UVA's Crystal Ball Predicts Trouble for Some of Virginia's Republican Incumbents

Jun 29, 2018

Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., walks to a closed-door GOP strategy session at the Capitol in Washington earlier this week. According to the UVA School of Politics, evidence points to a significant possibility that Comstock could lose her seat this fall.
Credit AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite

The politics of Virginia’s congressional elections may be shifting, according to new projections.

Looking into their crystal ball, the folks at the University of Virginia Center for Politics see trouble for three Republican incumbents. Perhaps the most troubled is Barbara Comstock in Northern Virginia. Geoff Skelley at the Center for Politics says her race against Jennifer Wexton has moved from toss up to leans Democratic.

“Now, in the aftermath of the Republicans nominating Corey Stewart to lead the Republican ticket and then that new Monmouth poll that had Comstock down 10, we just think there’s enough evidence to view her as an underdog.”

The reelection efforts of both Dave Brat in Central Virginia and Scott Taylor in Hampton Roads had been ranked as leans Republican before the primary. But now both have been moved to toss up. Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University says the primary results shifted the landscape.

“Since then, since Democrats have had their primaries and they’ve selected candidates there have been some surveys out that have shown the Democratic candidates either ahead or even.”

One Republican seat that’s still viewed as safe for now is the 5th District currently held by Tom Garrett, who’s not running again this year. Democrats hoped to target the seat, but the Center for Politics still has it as leans Republican.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.