Not only will Corey Stewart likely lose to Sen. Tim Kaine, but his nomination may cost the GOP 3 House seats in Virginia because he will depress Republican turnout.
Stewart is the Senate candidate who runs around defending Confederate monuments, and the white supremacists in Charlottesville. It isn’t like Republicans had much of a chance of beating Sen. Tim Kaine no matter who they nominated, but Stewart could cost them House seats that are currently held by Republicans.
Trip Gabriel tweeted:
Pro-confederate flag nominee @CoreyStewartVA atop the GOP ticket in Nov means suburban R’s may just stay home, raising prospects for D’s of flipping 3 House seats: VA-2, VA-7, VA-10.
— Trip Gabriel (@tripgabriel) June 13, 2018
Thanks to Stewart, Republicans could be heading for a massive turnout problem in Virginia in November:
The real contest this November is not Kaine v Stewart. It’s Stewart v Watkins. 28.7% is the previous low water mark for a statewide Republican in modern Va history. This will be a real test.
— Tucker Martin (@jtuckermartin) June 13, 2018
Elections guru Larry Sabato noted:
VA Republicans now have a big problem. If the race goes as expected—IF—and Kaine wins handily, the undertow for the GOP could produce 2 or 3 gains for Ds in House seats. That’s a real one-state contribution to the +23 seats (net) Dems need nationally.
— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) June 13, 2018
Virginia is already trending blue, but Stewart is a disaster at the top of the ballot
Endangered Virginia House incumbents like Rep. Barbara Comstock already had a tough mountain to climb, but it might be flat out impossible if moderate Republicans simply don’t show up due to Stewart’s presence on the ballot. Senate elections motivate voters, and a bad Senate candidate has the ability to depress party turnout. In a blue wave year, the last thing that Republicans needed was their habit of nominating unelectable candidates rising up to bite them in the backside again.
It has happened in Virginia, and the consequence could be a Democratically controlled House in January 2019.