Back in June, I ran the numbers on the General Assembly contests. Let me refresh your memory:
House of Delegates – Projected: 35 D, 64R, 1 Toss Up
Senate of Virginia – Projected: 19 D, 20 R, 1 Toss Up
I wish I could claim that I am good at picking winners and losers but I’m not. What I’m good at is looking at history and spotting trends. Anybody with the time to actually run the numbers would have come to the same conclusions that I did. The demographics of the districts – gerrymandered as they are – win almost every time.
That’s why I’m laughing at all the headlines today. To hear them tell it, this was a repudiation of the governor. No, this was just proof that gerrymandering works. When I can project five months in advance and basically ignore everything in the interim and still be mostly accurate, that tells you that this has nothing to do with the governor or the $45 million – a number I heard last night on Twitter, haven’t checked it out – that was spent. We don’t need any more proof.
No doubt some will argue, “But the Democrats gerrymandered the Senate and don’t have the majority!” Both of those statements are correct. I can’t help it if Democrats were inept in redistricting the party out of a majority. The thing is: anybody watching since then already knew that’s what they had done. Hell, just look at the results from the 2011 Senate races!
This is the first campaign season in a long time that failed to hold my interest. The foregone conclusions of it, combined with what has been the worst political reporting I’ve ever seen – “Incumbent Del. John Miller fended off Republican challenger Mark Matney in a race for the state Senate’s 1st District seat.” WTH? – made it painful to watch, even for this political junkie. I can only imagine how bad it was for the average voter.
Oh well. There’s always local elections next May, at least in Norfolk.