Virginia Dems brace for 2020 political fallout from scandal

The political crisis in Virginia threatens to turn a state that has trended Democratic back into a battleground, and that could complicate the party’s effort to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020.

Three of the state’s top Democrats are engulfed in a scandal that has shaken the statehouse. The governor and attorney general have admitted wearing blackface as young men. The lieutenant governor has been accused of a 2004 sexual assault, an allegation he denies.

The men are resisting calls to resign.

Democrats say the threat isn’t so much that an urbanizing electorate will move swiftly toward Republicans or suddenly embrace Trump in a state he lost by 5 percentage points.

But there are concerns the scandals could dampen enthusiasm among a Democratic base of women, nonwhites and young liberals.