Commentary, Local Commentary, National Commentary

Delegate Marcus Simon’s Richmond Report

Virginians now celebrate three Holidays in November. Election Day (a State Holiday since 2021), Veterans Day, and next week, Thanksgiving. 

First, a couple of quick takeaways from last week’s election.

The modern electorate is nearly impossible to poll accurately, so it’s time we all spent less energy focusing on data models and polling averages and more time thinking about the issues. 

Young people showed up and voted in record numbers across Virginia and the Country. Many of them are what I call “unpollable” because they don’t have landlines and don’t pick up the phone for unknown numbers. As any parent of young people can tell you, sometimes they don’t even pick up for mom & dad or even return our texts. 

We also learned that voters are a lot smarter than some pundits give them credit for. They understand that inflation is a global phenomenon, they know when politicians are trying to divide them with provocative misleading allegations about social issues, and they know that an individual’s right to control their own body is now a legislative issue that they care deeply about.

As a result, the “red wave” election many expected never materialized. Democrats will continue to hold a majority in the US Senate and may even increase it. 

Locally, Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly, Abigail Spanberger, and Jennifer Wexton all won re-election. 

Across the country, the biggest wins may actually be at the state-level. Democrats held every state chamber they had, flipped the Michigan state legislature blue, plus the Minnesota Senate and Pennsylvania House. A series of state ballot measures aimed at banning abortion failed and ones that aimed to protect abortion access were successful. 

And now let’s talk about the losers.

They usually reveal themselves by their finger pointing over whose fault it was. 

That’s how you know the biggest losers of the 2022 Election are both Governor Youngkin, and former President Trump. Our Governor spent the last ten months campaigning across the country for extremist candidates, the vast majority of whom lost their elections. 

In all three competitive congressional races here in Virginia, Democrats greatly increased their margins over 2021 results. Loudoun County, for instance, increased its Democratic performance fifty percent, going from D+10 to D+15.  We saw similar gains for Democrats in Prince William and Virginia Beach.

Clearly with the benefit of a year of seeing the Governor in action, suburban voters in particular are disappointed in what they’ve seen. Voters who thought they were getting a nice guy in a goofy vest are abandoning GOP candidates and the Governor in droves because of his controversial policies to ban books, threaten our democracy by questioning the integrity of our elections, reduce abortion access, and use buzz words like “CRT” to weaken our education system or divisive tip-lines to harass our teachers. 

In the aftermath of their disappointing showing, some Virginia Republicans, including the Lieutenant Governor, have started distancing themselves from Trump, citing their losses as evidence that his time has passed and that perhaps his MAGA mantra isn’t such a winning strategy. Meanwhile, former President Trump has pushed back on Virginia’s statewide politicians on Truth Social. 

You’ll forgive me if I smell like fresh popcorn next time you see me. 

Veterans Day

I was so pleased to be able to join members of the Falls Church City Council and community leaders at a special ceremony on Veteran’s Day to recognize our military residents in the Little City. We also revealed a new plaque honoring high school graduates who went on to serve their Country abroad and lost their lives in the process.

Thank you, Veterans, and all who currently serve in the armed forces. You are an important and integral part of our greater Falls Church Community, and it is my great honor to serve you in the Virginia House of Delegates. 

Thanksgiving

Speaking of giving thanks, we have a lot of reasons to feel gratitude here in Greater Falls Church. This year I am particularly grateful for a renewed focus on the importance of state legislatures. Whether they meant to or not, the Supreme Court has motivated a new generation of voters to protect abortion access, increase gun violence prevention, expand voting rights, and enact climate change initiatives at the state and local level.  

I am thankful to everyone who participated in our great Democracy, thankful that it seems to be resilient and lasting, and thankful to represent all of you in the House of Delegates.