Traditionally Blue Virginia Added To 2024 Swing State Roster

- July 12, 2024
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For some Democrats, President Biden's recent press conference, while managing to exceed some expectations, did little to salvage his reelection campaign. His performance, marred by numerous gaffes, has led to calls for a change in leadership.

Rep. (D-Conn.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, voiced his concerns following Biden's unscripted and often awkward interaction with the press. Himes emphasized the risk of relying on an 81-year-old president prone to off-script mishaps.

“Imagine that three months from now, we get another performance like there was in the debate.

The conventional wisdom surrounding the 2024 presidential race is that a handful of “swing” states will determine the outcome.

But conventional wisdom is a brittle thing. Surprises, even modest ones, tend to cast the CW into a ditch, leaving pundits and pros alike wondering what the heck happened to their best-laid plans and narratives.

It's possible we may be seeing just such an electoral surprise unfolding in , which has been in the Democratic presidential column continuously since 2008 (and was reliably Republican for decades before then).

from Roanoke College suggests the commonwealth and its 13 electoral votes may be in play:

President and former President are tied (42%-42%) in a head-to-head matchup in Virginia, while Biden holds a two-point lead (40%-38%) when other candidates are included, according to the Roanoke College Poll. The Institute for Policy and Opinion Research (IPOR) at Roanoke College interviewed 711 likely voters in Virginia between May 12 and May 21, 2024. The survey has a weighted margin of error of 4.24%.

That contrasts with 2020, when Donald Trump consistently trailed Joe Biden in Virginia, with Biden winning comfortably in November.

The major takeaway from the current data:

“These results suggest that Virginia could be ‘in play' in November,” said Dr. Harry Wilson, senior political analyst for IPOR and Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Roanoke College, “but five months is an eternity in politics. This tie or two-point lead seems dramatic, but they are within the margin of error of the results of the February 2024 and November 2023 Roanoke College Polls. Still, it seems that Trump is narrowing Biden's lead, which has all but disappeared.” 

Fair enough – there is a great deal of time between now and Nov. 5. An array of possibilities could shape how the electorate views the nominees and the snap shots polling offers us today may look positively quaint several months from now.

There's always the possibility this poll is an outlier – capturing a picture of an electorate that is either a fictional or too ephemeral to matter.

Or it could be an inkling of something else:

“While Biden and Trump are viewed negatively about equally, it is not good news for Biden that Trump's years as president are seen more positively and that the economy (which other polls show as a weakness for Biden) is by far the most important issue.”

Indeed. Which makes the spectacular flop of the “Bidenomics” messaging all the more instructive…and why James Carville's rant about how Biden and Democrats in general are fumbling the economic issue is so important.

But remember: to know whether Virginia is really in play, we'll need to see a series of polls over the weeks and months ahead to confirm the Roanoke College numbers.

If they don't conform, then Virginia probably isn't in play. If they confirm, the sound you'll hear is conventional wisdom, and the narratives supporting it are cracking like an iceberg.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.

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