“This is a wipeout… it looks like it’s going to be a big win for Democrats tonight.”
– Chuck Todd, moderator of Meet the Press, speaking to Chris Hayes
The Democratic Party appears to have swept to victory in the Commonwealth of Virginia tonight in all three major statewide races for executive positions.
Propelled by strong and enthusiastic turnout among voters in the Old Dominion’s populous northern counties, gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam, Lieutenant Governor hopeful Justin Fairfax, and incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring were all ahead of their Republican rivals with over 70% of precincts reporting.
Northam was projected by mass media to the victor in the race, defeating former Republican National Committee chieftain Ed Gillespie, who had previously challenged Mark Warner for the United States Senate in 2014. Northam trailed in the early vote, but picked up steam as Loudoun, Fairfax, and Prince William counties began reporting their tabulations in earnest.
As of 5:30 PM Pacific Time, Northam’s share of the vote was 52.27%, with Gillespie at 46.53%. Only twenty minutes prior, Northam’s share had been 51.66%, and only an hour prior, he had just 50.14%. As the night has gone on, his performance has improved — exactly what Democratic strategists wanted to see and were hoping for.
Justin Fairfax and Mark Herring have also done better as the night has gone on. Fairfax currently has 51.21% of the vote and and Herring has 51.83%.
Meanwhile, Democratic candidates are also making strong showings in downballot contests for Virginia’s Legislature. Navy Reserve veteran David Reid has become the first Democratic candidate to flip a Republican-held seat in Virginia from red to blue this cycle, picking up the 32nd House District.
But there’s a lot happening all around the state… so much that it’s hard to keep track of. Courtesy of Steve Singisier, here’s a rundown of the races to watch:
VA House: Something very exciting is happening downballot in the Commonwealth tonight. At present, Democrats have either won or are leading in FOURTEEN districts held by Republicans. Now, in fairness, some of those may flip back as more conservative turf reports. Here are the results of races where the Democratic challenger is leading a GOP incumbent:
- HD-02 (39% in)—Foy (D) 78, Makee ® 22
- HD-10 (70% in)—Gooditis (D) 58, Minchew ® 42
- HD-12 (17% in)—Hurst (D) 55, Yost ® 45
- HD-13 (85% in)—Roem (D) 53, Marshall ® 47
- HD-21 (20% in)—Fowler (D) 55, Villanueva ® 45
- HD-27 (60% in)—Barnett (D) 50, Robinson ® 50
- HD-31 (65% in)—Guzman (D) 54, Lingamfelter ® 44
- HD-32 (96% in)—Reid (D) 59, Greason ® 41
- HD-50 (81% in)—Carter (D) 58, Miller ® 42
- HD-51 (68% in)—Ayala (D) 52, Anderson ® 48
- HD-62 (46% in)—Bynum-Coleman (D) 54, Ingram ® 46
- HD-67 (19% in)—Delaney (D) 55, LeMunyon ® 45
- HD-72 (60% in)—VanValkenburg (D) 51, Whitlock ® 48
- HD-73 (47% in)—Rodman (D) 50, O’Bannon ® 49
As Democrats relished their victory, Republicans began trying to spin their defeat.
“Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for,” grumbled Donald Trump in a Twitter posting after networks called the race for Northam, trying to spin the result as a defeat only for Gillespie as opposed to his regime. (Pence and Trump had urged Virginians to turn out and vote for Gillespie.)