Virginia’s elections today affect us all. The state is gerrymandered to send 3-4 Democrats and 7-8 Republicans to Congress, even though the people vote slightly more than 50% Democratic. The House of Delegates and Senate that draw gerrymanders once every ten years are gerrymandered the same way and nearly always Republican controlled even though Virginia’s people prefer Democrats. Thus the Republican dominance perpetuates itself.
But a governor can veto gerrymanders. We just need one in office when the new maps are drawn and he can force the legislature to produce a fair map or the courts will have to step in and draw a less biased map on their own if the governor and legislature don’t agree.
There is one catch. Maps are drawn in years ending in 1—like 2021—but can be delayed until the next year if necessary. Virginia elects new governors (they cannot be re-elected) in 2017 and 2021 to take office in 2018 and 2022 respectively. So a Republican governor can sign off on a new biased set of gerrymandered maps by winning in either 2017 or 2021. Democrats have to win both elections to restore democracy to Virginia and stem the five seat headwind we face in the national Congress just from Virginia. (The Republican gerrymanders in states they redrew in 2011 accounts for the entire Republican margin of control in the United States House of Representatives.)
The governor’s race is close today between Republican Gillespie and Democrat Northam with Northam holding a tiny 3-point lead in the polls and 10-20% undecided.
But look at the weather in Democrat-heavy northern Virginia:
The red line is temperature and the brown is chance of rain. Thanks to the National Weather Service. Democrats and data scientists know that government agencies and government sponsored research are essential sources of data to understand our world.
Now look at blood red Virginia Beach weather:
So tough it out, Dems. Remember your jackets and get out to vote.