Democrat Michele Edwards Rises to Challenge for the District 20 Virginia House of Delegates Seat - Data Snapshot
District 20 is being contested by a Democratic candidate this cycle. The seat is currently held by Republican Richard "Dickie" Bell. He ran uncontested by a Democrat last cycle, however he did face Libertarian William "Will" Hammer. In 2015 Bell drew 10,758 compared to 3,425 for Hammer out of a total of 14,316 cast. Interestingly, there is a niche for a Democrat that is untapped in this district
THE ANNOUNCED DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE IS MICHELE EDWARDS
DISTRICT 20 FAST FACTS
- Residents = 80,010
- Active Registered Voters = 46,535
- Percent Registered = 58%
- Total Vote in Last Race = 14,316
- Participation Rate = 31%
- Total Vote for Republican last Race = 10,758
- Total Vote for Democrat last Race = 0
- Total Vote for the Libertarian last Race = 3,425
- Total Vote Other = 133
- Localities = Augusta, Highland & Nelson Counties; Staunton & Waynesboro Cities
District 20 is made up of 31 precincts with 12 in Augusta County, 6 in Highland County, 5 in Staunton City and 4 each in Nelson County and Waynesboro City. In this instance, the precinct counts are a little misleading. One other thing I would like to note is the last several districts with no Dem contesting the prior cycle had 400 to 500 "other votes" while this race, with a libertarian saw that number drop. Those "other" voters would be a great target to start with for sure, with the right data sets I could easily figure out who they are.
Let's take a turn to some charts.
Here is the share of Active Voters by Locality next to Total Votes Cast by Locality:
I decided to place these two pie charts side by side to illustrate an important point. The areas most likely to support conservative candidates way over perform their Active Registered Voter numbers in terms of actual Votes cast. The left chart shows the share of registered voters in each locality while the one on the right shows the share of the actual vote cast. 10 points over in Augusta County, in terms of vote share is a big swing while a 10 point drop in Staunton City reflects the neglect of not even running a Democratic candidate in this race.
Conservative ideology in the form of Republican and Libertarian is well represented and the areas naturally inclined to be receptive to that message engage at a much higher rate simply because they are being asked to vote. That is why I am excited to see Democrat Michele Edwards step up in this district. It is important we engage everywhere we can and support those that step up to run in these districts.
This next chart shows partisan vote share of total active voters per locality.
This bar chart shows that the libertarian candidate actually is just competing for conservative votes, that will open up an opportunity for the Democrat to consolidate the other voters in the district. While Augusta County is clearly the conservative stronghold, I would not ignore that locality, there are a lot of non-voters there as well. That said, early organizing should definitely start in Staunton and Waynesboro Cities.
The next bar chart breaks it down precinct by precinct. The initial at the beginning of the precinct name is the locality the precinct can be found in.
The precinct bar chart does make it clear the opportunity is clearly in the "City" localities. That said giving some attention to Lyndhurst in Augusta County and 3 of the Nelson County precincts is certainly called for.
The final scatter plot shows actual vote totals versus the Active Registered Voter total per precinct. The weakest support for the Republican will be the precincts below the red line. The precincts to target early would be the ones where the red dot is below the red line AND the yellow dot is below the yellow line. These are clearly weak spots for both the Republican and Libertarian candidate. Definitely areas to try and exploit. These precincts would form a good starting point for building support for any Democratic campaign in this district.
This is analysis I can do for your campaign simply based on publicly available data. If you work with me I can help you really zero on down to address by address data once I get a hold of your voter file to analyze.
You can request a file from ELECT office by contacting Vanessa Archie at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (804) 864-8908. Ask what it would take to obtain the Vote History List for District 20, let her know you are a candidate or a member of the campaign.
Support the Democratic candidate and if you are a candidate or working on a campaign check out my The Solution page on this website to see how I can help your campaign.
Let's Turn Virginia Blue in 2017. If you do not have a candidate running in your district. Run, let me help!