The 2023 off-year elections have gained attention across the country for being a signal marker of how voters will sway in the 2024 Presidential Election.
This November, major contests such as the governor races in Kentucky and Mississippi, the Virginia state legislature races and an abortion vote in Ohio will determine what the voting landscape could look like for 2024 candidates.
In the state of Virginia, the future of popular Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin could either be propelled further into success or abruptly halted with General Assembly elections about to take place in the Old Dominion.
Similar to Ohio, Virginia will also be looking at the topic of abortion rights as Virginia voters make their voices heard from representatives.
“While all 140 General Assembly seats are on the ballot in a costly and competitive election year, the balance of power, currently divided, will likely be decided in about a dozen districts in Hampton Roads, suburban Richmond and northern Virginia…
“Candidates have been making their case to voters on the economy, the environment, public safety and schools, but no issue has been more hotly contested than abortion in the last state in the South without new restrictions since the end of Roe v. Wade,” according to the Associated Press.
Many are interested and awaiting the Virginia General Assembly results, especially since Virginia is a signal state: usually what voters voice in off-year Virginia elections tend to be the national trend in the year after for presidential elections.
Due to Virginia’s status as a possible indicator for 2024, both the Republican and Democratic parties have campaigned across the state and held multiple events, rallies and voter meet and greets.
“Republicans are hoping their candidates benefit from the Democratic president’s persistently poor approval ratings, which are lower than Youngkin’s…[Youngkin] headlined his party’s campaign events. He appeared with candidates in competitive districts statewide as part of a bus tour promoting an early voting initiative aimed at reversing years of GOP mistrust in the policy,” according to the Associated Press.
The state of the economy is another hotly contested issue among Virginia voters.
More so, economic policy issues such as inflation could cause voters to abandon current President Biden at the polls, especially with the sitting president’s incredibly weak polling throughout the nation and multiple swing states.
The Associated Press interviewed two different voters, Stephen Jones and Marie Holland, on the state of the U.S. economy and their thoughts on how it might affect their thinking:
“Jones said voting Republican also sends a message to Washington, particularly on the economy. He cited inflation, gas prices and interest rates as proof that things are not going well.
‘There’s all kinds of indicators that don’t indicate that Biden-omics, if you will, is working,’ Jones said, adding that he recently bought a 16-ounce bottle of Pepsi for $2.60.
But Marie Holland, who voted in Norfolk for Democrats, said the economy actually appears to be on an upswing.
‘All of these things take time — it’s never in a one or two-year cycle,’ said Holland, 67, who works as a physician. ‘And I think we’re getting there. We had gotten pretty far down. But we’ve avoided a full blown recession,’” according to the Associated Press.
Whether its issues ranging from abortion to the economy, Virginia seems to be a certain enigma as to how voters will cast their decisions.
With how neck-in-neck the votes in Virginia are, the possible clues to the 2024 Presidential Election winner may be harder to pinpoint than previously thought as the nation eagerly awaits November of next year.
See the off-year election information here.