Representative Barbara Comstock (R., Va.) lost to Democratic challenger Jennifer Wexton by a substantial margin in Virginia’s tenth congressional district Tuesday evening.
Wexton received nearly 60 percent of the vote to Comstock’s 41 percent. The state senator and former prosecutor successfully tied the incumbent Republican to President Trump, capitalizing on the resentment many educated, suburban voters’ harbor toward the administration. The strategy proved sufficient to unseat Comstock, a three-term incumbent, in a district Hillary Clinton won by ten percentage points.
Wexton was the beneficiary of $5.9 million in outside spending while Comstock received a substantial $5.5 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Comstock continued to receive significant financial backing from the National Republican Congressional Committee even as Wexton began to pull away in the polls. The Democratic challenger also likely benefitted from Republicans’ frequent recent government shutdown threats as many of Comstock’s now former constituents are government workers who commute into Washington, D.C.
President Obama arrived in the district the night before the election to show support for Wexton and incumbent Democratic senator Tim Kaine, who was projected to win handily against far-right challenger Corey Stewart.