Diana Ho, Contributing Author
Virginia remains a majority Blue state after the incumbent Democratic representatives won re-election.
The incumbent Democrats who won re-election were Abigail Spanberger, Donald McEachin, Bobby Scott, Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly and Jennifer Wexton Virginia Public Access Project. Incumbent Rep. Elaine Luria of the 2nd Circuit lost her seat to Republican challenger Jen Kiggans.
Neither the Republican nor the Democratic party has reached 218 members as of Nov. 15 to claim a majority in the House of Representatives Associated Press. Democrats have controlled the Senate since November 13.
Given the state of the economy and President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings, there should have been a “red wave” in Congress, according to political science professor Alex Keena.
“But it didn’t happen. That says a lot about how poorly the Republican Party brand is resonating with voters,” Keena said.
There’s no clear answer as to why swing states have turned against Republicans despite dissatisfaction with Biden, but there could be a link to candidates linked to former President Donald Trump, abortion rights or young voters, Keena said.
Battleground states in the midterm elections are traditional swing states like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all of which voted for Biden in the 2020 presidential election, according to the National Archives website.
Trump endorsed Virginia Republican nominee Yesli Vega. Trump said Vega is a “strong Republican voice.” social media platform.
MP Abigail Spanberger reportedly won against Vega with a majority of 52.11% VPAP.
As of 8 p.m., more votes were counted for Vega in the 7th congressional district, according to VPAP. After 98% of the votes were reported around 10 p.m. on Tuesday evening, they showed that more people had voted for Spanberger.
Spanberger declared victory at around 10:30 p.m. during their election observation party prior to confirmation by VPAP.
“Thanks to your dedication and your hard work, we won this race,” said Spanberger in her speech.
In her speech, Spanberger thanked Vega as an opponent. Vega conceded in a tweet on November 9, stating that she congratulated Congresswoman Spanberger on a “hard-fought” victory.
“As a supervisor, I look forward to working with Abigail in the future,” said Vega.
Spanberger’s win in a Republican district bodes well for Democrats, Keena said.
“But it probably says more about problems with the Republican Party than the Democrats,” Keena said. “The Republican Party should have been more competitive in seats like the 7th Circuit.”
VCU College Republican Chairman William Faber said his organization supports new Republican nominees Vega, Benjamin, Kiggans, as well as all incumbent Republican representatives from Virginia.
Faber said VCU collegiate Republicans, along with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, went to the 7th Circuit twice to campaign for Vega.
“We absolutely support them [Vega]. This race was definitely a lot closer than we expected,” said Faber. “And then Jen Kiggans. Of course we helped her campaign a lot this year. And we tried flipping that seat, which we did. So that was definitely a big thing for our club to be a part of.”
Faber said he was surprised to hear Benjamin hadn’t requested help from college Republicans at VCU.
“It proves that you can’t get cocky in this race, because the red wave that everyone thought was going to happen isn’t happening at the moment,” said Faber.
Though Spanberger is an incumbent Democrat, the representative is a former law enforcement and CIA official who she says prioritizes national defense website. Faber said he thinks she is moderate.
“She did a lot of Republican things that people didn’t expect. So I thought both candidates [Spanberger and McEachin] were moderate and I had no real preference as to whether they won or lost,” said Faber.
Keena explained that he expects Spanberger to be a pragmatist and legislate no matter which party is in power. If there is a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, Keena says Spanberger will likely be a moderating voice for the faction.
“If the Republicans win, it’s going to be very close, and they’re probably going to have to get moderate Democrats like Spanberger to pass legislation,” Keena said.
The Commonwealth Times has reached out to the VCU’s Young Democrats on three occasions and, as of the time of this writing, has received no response for comment on the midterm election results.