtabula6374163
Scioto625699
Belmont5523158
Union551747
Lawrence5439102
Huron5237112
Darke5229121
Jefferson5223147
Sandusky5096118
Seneca5050118
Washington5031107
Athens494854
Auglaize470684
Mercer467984
Shelby453489
Knox4339108
Madison417957
Putnam417698
Ashland409186
Fulton402565
Defiance396396
Brown383955
Crawford3827100
Logan370076
Preble368295
Clinton357459
Ottawa352278
Highland345058
Williams318274
Champaign317355
Jackson305051
Guernsey303448
Perry286949
Fayette276348
Morrow272639
Henry261866
Hardin261163
Coshocton256057
Holmes251799
Van Wert237562
Gallia232146
Pike231031
Adams226251
Wyandot224553
Hocking207057
Carroll187846
Paulding167638
Meigs140938
Noble131837
Monroe128541
Morgan105822
Harrison104836
Vinton81013
Unassigned01
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 58°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 59°
Huntington
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 54°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 58°
Lima
Mostly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 55°
Rain showers taper off throughout Sunday evening. Temperatures overnight will drop into the mid to low 40s. Monday, expect more clouds in the morning, with a littler clearer sky in the afternoon. Isolated rain showers possible on Monday. Highs around 60 on Monday.
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