2020 5th CD Election Analysis

Published on Author VA5

Cameron Webb


Across the 5th district, the vote percentage for the Democratic Congressional race increased over the 2018 percentage by .5 %, from 46.7% to 47.2%.  The Democrats in the 5th CD were able to strengthen our margins over 2018 in 14 (out of 23) localities.

Webb won the congressional race in 7 localities: Albemarle, Brunswick, Charlottesville, Danville, Fluvanna, Nelson, and Prince Edward.  This was the first Democratic House “win” since 2012 for Fluvanna and Nelson.

  • The counties of Bedford, Campbell, Franklin, and Pittsylvania gave Good a 46,093 vote margin over Webb.
  • Webb won the rest of the district by 18,000 votes.
  • Webb carried the urban/suburban localities with 69.6% of the vote, which comprised 25% of the district

At the end of the day, this is a district that was drawn to favor Republicans. Flipping a district that Trump won in 2016 by 11 points is extremely difficult, and even in a wave year like 2018 Tim Kaine still lost the district by 2 points when he won by a historic 16-point margin statewide.

When it comes down to it there are a lot more Republicans than Democrats in CD5 and people tend to stick with their party.

  • Democrats did our part in turning out our voters. Cameron won 25,000 more votes than Leslie Cockburn, but in a district with a lot more Republicans, high turnout means they come out to vote too.

It takes a lot of work and time to make inroads in a place like VA5 but we Democrats are making progress, and Cameron’s campaign helped turn out a record number of Democrats in this district. Four years ago Republican Tom Garrett won with a 17 point margin. In just two election cycles we’ve cut that down to 5 points, so we’re making good progress.

Trump received 53.6% of the district vote; Biden received 44.8% of the district vote. Webb’s district total was 47.2% (i.e., better than Biden’s percentage).

Finally, Cameron was a strong candidate and his campaign worked very hard.  Cameron and his team made a point to reach out to everyone in the district and campaign everywhere. He had a great message about health care and equality. There was a lot of Democratic enthusiasm around his campaign, as evidenced by the growth in the volunteer activity and voter turnout.


Analysis by Jerry Saleeby

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