We are almost at the end. In just over two weeks, there will be an election night and it will decide the fate of Virginia’s House of Delegates – potentially for only the next year depending on what a judge decides, but at this moment that’s not important.
We have four ratings changes for you all today, all of them favoring the Republicans.
- HD21: Likely Democratic to Leans Democratic: While this may come as a bit of a surprise to some of our readers, we felt that this is a necessary change to make. The amount of late money dropped into this Virginia Beach based seat shows that both parties clearly feel that this seat is going to be close. We still definitely see Democratic incumbent Kelly Fowler as favored, but there’s a decent chance that Republican Tanya Gould could flip this seat if results from Virginia Beach are stronger than what we currently expect.
- HD73: Leans Democratic to Tossup: A pattern will emerge from these changes, as once again we see both parties give a lot of late money to both candidates. However, we see another intriguing point here too, as Republican Mary Margaret Kastelberg outraised Democratic incumbent Rodney Willett by a slim margin this past month. While late money may not mean as much as other factors, it does show that this race is likely incredibly tight and we feel confident to say that it is a tossup going into our Election Day changes.
- HD83: Leans Democratic to Tossup: This was a change we were most uncertain with, but with the data as it stands right now, this seat is likely to be close at the top of the ticket as well as here in the delegate race. We still consider Tim Anderson to be a weaker than average candidate for the GOP and that almost had us keep this seat at Leans Democratic. However, the signs all point to this seat being razor thin again going into Election Day and we have decided to put it into the tossup column.
- HD85: Leans Democratic to Tossup: This was a seat that we almost changed to tossup last month, but decided to hold off on. Now, we feel it’s time to make the change. With the polling data available to us and with what the averages are now, this seat is going to possibly be the closest in all the races this year in the Virginia Beach area. Lots of money has been dumped in here by both parties late and all sides agree that this seat is close. It’s a certain tossup here at the end.
What does this all mean?
Now this suddenly doesn’t mean Republicans are favored to take back the House. They aren’t. But it does mean we are officially our rating of the chamber from Leans Democratic to Tossup. With nine seats now in the tossup ratings, it’s fair to say that the control of the chamber doesn’t favor anybody.
However, I do want to make some points. Looking at what we see right now, I’d expect that the range of final seats, if polling is accurate, that the range is between 52 Democratic seats and 51 Republican seats. I also believe that the possibility of a tied chamber is easier to believe than most think. There is a clear path for Republicans to five seats, but to get to six is a bit harder.
It will all come down to how accurate polling is, and admittedly we will probably get a seat or two wrong. Or maybe more. But that is the job of analysts, to put our thoughts out there with the data we see. And the data we see right now clearly shows the chamber as a tossup.
There are still two more crazy weeks to go though and stuff can still change. The state of Virginia’s lower chamber is up in the air right now and that just makes things all the more intriguing. Keep watching, because this is just getting started.
Thank you again to everyone for following along this cycle. It’s been a blast. A reminder that we will have one more final ratings update that will come out on Election Day where we will call all our tossup races and chambers and give them a rating. Please also make sure to tune into Elections Daily’s live Virginia 2021 coverage on our YouTube channel that night.