While everybody's attention these days is on the Gubernatorial Primary this Tuesday, FiveThirtyEight offers another reason that Democrats must get out there and volunteer for the local races. One word: redistricting. Which ever party controls the House of Delegates after this year's election will be in the driver's seat for control of redistricting.
But as the article points out, Democrats, for various reasons, have been woefully inadequate at recruiting or offering challengers even in districts where Obama did very well (generally NOVA seats). It will still be tough for us, even if all races where challenged, to pick up the six House of Delegates seats needed for a House majority, but if we can't find - according to Lowell, strong, well-funded - challengers for all the potentially competitive seats, we do ourselves serious disservice, hamstringing our efforts to regain a majority in the House, and, again, potentially relinquishing control of redistricting to the Republicans.
538 offers a list of 40 potentially competitive seats, and though guilty of our own unopposed races, only 3 of these potentially competitive races (districts 14, 58, 60) reside here in the 5th Congressional District. With this in mind, it looks like two of these races are, at this stage, very competitive [Anderson vs. Marshall (14th) and Neff vs. Bell (58th)]. These races will still be tough, as always unseating an incumbent is a tall order, but I am currently pleased with these pick-up opportunities. Truthfully, I am not really sure how the 60th (Guill vs. Edmundson) is shaping up, but I would love to see it competitive also.
While the gubernatorial primary is currently sucking all of the oxygen out of the room, we would do well to remember that control of redistricting is also at stake this November ... as if there wasn't enough at stake already.