2020 Presidential Elections State-by-State Guide: Trump eyeing win in Virginia despite falling approval rate
The Dems have their problems in the President's State but yet the Republicans could have a tough task humbling them there
March 3, 2020 (Tuesday)
Primary type: Open
Democratic delegates: 124 (99 pledged, 25 super)
Republican delegates: 48
Ralph Northam (Democratic)
Mark Warner (D) & Tim Kaine (D)
Seven Democratic: Elaine Luria (2nd district), Robert Bobby Scott (3rd district), Donald McEachin (4th district), Abigail Spanberger (7th district), Donald Beyer (8th district), Jennifer Wexton (10th district), Gerald Connolly (11th district)
Four Republican: Robert Wittman (1st district), Denver Riggleman (5th district), Ben Cline (6th district), Morgan Griffith (9th district)
Electoral college votes: 13
Hillary Clinton won all in 2016
How Virginia has voted in past presidential elections
One of the original 13 colonies and birthplace of four of the US’ first five presidents, Virginia joined the Union in June 1788. It did not take part in the 1864 and 1868 elections because of secession. Between the post Civil War Reconstruction through to 1948, Virginia picked Democratic presidential candidates but turned red between 1952 and 2004, except in 1964 when Lyndon Baines Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater. It became blue again in 2008 and has gone to pick Democratic candidates between 2008 and 2016. High population growth around Washington DC has made the ‘Mother of Presidents’ State a battleground in recent times. In 2016, Hillary beat Donald Trump by 5.5 percent.
Virginia a strong blue state
The Mother of Presidents State may have served as the home to the capital of the Confederacy a century-and-half ago but more recently, the state’s political evolution has been largely influenced by DC’s increasingly diverse suburbs. Consecutive elections have seen Virginia turning from a reddish to bluish state and by the time the battle between Hillary and Trump arrived, it was not even considered among the high-profile battleground states. Virginia has tilted towards the Democrats in the 21st century and the works of former governor and senator of Virginia Mark Warner have helped them to improve its rankings in the state. Former president George W Bush lost Northern Virginia in 2004 after he won it in 2000 and in 2005, Democrat Tim Kaine won the state’s governorship. In 2008, Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Virginia since 1964.
Virginia and 2020 presidential elections
Ahead of the Super Tuesday, Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg and Joe Biden were seen in a close contest, according to a Monmouth University poll survey. Both Sanders and Bloomberg were at 22 percent while Biden was at 18 percent. According to a forecast made by FiveThirtyEight, Sanders has a decisive lead with 48 percent while Biden is second at 27 percent and Bloomberg third at 22. The Dems control key posts in the state like the governor and senators and the suburbs around Washington and Richmond have alienated the GOP in the era of Trump. The president, however, has set his eyes on the state that he lost in 2016 to bring it to his favor. But liberals are skeptical that Trump can win the state and his approval rate is also not a promising one.
In the 2017 race for the governor, Republican nominee Ed Gillespie refused to campaign with Trumpfearing it would mobilize liberal voters. The Democrats are also in a spot of bother over controversies around some of their top post holders in the state, including Governor Northam, but they believe they are strong enough in the state to overcome the challenge by the time the general election is here. In the 2016 Republican primary in Virginia, Trump beat Marco Rubio by just three percent while Hillry beat Sanders by nearly 30 percent in the Democratic contest.