Believe it or not, we're less than eight months away from Election Day.
Seats in the U.S. House and Senate are up for grabs this year and political analysts say it's shaping up to be an easy ride for incumbents. Whether it's name recognition, past service, or a variety of other factors, it's no secret the person in office tends to fare better during a bid for re-election.
This year, every seat in the House of Representatives is up for grabs, including Virginia's 5th District seat, held by Republican Robert Hurt. At least two Democrats have announced plans to challenge Hurt, but Hurt is in pretty safe territory.
Democratic Senator Mark Warner is facing his first re-election bid. Early polls show Warner with a commanding lead, but with the rocky rollout of Obamacare and a still-recovering economy, analysts say the national political landscape could create a competitive race.
“Even being a strong incumbent is not going to save you if your party does very badly in an election cycle,” said Geoff Skelley, a political analyst with the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
Many expect former Republican national committee Chair Ed Gillespie will win the GOP nomination to challenge Warner in November. And the Senate race is one Republicans desperately want to win.
As of the last election, Republicans control none of Virginia's five statewide offices for the first time in decades, which means you can expect the GOP to pull out all the stops as we draw closer to November.