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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Northern Virginia 10th district no longer safe red

Back in 2014, I covered the House race for northern Virginia's 10th district. It is close to Washington D.C. and an affluent and populated district that makes this House race prized. The House seat was held by Republican Frank Wolf from 1980 to 2014. It was a solid Republican district as no Democrat challenger has ever won more than 41% of the vote or lost by any less than 16 points since the election of 1984.

There was hope for the Democrats in 2014 when Frank Wolf declared his retirement this year, the district seemed more moderately Republican, and a new Republican candidate named Barbara Comstock was running for the 2014 election. That hope quickly faded when Barbara Comstock solidly won the election, 56% to 40%, and keeping the same tradition of demolishing Democratic opponents as Frank Wolf has done since 1984.

In a most surprising miracle, the light of hope for the Democrats lit up again after over 30 years of darkness. The Democratic challenger was Luann Bennett, and although she was considered to be a weak campaigner and candidate, the Democratic and Republican parties spent heavily on this heated race. Barbara Comstock won the election of 2016, but a miracle took place. Comstock only won the race by 53% to 47%. This was a significant impact because for over 30 years, no Democrat challenger has ever won more than 41% of the vote or lost by any less than 16 points.

In 2016, Luann Bennett won 47% of the vote and lost by 6 points. Luann Bennett tied Donald Trump and his unpopular controversies to Comstock, and it made a big impact to place Virginia's 10th district as a weak Republican district which the Democrats can realistically win over again after over 30 years of solid Republican rule.

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