Kaine, Connolly, Wexton win Virginia Senate, local House seats


Devan Fink, Online Editor-in-Chief

Democrats Tim Kaine, Gerry Connolly and Jennifer Wexton won each of their local respective Virginia races on Tuesday in the 2018 midterms. These elections were coined by many to be a referendum on President Donald Trump.

Kaine, who ran for re-election to the U.S. Senate, won 57 percent of the statewide vote, defeating Republican challenger Corey Stewart by nearly 16 points. Of Kaine’s nearly 1.9 million votes statewide, approximately 18 percent came from voters in Fairfax County.

Kaine unsuccessfully ran as Hillary Clinton’s Vice President candidate in the 2016 election, but, even despite this loss, Stewart never really posed a large challenge to the incumbent. As of July, Kaine had a net +10 percent approval rating. Polls had Kaine winning by, on average, 14 points.

In Virginia’s 11th Congressional district, home to the majority of Madison students, Connolly easily defeated Republican challenger Jeff Dove by a 44-point margin. Connolly’s 71.1 percent of the vote was his second-highest vote total in his now-six elections for this seat. (Connolly only earned a greater percentage of the vote when he ran unopposed in 2016.)

While Kaine and Connolly were never in danger of losing their seats, Barbara Comstock (R) of Virginia’s 10th Congressional district was. As pollsters predicted, Wexton defeated Comstock in Virginia’s 10th district, the first seat the Democrats were able to flip in the House last night.

With 56.2 percent of the vote, Wexton became the first Democrat to win Virginia’s 10th district since 1978. Wexton’s victory was not completely unexpected, however, as that Congressional district has been tending more Democratic as of late. In 2016, voters in Virginia’s 10th favored Hillary Clinton by a 10-point margin.

Statewide, Democrats won seven of Virginia’s 11 seats in the House of Representatives. This is the first time since the 2008 election that Democrats have won the majority of Virginia’s seats in the House, and it is the first time since the 1992 election that they have had seven of the 11 seats.

Across the nation, final votes are still being counted, but Democrats are projected to win the House of Representatives. As of this writing, they have already won 223 seats in the House of Representatives among votes that have been counted, a majority. (Fifteen elections still have yet to be finalized.)

In the Senate, Republicans have gained seats with wins from Mike Braun (R-IN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Josh Howley (R-MO). Races in Florida and Arizona are too close to call, but Republicans already have captured the 51 seats necessary to control the majority in that chamber.