2020 Virginia House of Delegates: Demographics and Voting Behavior
Written By: Nathan Tatum, University of Richmond '21
Faculty Advisors: Sojourna Cunningham & Samantha Guss
The focus of this project is on the demographic makeup of the 2020 Virginia House of Delegates, and how various demographic factors - political affiliation, gender/sex, race, religious affiliation, education level, and age - may influence their voting behavior on different legislation.
The paper is divided into three parts. The first part explains the measures and methodology used in the creation of the dataset. The second and third parts make use of the information collected in the dataset. The second part details the demographic makeup of the 2020 Va. House and compares the makeup of the House to the makeup of Virginia as a whole. Finally, the third part looks at eight bills from the 2020 General Assembly session, discusses how delegates voted on these bills and the trends that may be seen, and looks at other studies to draw implications on the policy outcomes that may be associated with greater diversity and representation in legislative bodies.
Additionally, an accompanying dataset containing information on 2020 Va. House delegate demographics and voting behavior on various House Bills was produced to make this information more easily accessible and to hopefully motivate and support further research in this area.