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November 8, 2017

It is with great joy that we at Why Virginia Matters 2017 report to you as of today that:

  • We have taken back 16 SEATS in Virginia's House of Delegates, which ties the chamber at a 50/50 split.
  • We're not done yet! Five races are so close that they will have recounts — we lead in 2 of these races and trail in 3 (one by only 12 votes!)
  • If we hang on to the 2 recounts where we are ahead and win one just one more, we will indeed flip the chamber blue!
Our sincere appreciation to all of you who have been on this journey with us.

To our fellow Virginians, thank you for embracing our "When We Vote, We Win" mantra. We made it our singular mission to get our voters to the polls in this off-year election (historically, no easy task) and you made it happen — you knocked doors, you made calls, you texted, you wrote postcards, you donated funds, and you "barnstormed" your own communities. You left nothing to chance, and for that reason, yesterday we elected a slate of inspiring Democratic candidates reflecting our communities and our values.

To those of you from out of state who answered our all-hands-on-deck call to join the fight to flip Virginia blue, we thank you for your unflappable solidarity. Given the severely gerrymandered districts and the Koch Brothers-fueled dark money that greatly tilted the field in the Republican incumbents' favor, we Virginians couldn't do this on our own.

At Why Virginia Matters 2017, we felt it important to earn your support, not just ask for it. We created presentations, issues analysis, and candidate profiles demonstrating: 1) how this election in Virginia affected you wherever you live (Constitutional Convention, gerrymandering, and voter suppression); 2) that we had a solid game plan for flipping the chamber blue, making it worth your investment; and 3) that, despite the pundits' tired refrain that Democrats "don't have a message," we had a slew of inspiring, talented candidates running here in Virginia we wanted you to meet. You answered the call and share in the victory today.

Whether in state or out, we tried to convey that your contribution could be a gamechanger precisely because these state races are games of inches — they can and do come down to miniscule vote margins where any dollar provided or hour spent volunteering could be the one that puts a candidate over the finish line. Thanks to your commitment, we blasted a resounding message from Virginia last night regarding Trumpism and the recent Republican takeover of every level of our government — not on our watch and we are coming to your state next!

Finally, the journey doesn't end here. Our consistent message at Why Virginia Matters 2017 is that we must be in this work to reclaim our state legislatures from the grip of conservative extremism for the long haul. Virginia mattered in 2017 because it was the first one up. Now, our decisive victory here creates the springboard needed nationally for the federal and state races ahead in 2018. Stay tuned!


Watch a social-media-friendly version of the story.

Hear how Republicans have systematically taken control of our state governments and why Virginia is the place we start taking them back.