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Prominent Democrat Set To Lose Seat Under New Virginia Map

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Virginia Democrat Rep. Abigail Spanberger is set to lose her current seat under a redistricting map drawn by two court-appointed officials.

“Spanberger’s seat, Virginia’s Seventh, is currently centered on the suburbs of Richmond and stretches from Culpepper County in the north to Nottoway County in the south. However, the new map, drawn by one Democrat and one Republican appointed by the state supreme court, places the Seventh District in the Washington, D.C., suburbs,” the Daily Caller reported.

The report added:

The new seat would become Democrat +19, and the northwest Richmond suburbs that Spanberger currently represents would move to the Tenth District, which is currently represented by Democrat Jennifer Wexton.

The two special masters, Sean Trende of the American Enterprise Institute and RealClearPolitics and Bernard Grofman of the University of California Irvine, were appointed by the Virginia Supreme Court in November after a bipartisan commission failed to come to an agreement on the new maps.

Virginia’s current map includes five safe seats for Democrats, four for Republicans, and two competitive districts. The new map would create six safe seats for Democrats, four for Republicans, and one competitive district, according to calculations from Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman.

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The newly proposed Virginia congressional map would still benefit Democrats.

“We carefully drew districts that met constitutional and statutory population requirements. In doing so, we minimized county and city splits, while respecting natural boundaries and communities of interest to the extent possible,” Trende and Grofman wrote in a memo accompanying the new maps.

“In a very good Republican year, Republicans could win a majority of the seats in Virginia’s delegation,” the special masters wrote. ”Generally, however, we would expect to see a 6-5 Democratic edge in Virginia’s delegation. In very good Democratic years, Democrats might perhaps achieve the 7-4 that they now enjoy from having won two highly competitive seats in 2020.”

However, Democrat Del. Marcus Simon is warning that the Democratic advantage in the maps may not be what it seems. He argued that the partisan tilt of the districts was taken using the 2017 elections as a base point, a particularly strong year for Democrats.

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“I’m a little skeptical that the maps are as good for Democrats as initial assessments would suggest,” said Simon, who under the proposed maps is put into a district with another incumbent Democrat, Mark Keam.

Fast forward four years and Republicans are doing much better currently than they were back in 2017.

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The highly anticipated election back in November was the gubernatorial race in Virginia between Republican Glenn Youngkin and Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

Youngkin — who was endorsed by Donald Trump — won the race.

No Republican had won a statewide race in Virginia since 2009 and Joe Biden won the state in the 2020 presidential election.

Despite Joe Biden campaigning for McAuliffe, Republican candidate Youngkin burst ahead in a recent poll just days before the election.

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