Welcome to my diary series titled Majority Savers! I will run a new article every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The goal of this series is to highlight races that may make or break our current slender majorities in Congress. That means I will start more with incumbent Senators and House members until some primary elections are settled. If I have time, I will expand it to governors as well in critical swing states.
If you want to find my previous entries in this series, I recommend following me or searching for #MajoritySavers as a tag!
I have six ground rules behind the philosophy of this series. I’d ask you all to respect them as best you can, because these are taking me quite a long time to write. Here are my ground rules.
This outspoken centrist Democratic incumbent still votes the Biden position nearly 100% of the time. She flipped a district that had been in the hands of the GQP for over 30 years, and held it narrowly during the 2020 election. Now her district has shifted to one that covers the fringes of the D.C. metro area. Majority Savers heads to Virginia to highlight Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia’s 7th district!
This is meant to be a primer to get to know Rep. Abigail Spanberger better as a person. If you want her full story, visit her campaign website HERE.
- Spanberger started her political career as a Senate page to Sen. Chuck Robb. It is likely here that she gained the connections for her career later on.
- She has earned a BA from the University of Virginia and an MBA from a joint program in Germany while she was stationed overseas. This sense of business administration is likely why she is a deficit hawk in Congress.
- Spanberger was a CIA officer for an undisclosed amount of time. Obviously, her time at the CIA is classified, although portions of applications she filled out have leaked in past races.
Spanberger has built a reputation as a moderate voice in the party, and this is reflected in the fact that she is one of our most conservative Democratic members of the caucus remaining. Her DW Nominate score is -0.175, which indicates a moderate voting record. She is more liberal than 50% of the entire combined House, but more conservative than 97% of the entire Democratic caucus.
Look, I get it. Many here on this site are much more progressive than her and will probably trash her in the comments. However, she is a MORE Democrat in a district that will only support a MORE Democrat. Biden very narrowly won the district and Youngkin won it. You aren’t getting a liberal from this district. If you want to see Speaker McCarthy or worse, Speaker Jim Jordan, go ahead and throw away this seat. SHE VOTES WITH BIDEN NEARLY 100% OF THE TIME ON MAJOR ISSUES.
Health Care: Spanberger supports expanding the ACA through some form of a public option. She is working diligently on getting prescription drug prices under control, mainly through Medicare being able to negotiate prices. She supports the right to choose, and better outcomes in women’s health.
Gun Safety: Spanberger has called for a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, and consistently votes for gun safety measures in spite of being a gun owner (necessary for her former job) herself. She is pushing for extended background checks and a ban on bump stocks.
Congressional Corruption: Spanberger has harshly criticized the Citizens United decision as one of the worst decisions made by the Supreme Court (so far). She supports campaign finance reform that would overturn this heinous decision. She also is in favor of a stock trading ban for Congress.
Recent Elections —
2020 President: Joe Biden (D) 52.4%, TFG (R-inc) 45.7%
2020 House: Abigail Spanberger (D-inc) 50.9%, Nick Freitas (R) 49.1%
2021 Governor: Glenn Youngkin (R) 52.2%, Terry McAuliffe (D) 47.0%
2022 Race Rating: Tossup
2022 PVI: D+1
This district was one of the first ones to ditch the Solid South Democratic stranglehold, having done so in the 1980s. The Democratic Party was in the wilderness in this seat, as white flight from Richmond proper fueled explosive growth in the district and favored the GQP. Eventually, the House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, was elected to this district to show how Republican it had become.
One of the biggest political upsets of the last decade happened in this district, when professor David Brat came out of nowhere to shock the Republican establishment to its core in 2014. Cantor had neglected constituent outreach and had worried too much about national ambitions, and Brat succeeded in waging an insurgent campaign against him. Brat had no idea that demographics were about to unleash further turbulence upon him.
Even though TFG won the district in 2016, Democratic candidate Abigail Spanberger spotted an opening during the 2018 blue wave election in this district. She noted that the Richmond suburbs were changing, and of course revolting against TFG. Spanberger scored a narrow win in both 2018 and 2020, when Biden narrowly carried the district as well. Now, Spanberger had to hop to northern Virginia to keep protecting this district.
Political Tour of the District
This district focuses more on northern Virginia than its predecessor, having eliminated the suburbs of Richmond in exchange for the exurbs of the D.C. metro area. The consistent part of the district includes what is called the ‘neck’ of Virginia, which is the territory in between Charlottesville and the D.C. metro area. The independent commission valued competitiveness by putting the very liberal university town of Charlottesville in a different district, so Spanberger cannot rely on it.
Here’s where this race will be won in the 7th district.
- Prince William County: These suburbs of the D.C. metro area used to vote for moderate Republicans. Since the Obama area, northern Virginia and Prince William County in particular have increasingly supported Democratic candidates without shedding the reputation for moderation. Spanberger must run up the score in an area new to her if she is to protect this district from the GQP.
- Stafford County and Fredericksburg: The gangbusters growth in the D.C. metro area has extended out to these exurbs now too. These areas are the swingy portion of the district, where the contest for this district will be won or lost. Spanberger must introduce herself to these moderate to conservative voters and win enough of them over to stay in Congress.
Here’s where we need to keep the margins down, or we lose.
- The Neck of Virginia: These counties of Virginia tend to be conservative and support the GQP over Democratic candidates. Spanberger must carry the city of Culpeper, while holding down the score in the surrounding areas if she is to succeed. Luckily, she is familiar to most of these constituents.
- Far D.C. Exurbs: The growth for the D.C. metro area is now spilling over into Spotsylvania and Caroline Counties as well, as those fleeing from the inner D.C. suburbs flee to these red counties looking for something affordable in the area. While there are blue precincts out here, there are many more red ones, so Spanberger must keep the margins down in this area or else.
Activism — Help How You Can!
In excellent news on the fundraising front, Rep. Spanberger is one of our best fundraisers in a competitive district. She raised $1.13 MILLION for Quarter 1 of 2022 alone, which puts her in elite company. This is more than double what her GQP opponents (they have not had their primary yet) *combined* raised for the quarter. Expect dark money to flood the race to make up the difference.
Spanberger needs that cash, because the D.C. media market is one of the most expensive in the entire nation. She also is brand new to many in the district, being from the Richmond suburbs. Spanberger thankfully has $3.89 MILLION cash on hand to burn through in order to accomplish her campaign goals. To continue that goal of settling into a new district, send a donation her way!
DONATE TO REP. ABIGAIL SPANBERGER HERE
Spanberger will need volunteers to knock on doors to make sure that the people in the new 7th district realize that they have a competitive race to vote for. If you are in the D.C. area, this race is one of the more competitive ones in the area — sign up at https://abigailspanberger.com/ to volunteer for her campaign today!
Spanberger has a healthy amount of followers on social media as well. She has 71.4k followers on Twitter, likely from her previous runs and her prominence as a centrist voice in the party.
She also has a rather active Facebook account at SpanbergerforCongress and on Instagram at abigailspanberger.
Thank you for reading this Majority Savers article. I understand that Rep. Abigail Spanberger isn’t the most popular Democratic incumbent on this site, but we only have to lose a net of 4 seats right now to lose control of the House. We will need her to stay in Congress for the foreseeable future in order to pass any portion of our agenda. That is why she is worthy of our support!
Raphael Warnock Dr. Yadira Caraveo Frank Mrvan, Jr. Cheri Beasley
Emilia Sykes Catherine Cortez Masto Dr. Kim Schrier Cindy Axne
Jared Golden Dan Kildee Elaine Luria Greg Stanton
Lauren Underwood Susie Lee Matt Cartwright Maggie Hassan
Greg Landsman Tom O’Halleran Don Davis Sharice Davids
Marcy Kaptur Vicente Gonzalez Angie Craig