Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Read more VPM News coverage of the historic 2023 elections in Virginia.

AP race call: Virginia Democrats win full control of General Assembly

Gov. Glenn Youngkin chats with a reporters
Shaban Athuman
VPM News
Gov. Glenn Youngkin chats with members of the media following a Secure Your Vote Rally on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023 in Glen Allen.

Virginia Democrats have maintained their control of the state Senate and flipped the state House, consolidating their grip on the state Legislature in what will remain divided government.

Their legislative wins provide Democrats with a stronger hand pushing against the policy priorities of Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

The entire 140-seat Legislature was up for grabs. The elections received significant national attention, with prominent Democrats like President Biden and former President Barack Obama boosting their party with emails and robocalls.

On the Republican side, Youngkin's political action committee poured significant cash into the campaign.

Although Virginia voters weren't weighing in directly on abortion rights, the issue permeated the campaigns. The commonwealth currently acts as a southern refuge for abortion access in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade last year.

In one competitive district in Petersburg, voters said abortion was their top issue.

"Even though the other things are important — that's more important than anything," Wilma Nedrick told NPR on Tuesday.

Republicans, led by Youngkin, have been trying to recast their messaging on abortion, pushing a position they framed as a middle ground on the issue: a ban on the procedure at 15 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.

The DNC cheered Tuesday's results, labeling them "a huge sign of Democrats' continued momentum heading into 2024."

While abortion has featured heavily in this cycle, education, climate, and support of law enforcement were common issues candidates pitched to voters, especially in the legislative battleground districts in Virginia's suburban areas.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Jahd Khalil covers local government, the economy and labor issues for VPM News. Previously, he covered state government for RadioIQ and was a freelance journalist based in Egypt.