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Democrats Won Because Virginia Courts Required State to Hold a Democratic Election


It’s crucial to remember that Democrats translating their huge majority of votes into actual legislative majorities was the result of state courts doing what John Roberts has ludicrously asserted that it is impossible for courts to do:

On Tuesday, that Republican lost his seat, one of six that Democrats flipped to capture a majority the House of Delegates. Democratic candidates appear to have won the overall House vote once again–but this time, they gained a 55–45 majority. (They also won over the state Senate, 21–19, which holds elections every four years.) This turn of fortune reveals the impact of fair maps. In 2017, Democrats were severely disadvantaged by a Republican-drawn racial gerrymander that trapped a huge number of black voters in a handful of noncompetitive districts for nearly a decade. By 2019, that gerrymander was dead, killed off by the courts. And its demise has allowed Virginia Democrats to translate their votes into fair representation in the General Assembly, gaining full control of the state government for the first time since 1994.


There is very little doubt that Democrats would’ve taken control of the Virginia House in 2017 if Republicans’ racial gerrymander had fallen in time. Tuesday’s blowout demonstrates that there’s no mysterious or insurmountable hurdle that organically prevents Democrats from translating a landslide (in overall votes) into a majority in the General Assembly. The problem was not that Democratic voters tend to cluster in urban regions, as some Republicans have long claimed. The problem was illicit redistricting.

Speaking of which, audio of Kagan reading her unanswerable dissent in Ruccho is now available.

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