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Lots of surprises but no clear message from Virginia primary

Yasmine Taeb speaks at an election night party after making a call to Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw, while at Zaaki Restaurant and Hookah Bar in Falls Church, Va., Tuesday, June 11. 2019. Saslaw, who did not face a primary challenger for 40 years, won the race. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via AP)

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s off-year elections later this year — when 140 legislative seats and partisan control of the Legislature is up for grabs — may signal what the rest of the country’s mood will be in 2020. But a series of surprising primary results Tuesday offered mix messages on what voters want.

The progressive wing of the Democratic party flexed its muscles in some races and faltered in others. Conservatives unhappy with moderate Republicans who backed Medicaid expansion last year took out one target and whiffed on another.

Once a key swing state that’s been tilting increasingly toward Democrats, Virginia’s 2017 elections were an early warning signal that a blue wave of opposition to President Donald Trump would wash over the 2018 U.S. midterms.

Alan Suderman, The Associated Press