Winning in 'Red America" - District 7 Virginia House of Delegates needs a Democratic candidate!
Democrats now have a candidate contesting District 7 this fall. Republican Nick Rush currently holds this post. The Republican was able to secure 14,714 in this uncontested district the last cycle. Republicans have held this seat since 2001. The Democrat that won in 1999 replaced a Republican who did not seek re-election and ended up facing a Republican and two Independent candidates. While you can't count on that this time around, the support for this Republican does appear a little soft.
DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FLO KETNER
DISTRICT 7 FAST FACTS
Residents = 80,010
Active Registered Voters = 47,337
Percent Registered = 59%
Total Vote in Last Race = 15,085
Participation Rate = 32%
Total Vote for Republican = 14,714
Total Vote for Democrat = 0
Total Vote Other = 371
Localities = Floyd, Montgomery and Pulaski Counties
District 7 has a total of 30 precincts with 14 in Montgomery County, 11 in Pulaski County, and 5 in Floyd County. There is plenty of areas to target in this district so let's dive right into the numbers.
Here is the share of Active Voters by Locality:
Montgomery County is clearly the dominant player here. That said each of the other counties makes up a sizable amount of the active voters too. Based on this pie chart alone it is hard to be sure that focusing on Montgomery County is the way to go, although you do need to go where the voters are.
This next chart shows partisan vote share of total active voters per locality.
The bar graph above highlights the value of Pulaski as a target. It has almost the same number of people who did not vote as Montgomery despite being a smaller locality within the district. That said, Montgomery still does have the most voters and those that did not vote so it will naturally attract our gaze.
The next bar graph breaks it down precinct by precinct. The initial at the beginning of the precinct name is the locality for the precinct. F = Floyd, M = Montgomery, and P = Pulaski.
Now, this bar graph unveils where the real opportunities lie. Precinct E-3 has nearly the highest volume of non-voters accompanied by almost the worst support for the Republican. This combination makes it a precinct to target and work hard. I would probably turn my attention to Robinson and Massie precincts in Pulaski County pretty early on as well.
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. This graphic presents some pretty exciting information for us Democrats. Four of the five largest precincts in this district fall below the line. That means that the Republican underperforms his norm here and that spells weakness to exploit.
Compared to a few of these rural districts this one shows some real soft support for the Republican incumbent. While it won't be easy, Democrats in the area ought to compete for this seat if they can.
Here is why.
The best way, for a political party, to connect with voters is to ask for their vote. Last cycle, Democrats did not contest 44 out 100 House of Delegates seat in Virginia. Those 44 seats represent roughly 3,520,000 Virginians. It does not matter your view on the issues, if a party does not run candidates in your district, it is less likely you will support that party consistently. If Democrats do not ask for these votes, the message to Virginians living in these mostly rural districts is the Democratic Party is not interested in their concerns.
This issue is not unique to Virginia either. In the last cycle, Democrats did not compete in 1,479 state legislative races nationwide. The districts we did not compete in represent more that 117,000,000 people. We often ask how people in "red America" can so consistently vote against their interests.
They are not voting against their interests at all; they are simply voting for those showing an interest in them.
As noted above, it is of critical importance we try to field candidates in as many districts as possible. If you can run, please do. These state legislative races are vital to our Democracy. They are the most local seats with enumerated powers in our Constitution. The power to change our Constitution rests in the state legislatures hands, and Republicans only need 24 more seats to control the number of states they need to do just that.
CONNECT WITH YOUR LOCAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY
- Democratic Party of Floyd County Virginia Facebook
- Montgomery County Virginia Democrats Facebook
- Pulaski County Virginia Democratic Committee Facebook
We need people to step up across Virginia. We are doing well contesting 79 of 100 districts this cycle. That said, if we want to start to bridge the rural and urban divide, if we want to represent all people across the state, heck across the nation, we need to step up and ask for their votes. Let's work together to find a candidate to challenge for this seat and across the other 20 districts across the state that needs a Democratic challenger as yet.