Bellwether: Virginia's Political Transformation, 2006-2020

Bellwether: Virginia's Political Transformation, 2006-2020

Bellwether: Virginia's Political Transformation, 2006-2020

Bellwether: Virginia's Political Transformation, 2006-2020


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Throughout the early years of the 20th century, Virginia was viewed as a Republican state. Citizens in the Commonwealth had not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964. In 2000, the GOP had just won the governor’s race, held both U.S. Senate seats, and had majorities in both the House of Delegates and the State Senate. By 2020, all of that had been reversed. During that period, Democrats won four of five governors contests, elected two US senators, and voted for Democratic presidential candidates in every year since 2008. In 2019, the House of Delegates, where Republicans maintained a 68-32 supermajority in 2011, flipped to Democratic control. With it, the state became a Democratic trifecta, where the party controlled all of the state’s levers of power. Bellwether tells the story of how this happened from someone who was “in the room at the time.” David Toscano began his service in the House in 2006 and became the Democratic Leader of the body in 2011. He examines the special nature of Virginia politics, the demographic changes that underpin much of its shifting political fortunes, and the policies and personalities at the center of the state’s dynamics for the last two decades.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761873228
Publisher: Hamilton Books
Publication date: 05/15/2022
Pages: 340
Sales rank: 698,109
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

David J. Toscano is an attorney who served seven terms in the Virginia House of Delegates until his retirement in 2020 and was the Democratic Leader in that body from 2011 until 2019.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Foreword by U.S. Senator Tim Kaine



Introduction: Harbinger of Change

Chapter 1: The Cardinal Rule

Chapter 2: Virginia Exceptionalism

Chapter 3: Race Matters

Chapter 4: Reckoning with “The Virginia Way”

Chapter 5: Disruption and Continuity

Chapter 6: Pay to Play?

Chapter 7: Governors Come and Go

Chapter 8: Power in the Legislature

Chapter 9: Advocates

Chapter 10: Hot Buttons

Chapter 11: Because We Can

Chapter 12: The Power of Forty-Nine

Chapter 13: Trifecta

Conclusion: Reimagining the Virginia Way


About the Author


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