RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s closely watched off-year primary contest produced plenty of surprises Tuesday, but little in the way of a coherent message.
The top Democrat in the state Senate narrowly won his primary despite heavily outspending a progressive challenger, and another incumbent lost her seat to a former Virginia lawmaker who used to spend his days at the state Capitol and his nights in jail after being accused of having sex with his teenage secretary. Conservative challengers upset with Republican incumbents who backed Medicaid expansion had mixed results. One delegate in a key swing district lost to a more conservative challenger, while a moderate senator easily cruised to victory.
Once a key swing state that’s been tilting increasingly toward Democrats, Virginia’s 2017 elections were an early warning signal that a blue wave of opposition to President Donald Trump would wash over the 2018 U.S. midterms. Now political analysts are looking for clues about what message voters may send for the 2020 presidential race.