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Here’s how Virginia’s political scandals may shape the campaign trail

Posted at 10:15 PM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-25 22:15:42-05

RICHMOND, VA. — While the 2019 General Assembly has come to a close, the scandals surrounding Democratic leadership will hang over lawmakers through to the general election in November when every seat in the House and Senate are up for grabs.

“What we saw in this session was one of the most remarkable turnarounds I’ve ever watched in Virginia,” said CBS 6 political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth. "The Republicans come out of this session far more confident than they ever were before that they might actually have a chance to hold on and perhaps even gain a few seats in the upcoming election.”

Dr. Holsworth said Democrats expected to coast to a majority in both chambers prior to Governor Ralph Northam  and Attorney General Mark Herring  admitting to dressing in blackface in the past and Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax being accused of sexual assault from two women, which he denies 

Holsworth said in the past two election cycles, Democrats had been able to make gains by tying the Virginia Republicans to President Donald Trump, but now they have to contend with “self-inflicted wounds” and argued that Republicans will say "Democrats have lost the moral authority.”

Holsworth added that with all three top leaders embroiled in scandal it is unlikely that any of them will be hitting the campaign trail with other Democrats.

"They’re going to have to come up with a very effective strategy very quickly,” said Holsworth of House and Senate Democrats who will be campaigning. He added that they will likely continue to focus on the links between state Republicans and President Trump, along with the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment and their stances on social rights issues.

Holsworth said the two unknowns at this point that could influence the November election are how enthusiastic Democratic voters are to head out to the polls and what impact a hearing  about the allegations facing Fairfax would have.