NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Virginia Democratic ticket winning: Northam, Fairfax, Herring all ahead of rival Republicans

“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.

Virginia's 2017 statewide Democratic ticket

Vir­gini­a’s 2017 statewide Demo­c­ra­t­ic tick­et: Ralph Northam, Justin Fair­fax, Mark Her­ring

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.)

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