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Live Blog: Virginia Election Night 2017

2017 governor raceFollow Augusta Free Press for the latest from Virginia Election Night 2017. Editor Chris Graham leads our election desk.

 

Election Night 2017 Preview

Two new polls out Monday give Democrat Ralph Northam a solid lead on Republican Ed Gillespie on the eve of the 2017 Virginia gubernatorial election.

The final poll of the race from Quinnipiac University has Northam with a 51 percent to 42 percent lead on Gillespie. The last look-in from Christopher Newport University has it Northam 51, Gillespie 45.

Significant with the Quinnipiac poll is that the numbers reflect a tightening of the race since last week. An Oct. 30 poll from Quinnipiac had Northam with a 53 percent to 36 percent lead.

“Republican Ed Gillespie is closing Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s lead, but Gillespie still has a ways to go and only 24 hours to get there,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.  “A good sign for Gillespie is that in the last two weeks he has cut Lt Gov. Northam’s 14-point lead among independents, the key bloc of voters, to a statistical tie.  But any hopes that the Republicans have for victory will require their candidate to accomplish the Herculean task of making up a deep, 28-point deficit among women.”

         

The statistical tie among independents in the Quinnipiac poll is actually still a four-point lead for Northam, 46 percent to 42 percent for Gillespie.

The narrowing, though, among that voter base seems noteworthy, though it is also worth noting that observers had been thinking the Quinnipiac numbers might be a statistical outlier, so it may not be the case that the race is tightening based on the closing gap, but rather that the poll is just becoming more reflective of the real situation on the ground.

The Real Clear Politics poll of the most recent 10 polls in the Virginia race gives Northam a 2.8-point lead on Election Eve, 47.3 percent to 44.5 percent, with the results ranging from the nine-point lead for Northam in the Quinnipiac poll to a three-point lead for Gillespie in a poll from the Republican firm The Polling Company.

The CNU poll has been among the more stable this cycle. Northam’s lead has narrowed just one point since the last CNU poll, and this poll gives Northam, the sitting lieutenant governor, a sizable lead over Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chair, among independent voters.

“While each candidate seems to have locked down his base, Northam appears to be winning the appeal to political independents and ideological moderates,” said Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center at Christopher Newport University, citing the finding in the poll that has Northam leading independents by 13 points (51 percent to 38 percent) and moderates by 29 points (62 percent to 33 percent).

“It’s hard to see how Gillespie can make up this deficit when he has consistently trailed Northam among independents by more than 10 points,” said Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center. “To put it into perspective, in 2013 the Republican nominee led among independents but still ended up losing the election by 2.6 percent.”

 
Discussion
  • About 45K votes counted. Northam with a slight lead. Means nothing. Just looking for something to tweet.

  • Gillespie at 74 percent in Augusta County with three precincts (of 26) reporting. About right.

  • Northam at 60.4 percent in Prince William (15 of 92 precincts reporting). Clinton got 57.6 percent in 2016.

  • From the early numbers: Northam tracking about a point ahead of his ticketmates.

  • Northam lost Ward B in Waynesboro (my voting precinct) by 81 votes (5%). Trump won the ward by 11% over Clinton in 2016.

  • Statewide: 19.3% of precincts reporting, Northam 50.14%/Gillespie 48.78%

  • Chesterfield in 2016: Trump 48.2, Clinton 45.9. In 2017: Gillespie 49.9, Northam 48.9.

  • 24.4 percent precincts reporting: Northam 15,300-vote lead (50.9 percent to 48.0 percent).

  • These numbers are coming in A LOT FASTER than in past years.

  • Prince William (68 of 92 reporting): Northam 59.4 percent, Gillespie 39.5. (2016: Clinton 57.6, Trump 36.5).

  • 34.7 percent reporting: Northam 51.1, Gillespie 47.8.

  • 20th House: 19 of 39 reporting, Dickie Bell at 58 percent, Michele Edwards at 39.1 percent.

  • Waynesboro basically done (all but absentee): Gillespie 53.4, Northam 44.9. 2016: Trump 52.2, Clinton 40.9. (Total votes 2017: 5.650. 2016: 9,204).

  • 40.0 percent reporting: Northam 51.2, Gillespie 47.7. Fairfax and Adams smaller leads down ticket.

  • 24 of 25 reporting in House 20: Bell 55.2, Edwards 41.9. All five Nelson precincts still unreported. Interesting …

  • 51.9 percent reporting: Northam 51.4, Gillespie 47.4. Surprised. This one may be over.

  • What do we do with all of this Election Night food/alcohol?

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Danica Roem on her decisive win over Republican Delegate Bob Marshall tonight:

    “As a journalist, Danica Roem has covered the issues critical to Virginians and listened to a wide range of perspectives. During her campaign, Danica expanded this approach by listening to area residents’ concerns and making them integral to her own policy platform. Danica will bring a reporter’s eye to Richmond, and we eagerly anticipate her results-oriented approach to deliver for her constituents in the 13th.”

  • 57.8 percent reporting: Northam 51.5, Gillespie 47.3. 74% of Fairfax, half of Richmond, 100% of Norfolk still to report.

  • CNN project Ralph Northam winner of Virginia governor election.

  • Good news: the world is not entirely fucking crazy.

  • CNN calls Virginia a Democratic-leaning state. Sure. Dems have won a bunch of 24-23 games the past decade. Democratic-leaning.

  • Brent Finnegan running incredibly strong in Harrisonburg in House 26: 1,739-vote lead on incumbent R Tony Wilt. No votes from Rockingham yet.

  • Michele Edwards will fall just short: trails Dickie Bell in House 20, 54.6 to 42.5. Chance to make up some ground, but running out of votes.

  • Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, issued the following statement congratulating Virginia gun safety champions on their elections:

    Gabby Giffords, Co-Founder, Giffords:

    “Tonight, Virginia voters made loud and clear that they are not afraid of the corporate gun lobby. They elected a governor with the courage to champion gun safety measures. Despite the millions of dollars spent by the gun lobby and misleading attacks from his opponent, Virginia voters proved tonight that the candidate with the courage to fight gun violence is the leader they want in office.

    “Governor-elect Northam will stand up to the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda. He will push for solutions to the epidemic of gun violence that is tearing apart Virginia communities. We supported Governor-elect Northam for the same reason Virginia did. Because of his character and record as a gun safety advocate, and because he made his commitment to fighting gun violence a central part of his campaign.

    “Just a few years ago, courageously campaigning on a gun safety platform in Virginia would have been considered politically risky. But tonight’s victory proves gun violence prevention is a winning issue. It is clearly at the forefront of voters’ minds.

    “I am proud of Governor-elect Northam for standing up for gun safety over the course of his campaign.”

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Delegate Mike Mullin on his decisive victory over Heather Cordasco in the 93rd District:

    “Delegate Mike Mullin has consistently been there for his constituents and has worked hard to address their needs in the House of Delegates. He has been a strong advocate against the ‘school to prison pipeline’ and has worked diligently on the behalf of domestic violence victims. We are proud to continue to work alongside Mike as he serves the people of the 93rd District.”

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Lee Carter on his decisive win over Republican Jackson Miller tonight:

    “Lee Carter has been a strong progressive in his fight to support working families in Northern Virginia. As a Marine Corps veteran and an activist, Lee has built his career on helping others.We are proud to work with Lee as he fights for his constituents in the General Assembly.”

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating David Reid on his decisive win over Republican Tag Greason tonight:

    “David Reid has served the people of Virginia and his district as both a small business owner and a member of the US Navy Reserve. He is dedicated to the betterment of his community, and we know that he will serve his district well as Delegate, fighting for access to affordable health care and women’s reproductive rights.”

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Delegate John Bell on his decisive win over Republican Subba Kolla tonight:

    “Delegate John Bell has put the priorities and values of his constituents first in his service in Richmond. As an Air Force veteran, Bell has fought for what he knows is right. He has continued that fight in the General Assembly, standing up for affordable health care and women’s rights. As his campaign slogan says, ‘Bell does it well.’ We could not be happier to have our friend and colleague back for another term. The people of Loudoun and Prince William are, and will continue to be, well represented in Richmond.”

  • 69.5 percent reporting statewide: Northam 52.1 percent, Gillespie 46.8 percent. Utterly surprised. Expected it to be razor-thin.

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Delegate Kathleen Murphy on her decisive victory in the 34th District.

    “Delegate Kathleen Murphy has worked diligently to improve the lives of the people of the 34th District during her time in Richmond, standing tall in the fight for affordable health care and a woman’s right to choose. Her commitment to her constituents is clear, and we look forward to serving alongside her again this legislative session.”

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Elizabeth Guzman on her decisive win over Republican Scott Lingamfelter tonight:

    “Elizabeth Guzman has proudly served Prince William County in the public sector for ten years, and knows the challenges that many in the 31st District face every day. Elizabeth has worked hard as an immigrant and single mother, and we know that she will bring that same tireless commitment to her duties as delegate.”

  • Official in the 20th House: Dickie Bell (R) re-elected. Bell 54.5, Michele Edwards (D) 42.6. Great showing by Edwards. I’ve said since the district was carved out in 2011 that a Dem could be competitive.

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Hala Ayala on her win in District 51.

    “As a single mother who credits Medicaid with saving her son’s life, Hala Ayala understands the needs and concerns of modern working families. She has proven her dedication to helping others as a cybersecurity specialist in the Department of Homeland Security, and as an unwavering advocate for women’s rights. We are excited and honored to work with Hala in the General Assembly this coming January.”

  • 75.4 percent reporting statewide: Northam 52.6, Gillespie 46.2. Down ticket: Fairfax 51.5, Vogel 48.5 for LG. Herring 52.1, Adams 47.8 for AG.

  • Brent Finnegan leads Tony Wilt by 2,000 votes in the 26th. Lots of Rockingham still to report. Wilt running strong there. As expected.

  • The statewide numbers are shocking to me. Northam may win by double digits. Most of Fairfax, Norfolk still to count. Shocking.

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Kelly Fowler on her win over Republican Delegate Ron Villanueva tonight:

    “A Virginia Beach native, Kelly Fowler is well versed in the issues that matter to the 21st district. In advocating for women’s reproductive rights and access to affordable health care, she has proven to be a strong voice for her community. We are excited to have Kelly join us in Richmond, and we know she will be a tireless advocate of behalf of her constituents.”

  • Tom Perez on Gubernatorial Victories in Virginia and New Jersey

    “Tonight, Americans voted their values by electing Democrats in Virginia, New Jersey, and across the country. The DNC made historic investments – we put boots on the ground and organized early; we didn’t wait until a few weeks before Election Day. And we didn’t do this alone: we worked throughout the year with our progressive allies and state parties to deliver these victories.

    “That’s why voters showed up and elected leaders who will create new jobs, grow the economy, improve our schools, and make health care a right for all instead of a privilege for a few. Make no mistake: Ralph Northam and Phil Murphy won tonight because voters know that Democrats share their values of inclusion and opportunity. The new DNC demonstrated its commitment to organizing for our values.

    “Voters also rejected a Trump-Pence agenda that would take health care away from millions, cut taxes for millionaires and corporations at the expense of the middle class, and fuel bigotry and division at a time when our country needs unity.

    “Tonight’s success is just the beginning. We believe that every zip code counts, and we will organize 365 days a year against a Republican Party that always caters to Wall Street instead of Main Street. That’s how we will keep winning elections from the school board to the Oval Office.”

  • 89.6 percent reporting statewide: Northam 53.5 percent, Gillespie 43.5 percent. Wow. Fairfax and Herring with 4-plus point leads down ticket.

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Chris Hurst on his win over Republican Delegate Joseph Yost tonight:

    “As a former TV anchor, Chris Hurst is no stranger to the challenges faced by Southwest Virginians. His commitment to the people who helped him during a time of great tragedy is clear. We congratulate Chris on his win, and we know he will be a vocal advocate for the people of 12th District.”

  • Paper ballots: WAY underrated. (Election over at 9 p.m.)

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Kathy Tran on her win over Republican Lolita Mancheno-Smoak tonight:

    “Kathy Tran has proven her commitment to Virginia’s working families in her work with both the Department of Labor and the National Immigration Forum. As the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, Kathy’s record of excellent leadership and advocacy is a powerful testament to the American Dream. We congratulate Kathy on her win and are excited to work alongside her in Richmond.”

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Jennifer Carroll Foy on her decisive win over Republican Michael Makee tonight:

    “As a public defender and former foster mother, Jennifer Carroll Foy has worked hard for those who depend on her – both in her personal life and in her community. One of the first women of color to graduate from VMI, Jennifer has a history of of persistence, and we know that she will work for a stronger Virginia for the residents of Prince William and Stafford Counties as Delegate.”

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Wendy Gooditis on her win over Delegate Randy Minchew tonight:

    “Wendy Gooditis understands the importance of a strong education system and a thriving community. In addition to her commitment to education, Wendy has been a tireless advocate for affordable health care for all Virginians. We are thrilled to welcome Wendy to Richmond and know that she will serve the people of her district well.”

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Karrie Delaney on her victory over Delegate Jim LeMunyon tonight:

    “Karrie Delaney’s campaign has reflected her experience advocating on behalf of Fairfax’s most vulnerable populations and services they rely on. Her commitment to the needs of her fellow Virginians is clear, and we look forward to working alongside her as she serves as their voice in Richmond.”

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Schuyler VanValkenburg on his win over Republican Eddie Whitlock tonight:
    “As a high school civics teacher, Schuyler VanValkenburg has long been an advocate for educational excellence in Virginia. We recognize his commitment to a more equitable Commonwealth, and we are thrilled to welcome him into the Virginia House Democratic Caucus.”

  • Statement from Justin Fairfax on Being Elected Virginia’s Next Lieutenant Governor

    ARLINGTON, Virginia– This election showed that Virginians believe in our unified vision for the Commonwealth, not one based on fear-mongering and division. That positive vision is the one we’ll go to Richmond with — and the one that we’re going to spend the next four years making a reality. But this is only the beginning.

    It’s time to deliver on the promises we made during this campaign. So I’m ready to spend the next four years making sure that our Commonwealth is one where everyone has the opportunity to rise by helping Virginians prepare for and secure higher-paying jobs, working to bring greater economic security to our state, restructuring student loan debt, expanding access to healthcare, defending constitutional rights, and both making communities safer and ending the school to prison pipeline.

    I’m ready to get started on those issues and more as your next Lieutenant Governor.

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Jay Jones on his win in House District 89 tonight:

    “We are thrilled to welcome Jay Jones into the House Democratic Caucus. As a lifelong resident of the 89th District, he knows and loves the city of Norfolk. Jay has served the people as both a lawyer and community leader, and we know he will carry all he has learned from his district into his term as Delegate. We look forward to serving alongside him in Richmond.”

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Dawn Adams on her win over Republican Delegate Manoli Loupassi tonight:

    “Dawn Adams’ career as a Nurse Practitioner, and in health education and administration, are testaments to her work ethic and dedication to Richmond. Her passion for the people of Virginia’s education, health and wellbeing exemplify Democratic values. We look forward to working alongside her as we fight for affordable health care and women’s reproductive rights in the General Assembly.”

  • Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement congratulating Debra Rodman on her win over Republican Delegate John O’Bannon tonight:

    “Debra Rodman has been unwavering in her fight to ensure that everyone has a shot at the American Dream. As a fierce advocate for affordable healthcare and a good education, Rodman has shown that she is a true voice for the people. She will bring an educator’s perspective to Richmond, and we are thrilled to welcome Debra to the House of Delegates.”