Democrats have won majorities in both the Virginia state Senate and House of Delegates. Republicans entered the night with narrow margins in both chambers, but Democrats flipped at least two seats in the Senate and at least five in the House of Delegates to take control of the state’s legislature.
The race for control
Other candidates called/leading*
< 10% reporting
House of Delegates
*Third party or total write-in
Because Virginia has a Democratic governor, Democrats will have full control of Virginia’s government for the first time in 26 years. This gives the party nearly unfettered power to redraw state legislative and congressional districts, setting the course for Virginia politics for the next decade.
Virginia’s legislative elections drew high interest this year, with a flood of donations and a surge in absentee voting. Democratic candidates ran all but four of 40 state Senate districts and all but eight of 100 House districts. On the other hand, the GOP had candidates in just 25 state Senate districts and 72 House districts.
So far 823,694 Democratic votes, 860,993 Republican votes and 55,187 votes for other candidates have been counted statewide for all contested House of Delegates races. We estimate this is more than three-quarters of expected turnout.
Josh Cole (D) lost a race for this seat two years ago, in a squeaker to now-Del. Robert M. Thomas Jr. (R). Thomas lost the GOP nomination this year to Paul Milde (R), who made an issue of the delegate’s vote to expand Medicaid.
Del. Tim Hugo (R) is a member of the GOP leadership and the last Republican House member in Northern Virginia. Dan Helmer (D) has been running on gun control, attracting help and money from former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and other outside groups.
House Speaker Kirk Cox (R) must compete on a new map that swung from heavily favoring Republicans to tilting slightly blue. The symbolic value of the race has helped Sheila Bynum-Coleman (D) raise enormous sums and help from national Democrats.
This a rematch from 2017, when Del. David Yancey (R) and Shelly Simonds (D) tied and the race was decided by a random drawing live on national television.
Correction (Nov. 7): A previous version of this page listed the total votes cast for Democratic and Republican candidates, but mislabeled the figures as statewide totals. Only votes cast in contested races were included.
By Jason Bernert, Lenny Bronner, Madison Dong, Simon Glenn-Gregg, Jason Holt, Isabelle Lavandero, Erik Reyna, Ashlyn Still and Susan Tyler
Additional contributions from Laura Vozzella and Gregory S. Schneider
Sources: AP, Virginia Department of Elections
For the Virginia general election in 2019, The Washington Post has developed a model that estimates turnout for each state House and state Senate district before voting begins, then updates these estimates throughout the night as precincts report.
Previously, the best way for us to estimate votes remaining was to use the fraction of precincts that have reported their results, usually expressed like this: “50 out of 1,750 precincts reporting.” However, depending on early voting and the distribution of votes between precincts, this “precincts reporting” metric can be a misleading estimate of how many votes are actually left to be counted.
The foundation of our model is that past turnout predicts future turnout. We collected data from previous elections that most closely resembled this one and used these to form our base estimates for turnout in each state House and state Senate district. But a novel feature of our model is that it should respond to precincts that have already reported and update its estimates based on this new information. This is intuitive, as the same factors that might drive increased turnout in one precinct would likely drive increased turnout in other precincts within the same district. These kinds of factors might also suggest increased turnout across the entire election.