What Happened in the VA-10 Congressional Election?

  1. The partisan composition of the 2018 electorate in this district did not look like previous midterm electorates. Historically, the Republican share of the electorate in 2014 and 2010 was at or above 40%, but fell to 29% in 2018. Interestingly, Historical Democratic share is unchanged between 2010, 2014, and 2018. This loss in Historical Republican share was offset entirely by a corresponding increase in Historical Middle share.
  2. The 2018 electorate matched the most diverse electorate ever in this district. Voters of color made up 27% of the total vote, the same as in 2016, but a full 7 percentage points higher than 2014.
  3. Wexton received unprecedented levels of support among white Gen X and Gen Y voters. Wexton’s margin of support among white 30–44 year olds was +17 percentage points. The previous high water mark for this demographic group was +1 for Clinton in 2016. Even Obama did not carry this group (he received 48% of their vote in 2008).
  4. Wexton’s margin among college-educated voters was +20 percentage points, a full 5 points ahead of Clinton. College educated voters make up over 50% of this district, making it the 12th best educated district in the country. So in an environment where educated voters seem to be defecting from voting Republican, an improvement of this magnitude in a district with this educated a population produces large shifts in topline margins.

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