Virginia Democrats are projected to win control of both of the state’s Legislature bodies, according to Decision Desk HQ, dealing a major blow to Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s agenda for the remainder of his term.
Democrats won control of the House of Delegates and maintained their grip on the state Senate. Tuesday’s election results mark a reversal from two years ago, when Youngkin was elected governor and Republicans won control of the House of Delegates.
Various Democratic figures jumped into the campaign. President Biden issued endorsements last week, and former President Obama recorded robocalls in various districts. Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) also made the trip to Virginia to campaign alongside a number of candidates.
Democrats in competitive races repeatedly hammered their GOP counterparts as “MAGA extremists” and warned that Republicans would move to pass an abortion ban in the state. The Democratic victory makes it highly unlikely that Youngkin’s endorsed ban on abortions after 15 weeks of gestation — with exceptions — will pass through.
But Tuesday’s wins do not mean smooth sailing for the Democrats’ policy agenda. Democrats in the state Legislature will likely clash with Youngkin, who could block a number of initiatives from being passed.
Significantly, however, national Democrats will see their victory in the commonwealth as an affirmation that their messaging on abortion is a winning strategy heading into 2024, where Biden appears on shaky ground as he looks set for a rematch against former President Trump.