Yes Virginia, there is a Voter-claus

And with that, it looks like the Virginia House of Delegates is now a 50-50 split as the Democrats will have picked up a net of 16 seats during the November election.

So let’s hear it for all the door knockers, phone bankers and post card writers.

Open thread

65 replies
  1. 1
    Elizabelle says:

    Yea! Kudos to our very own Redshift, who did a lot of work.

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    I’m trying to get a hold of my friend in Virginia. I have a feeling he’ll be quite pleased with this result.

  3. 3
    WaterGirl says:

    So is the recount OVER – and this is the official, final reocunt? Or is this just where we stand at the moment? That isn’t clear from what the fellow says in the video.

  4. 4
    Paul W. says:

    Holy shit, a great piece of news actually. Now we just have to hold it, expand Medicaid and redraw congressional lines after the census.

    Glad to have a little something to soften the tax blow.

  5. 5
    jharp says:

    I am in awe.

    Amazing job from the good guys.

  6. 6
    Tenzil Kem says:

    The turnaround in VA politics this millenium is gob-smackingly wonderful. Well done, VA Dems.

  7. 7
    Another Scott says:

    @WaterGirl: This recount was supervised by a court. The judge(s) will apparently certify the result tomorrow.

    This seems to be the last recount for the Virginia legislative election. So, if this holds up, then the House of Delegates will be tied (with the expectation of some sort of power-sharing arrangement).

    That’s my understanding, anyway.

    It’s a great result.


  8. 8
  9. 9
    🌷 Martin says:

    What difference will my vote make?

    1 vote swung the balance of the legislature. Thank god it wasn’t a write-in for some purity candidate who never stood a chance.

  10. 10
    lgerard says:

    There are 11,608 people who can now say

    My vote made a difference!

  11. 11
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Scott: Yippee!

    I am still holding out hope that the parliamentarian will do her job and send this back to them to take out the crap that doesn’t fit under reconciliation rules. Then it would have to go back to the house and the senate, I think. We need a stalling game until Doug Jones is seated.

  12. 12
    Jeffro says:

    Wow – we really DID do it! Way to go fellow VA peeps!!

    How about some Medicaid expansion?!?

  13. 13
    WaterGirl says:

    Kudos to everyone who worked their hearts out on Virginia elections. What an amazing outcome!

  14. 14
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Jeffro: The Repubs still control the Virginia Senate, albeit only by 2 votes. The pressure on them to pass Medicaid expansion will be immense, but they’ve been totally immune thus far to it.

    May take another election cycle and the Democrats outright controlling the entire Legislature to shake Medicaid expansion loose.

  15. 15
    ruemara says:

    @WaterGirl: Recount over. We won and won big. some welcome good news.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Jim says:

    Now 75, I’m living in the best of times and the worst of times. Worst: Living in Trump’s America. Best: Living in a Virginia that is in the forefront of the demographic shift that’s taking place across the country. The gerrymanderers haven’t beaten us Dems yet.

  18. 18
    JaneSays says:

    @WaterGirl: The recount for this seat is over, but there are two more seats to be recounted. That said, the results of those recounts are unlikely to change the outcomes of either election, as the current count has margins of 336 (won by the Democrat) and 82 (won by the Republican), and no election recount in Virginia has seen margins that large reversed in decades, if ever. The seat that just flipped only had a margin of 10 votes in favor of the Republican in the original count, and 1 vote in favor of the Democrat in the recount (11 votes flipped).

    So… theoretically, the balance could switch to a 51-49 majority for either party if either of those recounts flip the results (unless both recounts flip the results, which would cancel each other out), but the odds of that are likely less than 0.01%.

    I assumed that the split would favor whichever party controls the governor’s mansion, but apparently that’s not the case – committee chairs will have to be divided equally between the parties and legislation will only pass with 51 votes (meaning at least one representative will have to cross the aisle for anything to get passed).

  19. 19
    germy says:

    I sat down with Jill Stein during the campaign. Interviewed her. Trust me when I tell you: her campaign was a sham. She was a sham. The whole damn thing was a sham.— Sean Illing (@seanilling) December 19, 2017

  20. 20
    joel hanes says:

    Virginia that is in the forefront of the demographic shift

    California would like a quiet word with you about that word “forefront”

  21. 21
    WaterGirl says:

    @ruemara: Normally in a sports game (women’s volleyball being the only sport I really follow)… if the match is this close, and somebody lost by only 2 poinst, I am thrilled that my team won but I can feel for the team that lost by only this much, knowing that it could have gone either way and that a loss like that is heartbreaking.

    In this case, FUCK THEM.

  22. 22
    Ocotillo says:

    The ongoing resistance has to be herculean. Granted, Alabama is deeply, deeply red but even with an accused child molester on the ballot if the votes were for congressional critters, the thugs would have stole all but one seat through gerrymandering. And that was with an incredible effort from the AA community and other activists.

    This so sweet for Virginia.

    Not only does the same amount of effort and energy need to be done in the 2018 races, we have to anticipate the voter suppression efforts and the upcoming monkeying with the census. 2020 is critical not just to retake the White House but equally important, to get control of as many statehouses as a firewall against ongoing voter suppression efforts.

  23. 23
  24. 24
  25. 25
  26. 26
    Barbara says:

    @joel hanes: How about “in the Southeast . . .”? Does that take the edge off? Seriously, I moved here in 1978, and we Democrats were grateful to have someone like John Warner who wasn’t a lunatic in the Senate. That was a long time ago, but Republicans have not won a statewide state election since 2009, or a statewide federal election since — wait for it — 2004, when George W. Bush won Virginia’s electoral votes. They have gerrymandered the state to avoid greater Democratic representation at the state level. That has made them lazy, stupid and extreme, in my view, and they would be better off with more competitive seats.

  27. 27
    La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes) says:

    @WaterGirl: The Hill just reported the Senate Parliamentarian did just that. The article says there will have to be a motion the concur, whatever that is, and that the House will have to vote again.

    Any legislative wonks out there care to explain? I’m on pins and needles.

  28. 28
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: If only we could throw darts, I would be lined up for my turn.

  29. 29
    WaterGirl says:

    @La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes): Yay for that, anyway! Still hoping that the crazy world that brought us The Illegitimate President will attempt to right itself by letting this travesty of a bill go down.

  30. 30
    hueyplong says:

    Glad the parliamentarian did that, but I wouldn’t bet my own cash that the GOP lets that stop them.

  31. 31
    germy says:

    how come everyone worries that food stamps will get spent on junk food and no one worries that tax cuts for the wealthy will get wasted on bottles of dom perignon getting poured into some asshat's jacuzzi. we've all seen rich of kids of instagram— 🎄✨ Jingle Chells 🌟🎁 (@funugly) December 16, 2017

  32. 32
    PPCLI says:

    A small joy to console us: it looks as if Brownback’s escape from Kansas isn’t working out as he planned. No confirmation of the fake “Religious Freedom” ambassadorship, no confirmation on the horizon,…
    So he’s stuck being the governor of a state that hates him.
    Ha ha!

  33. 33
    JR says:

    @germy: Roseanne Barr, of all people, was (and is) hugely anti-Stein going back to her own abortive run for the Green nomination, if not further.

  34. 34
    hueyplong says:

    There is a pretty long line forming behind Ms Barr on that point.

  35. 35
    germy says:

    @JR: How is she going to explain the return of her husband in the reboot of her sitcom? I mean, the guy died in the original.

  36. 36
    Planetjanet says:

    @WaterGirl: two more recounts to go, but much wider margins to overcome.

  37. 37
    joel hanes says:


    Does that take the edge off?

    I was joking.


    Seriously, my heartfelt contgratulations and gratitude to the responsible voters.
    One step at a time.

  38. 38
    JaneSays says:

    @joel hanes: California’s been solidly blue for quite awhile. Virginia was fairly red all the way up to 2008, which was the first time they voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964 (they also consistently had at least one Republican senator and/or Republican governor at all times for the previous 30 years or so).

  39. 39
    Cacti says:

    What we’ve been able to accomplish in Virginia should be a model for the country.

    Demographics only favor us to the extent we get our people to the polls, like VA Dems have done.

  40. 40
    randy khan says:


    It appears that the three provisions that have to be struck are:

    (1) The provision allowing churches and 501(c)(3) nonprofits to endorse candidates and engage in partisan political activity;

    (2) The provision allowing parents to spend money from 529 plans on home schooling; and

    (3) The provision concerning endowments for private educational institutions.

    Getting rid of (1) is a great thing.

  41. 41
    randy khan says:

    The Virginia result already was an incredible achievement, but this is the cherry on top of the sundae. As a Virginian, I am thrilled, and also incredibly grateful to the candidates, the party that supported them, all of the volunteers, all of the donors, and especially the voters, who overcame the hideous gerrymander in the House of Delegates by exercising their franchise.

  42. 42
    WaterGirl says:

    @randy khan: So they can still get rid of the ACA mandates under reconciliation? Crazy.

    edit: There is one word for how ai want describe Democrats in congress whenever we are able to take it back. RUTHLESS.

    I want them to be ruthless in pursuing good, with no one-way courtesy showed to Republicans. Just do it.

  43. 43
    ruemara says:

    @WaterGirl: Amen

    @germy: Also, amen.

  44. 44
    chopper says:

    one fucking vote? daaaaaaaamn

  45. 45
    Schlemazel says:

    It was all a dream

  46. 46
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    There is a pretty long line forming behind Ms Barr on that point.

    And here it is, livecam.

  47. 47
    mai naem mobile says:

    @JR: Roseanne barr’s twitter feed shows an old fashioned xenophobe. I was kind of surprised when I landed on it a while back and read her twitterline.

  48. 48
    joel hanes says:


    California’s been solidly blue for quite awhile

    To the extent that I had a point, that’s it exactly.
    The demographic transition to a diverse society in which “whites” are a political minority happened a decade or more ago in CA.

  49. 49
    Tom says:

    @germy: They could use the gambit first pioneered in the movie Soapdish, in the dialog between Whoopi Goldberg as the writer and Robert Downey Jr as the producer: Whoopi: “You can’t bring him back on the show!” Robert: “Why not?” Whoopi: “Because you got rid of hischaracter by having him decapitated in a traffic accident!” Robert: “His head was reattached in a precedent setting three day operation.”

  50. 50
    JoeyJoeJoe Junior Shabadoo says:

    @JaneSays: I remember 04. Even though Bush win VA, Fairfax County flipped to Kerry, the first Dem Pres nominee to win it since LBJ. I knew that was a good sign for Dems in the future.

  51. 51
    feebog says:

    Just about every thing that needs to be said has been said on this thread already. I’ll just add YIPPEE and let it go at that.

  52. 52
    Sherparick says:

    @lgerard: One more response to “my vote does not make a difference” or “I can vote to make a purity statement since one vote does not matter.” I feel like singing my favorite Civil War song “Battle Cry of Freedom.”

  53. 53
    Sherparick says:

    @randy khan: Ditto, from Orange County, Va (still Red, but give us a few more years).

  54. 54
    Barbara says:

    @JaneSays: The tide turned in 2006 when George Allen lost his bid for reelection. But the writing was on the wall as early as 2002, when Mark Warner was first elected to the Senate. I like to think of the progression in terms of how late I had to stay up to wait for Fairfax to report. In 2006 I stayed up until 3:00 am. In 2008 I stayed up past midnight. This year, at around 8:00 pm I saw that Northam was almost even with Gillespie and I knew that it was all over. That was pretty sweet.

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    What good news😄

  56. 56
    Shana says:

    There’s also the snafu in VA’s 28th where a lot of voters were given ballots for the wrong district (the precinct is split between two districts, or there are two precincts that vote in the same location, I can’t remember which). There will be some sort of hearing on January 5th about whether or not they’ll have a special election to redo the vote. So it’s possible we end up with the majority.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    We all owe a big thanks to Bernie for making this happen.

  59. 59
    lowtechcyclist says:


    I like to think of the progression in terms of how late I had to stay up to wait for Fairfax to report. In 2006 I stayed up until 3:00 am. In 2008 I stayed up past midnight. This year, at around 8:00 pm I saw that Northam was almost even with Gillespie and I knew that it was all over. That was pretty sweet.

    That’s actually an excellent metric of our progress in the Old Dominion!

    Makes me kinda sorry that I’m north of the Potomac these days, so I’m not part of this change. But I very much feel it. I grew up in Fairfax County, and lived there in my 20s. VA-94 was won in part by a good GOTV effort at Christopher Newport, where I was on the math faculty 30 years ago. This really is a special moment.

  60. 60
    Honus says:

    @JaneSays: Virginia elected a black democrat governor in 1990. Name another state that has done so. Virginia has been purple for three decades and it is reliably blue now. The only southern blue state.

  61. 61
    Jean says:

    I am thrilled about this recount! I volunteered in Chesterfield and was surprised how busy we were–lots of volunteers, lots of visits by candidates. One candidate, Larry Barnett, who lives in my neighborhood, lost by very little in a district that is otherwise quite red. It was thought he didn’t have a prayer. But he lost by very little. It was the winningest loss I ever saw here.

  62. 62
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Honus: Massachusetts in 2006. I voted for both of them!

  63. 63
    Matt McIrvin says:

    This is amazing news. Together with the governor’s veto, it also gives Virginia a chance of not having horribly gerrymandered districts after the 2020 census (though I suppose there is another House of Delegates election in 2019).

  64. 64
    WaterGirl says:


    It was the winningest loss I ever saw here.

    Now that should be a rotating tag.

  65. 65
    Taiko says:

    So proud to be a citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia just now. That has not always been, and certainly will not always be the case (see: Charlottesville, 2017). But since I (painfully, unexpectedly) set down roots here in ’03, I’ve been pleased with the bend of the arc of history.

Comments are closed.