Newly Drawn 4th District May Switch from Red to Blue
America’s next President won’t be the only office on the ballot this November. Virginia’s Congressional delegation is also up for election. The state is currently represented by eight Republicans and three Democrats. Those numbers, though, could shift -- and one potential spot of change is an open seat around the state’s capitol.
Virginia’s 4th Congressional District has been represented by Republican Randy Forbes. But Forbes chose not to run for re-election when a court redrew the district lines to include Richmond and Petersburg.
That means the seat is now up for grabs, and likely to switch hands from Republicans to Democrats, says Dan Palazzola at the University of Richmond.
“The most important characteristic of the 4th Cistrict now compared to what it used to be is that it has a larger portion of African-American voters,” says Palazzola.
Palazzola says that gives Democratic candidate Donald McEachin a better shot at winning. McEachin is currently a state senator in Richmond and his opponent Republican Mike Wade is a Sheriff in one of the city’s suburbs.
“Senator McEachin has been elected to sort of a larger office, and you look at the fact that he’s out raised Mike Wade by a substantial amount," Palazzolo says. "It’s pretty clear that McEachin has a significant advantage.”
Palazzola says there’s also a slim chance two other Virginia districts could switch from Red to Blue -- one around Charlottesville, the other in Northern Virginia.