Unfortunately, those elections aren't until next year. But there are elections next month, and if you're in the mood to beat up electorally on some Republicans now (like I am), here's your chance.
Republicans have a commanding lead in the Virginia House of Delegates, 67-32. But here's the thing: President Barack Obama carried 48 of those 100 seats. Crazy, huh? Thus, taking back the chamber over the next several cycles is quite possible, particularly given the state's rapidly changing demographics. And remember, Virginia is a key state for the GOP's gerrymander-protected U.S. House majority. It may be 2013, but we're already playing the 2020 redistricting game.
Unfortunately, we can't play in all 18 (or so) GOP-held districts that Obama won. We're going to focus on a handful, starting with HD 34 and HD 87.
HD-34, which includes parts of the Northern Virginia counties of Fairfax and Loudon, is held by Barbara Comstock. Yes, that Barbara Comstock. You may remember her name as one of the key cogs in the GOP's behind-the-scenes sleaze machine during the boom years of the Bush administration, alternating between opposition research and crisis management. Tom DeLay, Scooter Libby, Monica Goodling ... she was kind of like the Republican Forrest Gump, always popping up next to GOP celebrities when they were at their most damaged.
In a recent internal poll Comstock trails her Democratic challenger Kathleen Murphy 48-45.
HD-87 is another NoVa district, this one held by GOPer David Ramadan. In 2011 he won by just 51 votes in a district that Obama won 56-42 one year later. So this should be low-hanging fruit. But Virginia Republicans take advantage of the off-year election fall-off in Democratic base-group voter performance. Thus, Ramadan is tied with Democratic challenger Jon Bell 47-47.
Those polls are starting to reflect anger in NoVa over the government shutdown, as federal workers and contractors dominate the region. It's no accident that GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has broken ranks with his tea party bretheren and called for Republicans to allow the federal government to reopen. The shutdown is killing Republicans everywhere, but it's hitting Virginia Republicans particularly hard.
Thus we have close races, in Obama-leaning districts, at a time when Republicans are directly tanking the Virginia economy, facing the same kind of civil war at home that their party faces nationally, and you have a recipe for some serious change.
Let's do our part. Throw $3 to the campaigns of Kathleen Murphy and John Bell. We help our Virginia friends claw back control of the chamber, and they'll help the rest of us during the 2020 reapportionment battle. Sound fair? It sure does to me.