A day after the Virginia statewide election, more is being learned. Though Democrats racked up a surprisingly strong result, particularly in coming close to claiming the House of Delegates’ majority (at this point with at least five elections headed for recounts and legal challenges, GOP control stands at 51-49), their standing is overwhelmingly due to northern Virginia. While turnout was up 16.3% statewide when comparing to the last gubernatorial election in 2013, it was even higher in northern Virginia. In the local entities of Alexandria City, and the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and Stafford, turnouts were up 26% (Alexandria and Arlington), 22, 31, 21, and 19%, respectively, all substantially exceeding the robust statewide figure.
Additionally, Republican turnout was significant, too, thus making the Democratic performance all the more impressive. GOP gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie scored almost 10,000 votes more than Gov. Bob McDonnell in 2009, the last Republican to win the state’s top office, and Lt. Gov. nominee Jill Vogel recorded more votes than any other Republican in the state’s history. This translated into 2017 eight and six point losses for the two GOP candidates.
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