GOP seeks to flip three Virginia congressional seats, but Dems have the edge

Virginia has 11 congressional seats on the ballot this year, but only three of them — all held by Democrats — are considered competitive. Here’s a rundown of where things stand heading into Election Day.

Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District

In the race for CD 2, incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria is facing off against Republican Jen Kiggans.

Polling shows them in a heads-up race. A recent Christopher Newport University survey showed the two women, both U.S. Navy veterans, are locked in a dead heat at 45% each in the poll, with 8% of voters still undecided.

Democrats have a more than 60,000 voter advantage in the southeastern Virginia district, with 241,409 registered Democrats to 180,016 GOP voters, according to the most recent L2 voter data. Another 108,000 voters are non-partisan.

Though Democrats have a voter registration advantage, economic issues and low approval ratings for President Joe Biden have been a drag on Luria’s campaign — the same CNU poll that showed Luria and Kiggans in a dead heat also found 79% of GOP are casting their votes in CD 2 as a vote against Biden.

Still, election prognosticators believe Luria enters Election Day with a slight edge. According to FiveThirtyEight’s model, the incumbent has a 52% chance to hold onto the district, though her expected share of the vote is hovering around 50.1%.

Virginia’s 7th Congressional District

In CD 7, incumbent Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger is being challenged by Republican Yesli Vega.

Vega has been making inroads with Hispanic voters and they are seen as key to the outcome on Election Day. As it stands, Republicans may not have done enough to meaningfully sway the bloc — a recent Washington Post-Ipsos poll found that Democrats retain a 27-point advantage among Hispanic voters in CD 7.

Compared to CD 2, the northern Virginia district is considered a stretch pickup for Republicans. Head-to-head polling shows Spanberger with a 5-point lead over Vega, and FiveThirtyEight modeling gives the incumbent a 72% chance to win re-election.

Still, some prognosticators are giving Vega better odds. The Cook Political Report currently rates the seat as a Democratic tossup while Sabato’s Crystal Ball rates it as “Lean Democratic.”

According to L2 voter data, there are 270,573 registered Democrats living in the district compared to 198,682 registered Republicans, giving the Democratic party a sizable advantage. An additional 102,356 voters are non-partisan.

Virginia’s 10th Congressional District

CD 10 is seen by most onlookers as the least likely of the potential Republican flips. The race puts incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton in a head-to-head with Republican Hung Cao.

Voter registrations alone give Wexton the advantage. The most recent L2 voter data shows 324,498 Democrats live in CD 10, which is nestled in the DC-Maryland-Virginia metro, compared to 166,830 Republicans. There are an additional 90,814 voters who are not registered with either major party.

Though Cao has run a fairly competitive campaign, Wexton leads in fundraising and has the incumbent advantage. The district also held firm for Democrats in 2021, rejecting now-Gov. Glenn Youngkin in the nationally watched Governor race.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball and The Cook Political Report both rate CD 10 as a “Likely Democratic” seat, and FiveThirtyEight likewise says Sexton “is cleary favored to win” on Nov. 8. Their model indicates the incumbent has a 92% chance of winning re-election, likely with about 55% of the vote.

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