It was nearly two years ago that the Resistance notched its first major electoral victory of the Trump era: a massive voter turnout in Virginia’s legislative elections that propelled Democrats to within one seat of controlling the Virginia House of Delegates.
Now, we’re going big on Virginia again. Why? Whoever controls Virginia’s government next year controls the redistricting process. The flurry of recent anti-choice legislation has also shown us the importance of electing women and electing majorities in state legislatures.
In fact, Virginia saw a surge of anti-choice rhetoric earlier this year in response to a bill that would have expanded abortion options for women facing a later-term diagnosis of severe fetal anomalies. The legislation failed.
In the face of these attacks, we must harness the same grassroots energy from 2017 and flip the General Assembly this year.
This year, we have an even better chance of flipping the legislature than we did in 2017. Recently, a judge threw out Virginia’s old state legislative maps due to obvious racial gerrymandering. The new maps include five districts whose partisan lean flipped from Republican to Democrat because of this judicial intervention.
If Democrats flip the General Assembly, they can rip up Republicans’ gerrymandered maps for good, stop rampant voter suppression, and ensure fairer elections for the next decade.
The national implications are big too: If Democrats surge in Virginia this year, it’s a good sign that the enthusiasm is there for Democrats to take back the US Senate and the Presidency, and hold onto the US House in 2020.