Outlook: Likely Republican
The 26th district is all of the City of Harrisonburg and parts of Rockingham County in the Shenandoah Valley. Democrats have nominated a smart, energetic candidate in Kai Degner, the Mayor of Harrisonburg, while Republicans nominated Tony Wilt from Rockingham County. There's always a chance for an upset in a special election like this- and Degner is geographically from the right area in the district to potentially spike turnout in "blue areas". But this seat is very red, and the "conservative" Independent running Carolyn Frank is also from Harrisonburg, and is unlikely to pull many votes from Wilt in the Republican parts of Rockingham County. Democrats hopes are two fold here- Degner needs massive turnout, while Wilt must totally fail to get his votes out in the County. It's hard to see that all happening, although anything is possible in a special election if turnout is low enough.
Even if Degner were to win though it doesn't really matter. This would be a very easy seat to tear up or eliminate in redistricting, which makes Ward Armstrong's decision to spend any resources here very difficult to understand. Of course, last November Ward lost 8 incumbent Democratic seats in the House in one election- the all time record for either party in either body- so it's probably better not to analyze his decisions in a rational manner.
Outlook: Safe Republican
This is the more interesting special election going on tomorrow, although the results may be wider between the candidates. The 27th is based in Chesterfield County, and the only seat in Chesterfield that voted for Barack Obama for President. With a special election opportunity, Democrats got a once in a generation opportunity to break into the heart of Chesterfield County with a Delegate. Their efforts to recruit local Supervisor fell through, so as you might expect from Ward Armstrong and his pathetic crybabies in leadership- they went home and refused to play here. This left Democratic nominee- and Chesterfield Planning Commission Chair William Brown stranded with no money- and Democratic leadership "refusing to return his phone calls". Obviously that gives the election to the Republican Roxann Robinson. This is a seat that is more Democratic than the 26th, would be tougher to tear up in redistricting, and is exactly the kind of area Democrats need to win to take back the House. Instead, we are not even competing. Which tells you all you need to know about where Democrats are in the House of Delegates right now and how their immediate future looks.