© 2023
Virginia's Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Virginia's 5th Congressional District Could Help Decide Who Controls House of Representatives

Democrats need to win thirty seats to regain control of the U.S. House, and to do that they must record some upsets on November 8th.  That could happen in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District where Tom Periello was elected in 2008.

Democrat Jane Ditmar got a nice surprise last week, when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced it was adding her to its Red to Blue list of candidates who might win in Republican districts.  Kyle Condick at UVA’s Center for Politics says both major parties like to highlight such races. 

“I think particularly they like to give some attention to those candidates as a way of telling national donors that maybe they should consider contributing to a particular race.  Virginia’s 5th Congressional District is one that certainly leans to the Republicans at the presidential level, but Democrats maybe have seen enough from Jane Ditmar to want to highlight that district as one that they might have a chance at pulling an upset in.”

Condick doubts Democrats will win enough seats to control the House of Representatives, but he thinks the Senate is up for grabs.

“Maybe a few weeks ago one would have thought that the Democrats would be more of a favorite to win the Senate, but Donald Trump has improved his standing in the presidential race, and as the presidential candidate for Republicans does a little bit better, it will also maybe help some of those senate candidates down the ballot, so the race for the senate looks very close right now and competitive. 

As part of the Red to Blue program, Jane Ditmar is expected to get some financial, communications, grassroots, and strategic support from the national Democratic Party.  Her opponent is State Senator Tom Garrett, a conservative Republican.  The two will meet at UVA’s Batten School of Public Policy for a candidate forum Wednesday evening at 5. 

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief
Related Content