This brief piece [NB: loading that site causes my computer to hang for a few second] notes that
Wednesday, November 09, 2011 :::
As a consolation for the GOP after a lackluster election performance, it has been pointed out that Democrats clung to an apparent tie in the state Senate despite winning only 39 percent of the statewide vote for state Senate. But this number, which suggests a clever gerrymander, omits the fact that Democrats failed to contest 11 incumbent Republicans whereas Republicans failed to challenge just three Democrats.So if you only look at contested races, the Democrats won 17 races out of 26 (65%) on 52% of the two-party vote. I don't think that really contradicts the "clever gerrymander" story.
What do you get if you throw out all the votes from the uncontested races?
According to the Virginia Board of Elections website, Virginians cast about 1.34 million votes last night. If you exclude all of the uncontested races and write-in votes, there were 912,000 votes cast. Of those votes, Republicans won 441,776, and Democrats won 470,412.
UPDATE: Of course, it's also consistent with the story that the Republicans fought more unwinnable races.
::: posted by Steven at 2:38 PM