Although Virginia’s Democrat-controlled state senate redrew its district lines to protect its incumbents, Republicans had high hopes going into Tuesday’s elections. With its healthy majority in the House of Delegates assured, the GOP was free to focus on winning the two seats needed to form a tie in the senate, which Republican lieutenant governor Bill Bolling could break in the party’s favor. And winning three additional seats would have given the GOP outright control. Eleven seats, meanwhile, were considered “in play.”
Those in-play races lived up to the hype with some spectacularly close finishes. But in the end, the power of redistricting demonstrated its full force, and Democrats held on in almost all of the places they needed. By late Tuesday night, Virginia appeared to have a 20–20 split — with a possible recount demand upsetting the apple cart.
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