Daily Kos

VA-10: While Democrats have, off and on, tried to capture Virginia’s 10th Congressional District for years, it’s a deceptively difficult seat for Team Blue. Mitt Romney carried it by just a 50-49 margin in 2012, but the following year, Democrat Ralph Northam only defeated Republican E.W. Jackson 52-48 in the race for lieutenant governor, even as Northam was winning a 55-45 blowout statewide. When even a suburban district in Northern Virginia refuses to turn hard against a raving lunatic like Jackson, you know its Republicans are particularly rock-ribbed.

That fact, along with freshman Rep. Barbara Comstock’s big first win in 2014, motivated our initial rating of Likely Republican for this race. But national Democrats have made it clear they think real estate executive LuAnn Bennett (who used to be married to ex-Rep. Jim Moran) has what it takes to defeat Comstock. Bennett pulled in a very strong $419,000 in the first quarter of the year and has $554,000 in the bank. Comstock, with the advantages of incumbency, did better still, raising $580,000, and she has a hefty $1.8 million in her campaign account. But both the DCCC and the House Majority PAC plan to help make up the gap, making early fall TV ad reservations that totaling $2.8 million. (Republicans have yet to follow suit.)

Again, Democrats still have a difficult path to victory here, but this race is going to be a competitive one. It’s also worth noting that the 10th was not exactly Trump territory: The Donald lost the district 37-29 to Marco Rubio, the presumptive GOP nominee’s worst performance in a GOP-held district in Virginia. Consequently, we’re changing our rating to Lean Republican.