After analyzing Virginia for about 3 months now, here’s a final wrap about Virginia’s politics, including results on the General Election, House of Representatives, Senate, Richmond Mayor, and Constitutional Amendments.
On November 8th, the people of Virginia came to the polls for Hillary Clinton. The former Secretary of State had a total of 13 electoral college votes and 49.9% of the popular vote in Virginia. She won by a little over 200,000 popular votes statewide.
This result did not come as much of a shock for Virginia, seeing as President Barack Obama won Virginia in 2008 and 2012. Although looking at a map, it may seem like the state would have gone Republican this election, doing that would be an overlook of Northern Virginia. Loudoun, Fairfax, Alexandria, and Prince William Counties pulled through for Hillary, and because so many voters reside there, this helped Hillary secure her Virginia win.
Although the polls didn’t lie overall about Hillary winning Virginia, they still underestimated Donald Trump’s numbers in the state. Many polls showed Clinton to win by 48% of the popular vote, and Trump to win around 43% of the vote. However, this did not happen, and Clinton pulled through for 49% and Trump for 45%.
All in all, though, it didn’t matter that Clinton won Virginia. Trump won the presidency anyway, despite many of the polls predicting a large margin for Clinton. Many are citing that the reason for this is because Trump supporters were lying to the polls. Others have found different reasons.
I found Frank Luntz’s speculation to be particularly interesting in why Trump won. He claims that people did not lie to the polls, but actually “refused to be polled” in a system they found to be “rigged.” Luntz did not agree that Trump supporters were too afraid to admit to voting for him, but were actually so angry at the polling system that they refused to partake in it. I suppose we will find out whether Trump’s rhetoric about the system being rigged in studies to come.
House of Representatives
This election cycle presented Virginia with 10 seats open for the U.S. House of Representatives, with a final result of 7 Republicans and 3 Democrats winning the seats available. For our own Harrisonburg (located in Virginia District 6, to be exact), Bob Goodlatte won against Kai Degner with 67% of the vote.
As expected, the Republicans remained in control of the House this election cycle. They already held 59 of the seats, meaning they had the upper hand against the Democrats. With one chamber of Congress comes the other…
Although Virginia’s Senate races did not occur this election cycle, the GOP also remained in control of the Senate, with 51 seats won by Republicans and 49 seats won by Democrats. The control of both the House and Senate with GOP control have left many worried as to whether checks and balances still exists in the United States.
Although Trump is a wildcard in many aspects, one thing that he has continuously said is that he will appoint a more conservative justice to the Supreme Court, especially one who is “pro-life.” With the GOP controlling all three branches of government, many Americans are worried that court cases like Roe v. Wade will be overturned. TBD on that one…
In the Richmond race for mayor, Democratic nominee Levar Stoney won with 36.1% of the popular vote, leaving Republican nominee John Berry with 33.7% of the vote. Stoney is a James Madison University graduate (Class of ’04), having been elected as the first African-American to serve on student government at JMU. Pretty awesome that a JMU alum was elected as the Mayor of Richmond, no matter which political party you stand for–Go Dukes!
And anyway, I think we can all agree that Joe Morrissey would not have been the best guy for the job, with the amount of scandal surrounding the man…
Article I: Bill of Rights
The people rejected Amendment 1 to Virginia’s Constitution. The Right to Work Amendment advocated to prohibit the current law, which basically says tries to uphold the ethical standard of employers and a labor union or labor organization.
Article X: Taxation and Finance
The people approved Amendment 2 to Virginia’s Constitution, which claimed that the living spouses of law-enforcement officers, firefighters, search and rescue personnel, or emergency medical services personnel, who died in the line of duty, should be tax exempt if they still live at the real property of their spouse and did not remarry.
So, there ya have it folks: Virginia’s wrap-up for this election season.