Ugly Virginia primaries could hint at election trend in 2020

June 6, 2019
FILE- This Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 file photo shows Senate minority leader, Sen. Richard Saslaw, D-Fairfax, gestures during debate on a bill during the Senate session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Saslaw is facing a primary challenger for the first time in 40 years. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s 2017 elections were an early warning signal that an anti-Trump blue wave was headed for the 2018 U.S. midterms. This year’s legislative elections could offer strong clues about national trends in 2020.

Primary elections are a few weeks away and both Republicans and Democrats are in the midst of ugly battles over their respective party’s identities and values.

The Virginia Senate’s top Democrat said his opponent is telling voters “we need to get all of these old white men out of office” as an unusually high number of Democratic incumbents are being challenged by newcomers in the mold of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

On the Republican side, lingering resentment over last year’s vote to expand Medicaid is helping fuel unusually divisive primary contests.

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