The key Virginia races to watch are in the Senate, because it’s unlikely the Democrats can win a majority in the House, said Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. Democrats only need to gain a single Senate seat to create a 20-20 split and throw the tie-breaking vote to Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam.
That scenario would put McAuliffe and the Democrats in a stronger position to push through Medicaid expansion, though it still would face a tough hurdle in the House, Farnsworth said. Republican House Speaker William J. Howell has vowed never to vote to expand Medicaid.