Two obvious takeaways for area voters are that Virginia became a bit bluer and Maryland maintained the status quo. But a deeper look shows that both those results were driven by the electoral oomph of middle-class and wealthy suburban voters. Two of the three seats that Democrats flipped in Virginia can be largely attributed to voters in middle-class neighborhoods, with help from those in wealthy areas who didn’t support Republican candidates the way they had in previous election cycles. In the third, the reverse is true: Wealthy voters carried the candidate with an assist from the middle class.

Number of Democratic and Republican voters in House races

Democrats had much higher turnout in both states than in the 2014 midterms while Republican turnout was only slightly higher in Virginia and lower in Maryland.

VIRGINIA

2,000,000

1,642,387

1,500,000

1,393,780

1,000,000

500,000

0

2012

2016

2014

2018

MIDTERMS

MIDTERMS

MARYLAND

2,000,000

1,369,233

1,500,000

1,000,000

698,802

500,000

0

2012

2016

2014

2018

MIDTERMS

MIDTERMS

Number of Democratic and Republican voters in House races

Democrats had much higher turnout in both states than in the 2014 midterms while Republican turnout was only slightly higher in Virginia and lower in Maryland.

VIRGINIA

2,000,000

1,642,387

1,500,000

1,393,780

1,000,000

500,000

0

2012

2016

2014

2018

MIDTERMS

MIDTERMS

MARYLAND

2,000,000

1,369,233

1,500,000

1,000,000

698,802

500,000

0

2012

2016

2014

2018

MIDTERMS

MIDTERMS

Number of Democratic and Republican voters in House races

Democrats had much higher turnout in both states than in the 2014 midterms while Republican turnout was only slightly higher in Virginia and lower in Maryland.

VIRGINIA

2,000,000

1,642,387

1,500,000

1,393,780

1,000,000

500,000

0

2012

2016

2014

2018

MIDTERMS

MIDTERMS

MARYLAND

2,000,000

1,500,000

1,369,233

1,000,000

698,802

500,000

0

2012

2016

2014

2018

MIDTERMS

MIDTERMS

Number of Democratic and Republican voters in House races

Democrats had much higher turnout in both states than in the 2014 midterms while Republican turnout was only slightly higher in Virginia and lower in Maryland.

VIRGINIA

MARYLAND

2,000,000

1,642,387

1,500,000

1,393,780

1,369,233

1,000,000

698,802

500,000

0

2014

2018

2012

2016

2012

2016

2014

2018

MIDTERMS

MIDTERMS

MIDTERMS

MIDTERMS

House of Representatives total

vote margin, by precinct

The size of the circle indicates

the margin of victory

in number of votes.

1

6

7

8

2

Baltimore

7

3

10

1

4

11

5

8

5

1

7

6

1

Charlottesville

2

5

Richmond

2

Lynchburg

3

9

4

3

Norfolk

2

40 MILES

Note: D.C. results not shown

House of Representatives

total vote margin

1

6

7

8

2

Baltimore

7

Winchester

3

By precinct

10

1

4

11

The size of the circle indicates the

margin of victory in number of votes.

5

8

5

1

7

1

6

Charlottesville

2

5

Richmond

2

Lynchburg

3

9

4

3

Norfolk

2

40 MILES

Note: D.C. results not shown

House of Representatives

total vote margin

1

7

6

8

2

Baltimore

7

By precinct

Winchester

Annapolis

2

3

10

The size of the circle indicates the

margin of victory in number of votes.

1

4

11

5

8

5

Democrat

6

1

7

1

Republican

Charlottesville

2

5

Richmond

Lynchburg

2

Roanoke

9

4

3

Norfolk

2

40 MILES

Note: D.C. results not shown

House of Representatives

total vote margin

1

7

6

8

2

By precinct

Baltimore

7

Winchester

Annapolis

2

The size of the circle indicates the

margin of victory in number of votes.

3

10

1

D.C.

4

11

5

8

Democrat

Harrisonburg

Ocean

City

5

Republican

6

1

7

1

Roanoke

Charlottesville

40 MILES

Blacksburg

Richmond

2

5

Lynchburg

2

9

4

3

Norfolk

2

Note: D.C. results not shown

House of Representatives

total vote margin

Hagerstown

Cumberland

1

7

6

8

2

Frederick

Frederick

By precinct

Baltimore

7

Democrat

Winchester

2

Germantown

3

1,500

10

20

500

Annapolis

1

Republican

D.C.

4

11

5

8

Note: D.C. results not shown

Waldorf

Cambridge

5

Harrisonburg

Ocean

City

Salisbury

Fredericksburg

6

1

7

1

FLIP

Charlottesville

Chincoteague

2

Richmond

5

Lynchburg

2

Roanoke

Blacksburg

Petersburg

Newport

News

9

Virginia

Beach

4

3

Norfolk

2

20 MILES

Bristol

Martinsville

Danville

Meanwhile, in Maryland, Republican voters in more far-flung areas couldn’t overcome the pockets of blue that make up the majority of votes in their gerrymandered districts. Seven of the eight districts remained Democratic, one remained Republican, and popular Republican governor Larry Hogan was easily reelected. (On Wednesday, federal judges ruled that Maryland will have to redraw its map before 2020.) The circles on this map show U.S. House results by precinct, and the bubbles are sized based on the margin of victory for the Democrat or Republican in each precinct. Because it is so precise, precinct-level data can provide more insight into voting patterns.

The districts that flipped

Virginia District 10

Candidate

Votes

Pct.

Jennifer Wexton (D)

206,089

56.2%

Barbara Comstock (R)

160,529

43.8%

Circles are scaled by

vote margin, per precinct

Winchester

Leesburg

McLean

Chantilly

Haymarket

20 MILES

Clifton

Candidate

Votes

Pct.

Jennifer Wexton (D)

206,089

56.2%

Barbara Comstock (R)

160,529

43.8%

Circles are scaled by

vote margin, per precinct

Lovettsville

Winchester

Leesburg

Boyce

Sterling

Middleburg

McLean

Chantilly

Haymarket

10 MILES

Clifton

Candidate

Votes

Pct.

Jennifer Wexton (D)

206,089

56.2%

Barbara Comstock (R)

160,529

43.8%

Circles are scaled by

vote margin, per precinct

Lovettsville

Winchester

Purcellville

Leesburg

Boyce

Great

Falls

Sterling

Middleburg

McLean

Chantilly

10 MILES

Haymarket

Clifton

Voters said President Trump was the biggest factor influencing their votes, which was bad but not unexpected news for Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock. The District includes wealthy areas such as Loudoun County where the president is deeply unpopular. Comstock had tried to distance herself from Trump and some of his policies, but state Sen. Jennifer T. Wexton (D) took an even larger share of the votes in those wealthy neighborhoods than Hillary Clinton did in 2016, winning by 12 percentage points. Middle-class precincts supported Comstock, who won the district by nearly six points in 2016, but by a smaller margin than they’d given Trump two years ago. It was not nearly enough to overcome Wexton’s advantage in wealthy areas.

Middle-income precints

High-income precincts

VOTED MORE

Dem.

Rep.

YEAR

2014

2016

2018

30%

20%

10%

10%

20%

VOTE MARGIN

Percentage of vote by precinct

REP.

DEM.

80%

60

80%

50%

60

Winchester

Leesburg

McLean

Chantilly

20 MILES

Haymarket

Clifton

VOTED MORE

Middle-income precints

Dem.

Rep.

High-income precincts

YEAR

2014

2016

2018

30%

20%

10%

10%

20%

VOTE

MARGIN

Lovettsville

Winchester

Leesburg

Boyce

Sterling

Middleburg

McLean

Chantilly

10 MILES

Haymarket

Percentage of vote by precinct

Clifton

REP.

DEM.

80%

60

80%

50%

60

VOTED MORE

Middle-income precints

Dem.

Rep.

High-income precincts

YEAR

2014

2016

2018

30%

20%

10%

10%

20%

VOTE

MARGIN

Lovettsville

10 MILES

Winchester

Purcellville

Leesburg

Boyce

Great

Falls

Sterling

Middleburg

McLean

Chantilly

Percentage of vote by precinct

Haymarket

REP.

DEM.

Clifton

80%

60

80%

50%

60

Virginia District 7

Candidate

Votes

Pct.

Abigail Spanberger (D)

175,794

50.3%

Dave Brat* (R)

169,283

48.5%

Joseph Walton (L)

4,220

1.2%

Culpeper

Orange

Louisa

Richmond

Powhatan

20 MILES

Circles are scaled by

vote margin, per precinct

Culpeper

Lake of

the Woods

Orange

Spotsylvania

Louisa

Candidate

Votes

Pct.

Abigail Spanberger (D)

175,794

50.3%

Goochland

Laurel

Dave Brat* (R)

169,283

48.5%

Powhatan

Joseph Walton (L)

4,220

1.2%

Midlothian

Richmond

Circles are scaled by

vote margin, per precinct

Blackstone

10 MILES

Culpeper

Candidate

Votes

Pct.

Lake of

the Woods

Abigail Spanberger (D)

175,794

50.3%

Dave Brat* (R)

169,283

48.5%

Orange

Spotsylvania

Joseph Walton (L)

4,220

1.2%

Louisa

Goochland

Laurel

Circles are scaled by

vote margin, per precinct

Powhatan

Richmond

Midlothian

10 MILES

Blackstone

In 2014, tea party favorite Dave Brat won this district by 15 percentage points after Republican voters dumped then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for Brat in the primary. But on Tuesday, the largely suburban district replaced Brat with former CIA operative Abigail Spanberger.

Seven of the district’s 10 counties are suburbs of either Richmond or Washington, and votes from those areas — particularly middle-class neighborhoods — overwhelmed more conservative but less populated areas. Brat won the wealthiest areas by a much smaller margin than Mitt Romney in 2012 or Trump in 2016. And middle-class precincts that voted narrowly for both Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016 helped push Spanberger to her 1.8-point margin of victory.

High-income

Middle-income

VOTED MORE

Dem.

Rep.

YEAR

2014

2016

2018

10%

10%

20%

30%

40%

VOTE MARGIN

Culpeper

Culpeper

Orange

Orange

Louisa

Louisa

Richmond

Richmond

Powhatan

Powhatan

20 MILES

Percentage of vote by precinct

REP.

DEM.

80%

60

80%

50%

60

Percentage of vote by precinct

High-income

Middle-income

REP.

DEM.

80%

60

80%

50%

60

VOTED MORE

Dem.

Rep.

YEAR

2014

Culpeper

2016

Lake of

the Woods

2018

Orange

Spotsylvania

10%

10%

20%

30%

40%

VOTE MARGIN

Louisa

Goochland

Laurel

Powhatan

Midlothian

Richmond

Blackstone

10 MILES

Percentage of vote by precinct

High-income

Middle-income

REP.

DEM.

80%

60

80%

50%

60

VOTED MORE

Dem.

Rep.

YEAR

2014

Culpeper

2016

Lake of

the Woods

2018

Orange

10%

10%

20%

30%

40%

Spotsylvania

VOTE MARGIN

Louisa

Goochland

Laurel

Powhatan

Richmond

Midlothian

10 MILES

Blackstone

Virginia District 2

Candidate

Votes

Pct.

Elaine Luria (D)

139,350

51.1%

Scott Taylor* (R)

133,335

48.9%

Accomac

Williamsburg

Cape

Charles

Poquoson

Hampton

Virginia

Beach

Norfolk

Candidate

Votes

Pct.

Elaine Luria (D)

139,350

51.1%

Scott Taylor* (R)

133,335

48.9%

Accomac

Williamsburg

Cape

Charles

Poquoson

Hampton

Virginia

Beach

Norfolk

10 MILES

Pct.

Candidate

Votes

Accomac

51.1%

Elaine Luria (D)

139,350

48.9%

Scott Taylor* (R)

133,335

Williamsburg

Cape

Charles

Poquoson

Hampton

Virginia

Beach

Norfolk

10 MILES

Former Navy commander Elaine Luria (D) narrowly upset incumbent Republican Scott Taylor, a former Navy SEAL, in the district he won two years ago by nearly 23 percentage points. The district, which includes Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and much of Norfolk, is home to a naval base and a huge population of veterans. Wealthy voters did not support Taylor nearly as strongly as they had Mitt Romney in 2012 or Trump in 2016, leaving him with a smaller advantage that Luria offset by getting an Obama-like margin from middle-class voters. A summer election fraud scandal, which is still under investigation, hung over Taylor’s campaign.

Middle-income

High-income

VOTED MORE

Chincoteague

Dem.

Rep.

‘14

Accomac

‘16

‘18

20%

10%

10%

20%

VOTE MARGIN

Cape

Charles

Hampton

Virginia

Beach

Norfolk

Percentage of vote by precinct

REP.

DEM.

80%

60

80%

50%

60

Williamsburg

Poquoson

Cape

Charles

10 MILES

Hampton

Virginia

Beach

Norfolk

Middle-income

High-income

VOTED MORE

Dem.

Rep.

Chincoteague

YEAR

‘14

Accomac

‘16

‘18

20%

10%

10%

20%

VOTE MARGIN

Poquoson

Cape

Charles

Williamsburg

Hampton

Virginia

Beach

Norfolk

Chincoteague

Percentage of vote by precinct

Accomac

REP.

DEM.

80%

60

80%

50%

60

Williamsburg

Poquoson

Cape

Charles

Hampton

Virginia

Beach

Norfolk

10 MILES

Percentage of vote by precinct

Middle-income

High-income

REP.

DEM.

80%

60

80%

50%

60

VOTED MORE

Dem.

Rep.

YEAR

‘14

‘16

Accomac

‘18

20%

10%

10%

20%

VOTE MARGIN

Williamsburg

Cape

Charles

Cape

Charles

Jamestown

Jamestown

Poquoson

Hampton

Hampton

Virginia

Beach

Norfolk

Norfolk

10 MILES

About this story

Data from U.S. Census American Community Survey. 2012 and 2016 presidential results by precinct from Decision Desk HQ. 2018 House results from Maryland and Virginia election results.

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