On the eve of Labor Day, the traditional bell marking the stretch run for candidates in this November’s elections, insider Democratic Party information suggests that Democrats will pick up at least 40 U.S. House seats in the upcoming midterms, which would give them a healthy majority, according to News-Press sources. The balance would go from 237-193 favoring the GOP now to 233-197 favoring the Democrats.
Taking control of the U.S. Senate is also a real possibility, as a swelling, massive “blue wave” tsunami is sweeping across the land.
Some say the 40 flipping number for the House is too conservative, that it could be 60 or higher. Last year, when the Democrats saw a big wave coming their way in Virginia state delegate race, they cautiously predicted winning an additional 10 seats, but it turned out to be 15.
Some polls are now showing that up to seven percent of usual Republican voters are staying home in this election, which could boost the Dem results even further. Incumbent Sen. Tim Kaine is considered on the brink of a blowout in his re-election effort against Prince William County’s Cory Stewart.
Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, which borders on Falls Church to cover McLean all the way out to Loudoun County, is now considered by Democrats the “most winnable district in the whole U.S.,” according to sources. State Sen. Jennifer Wexton is the Democrat running there against the Republicans’ seasoned incumbent Barbara Comstock.
The second (Democrat challenger Elaine Luria against Republican incumbent Scott Taylor) and seventh (Democrat Abigail Spanberger running against Republican incumbent Dave Brat) districts are considered the next most likely candidates to flip. In the seventh district race, Spanberger, a CIA agent, has accused a super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, backing Brat with obtaining her entire federal security clearance application to use for political purposes. The CLF has defended its action, and legal actions may ensue.
Then chances are good that the sixth (with Republican Bob Goodlatte retiring) and fifth (with Republican Tom Garrett having resigned) districts could also flip. In the sixth, Democrat Jennifer Lewis is running against the GOP’s Ben Cline, and in the fifth, Democrat Leslie Cockburn is running against Republican Denver Riggleman.
With the current balance in Virginia standing at seven Republicans and four Democrats, credible chances for the flipping of five districts could reverse the numbers to nine Democratic and two Republican districts.
(Currently, there are four Democratic members of the U.S. congressional delegation from Virginia, Reps. Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly, Donald McEachin and Bobby Scott. All are expected to win handily this November.)
Meanwhile, Virginia Democrats yesterday unveiled their plan for an even-handed approach to redistricting, as mandated by the Virginia Supreme Court. But it is expected that Republicans, who drew the district lines deemed an unconstitutional violation of civil rights, would stall out the efforts to correct their flawed product even at the expense of facing a contempt of court.
Another indeterminate factor in the November election is the status of Russian efforts at hacking into voting systems. Virginia is OK because it was mandated over a year ago that all voting machines must be optical scanners that include a “paper trail” backup. Other states remain on solely digital online platforms, like Georgia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and Republicans have been blocking efforts to correct that.
While campaigning has been non-stop since Jan. 21, 2017, the stretch run for this November’s election will be launched with Democratic campaign events in Falls Church, beginning with the annual Labor Day Ice Cream Social hosted by the Falls Church City Democratic Committee at 2 p.m. It will be a free event held in the pavilion at Cherry Hill Park and will feature former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (who may be planning to launch a run for the presidency soon) and U.S. Rep. Don Beyer.
Later in the day Monday will be the annual Labor Day Jim Scott Memorial Barbecue in the backyard of Nancy Scott’s home at 2827 Maple Lane in Merrifield beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Other area events include a Democratic chili cookout in Arlington’s Lyons Park Community Center that will feature McAuliffe and Adam Schiff, Democratic ranking member of the House Select Intelligence Committee, on Monday, and a Northern Virginia Labor Federation cookout starting at noon on Sunday, Sept. 2, in Alexandria.