Home GOP three sweep state races

GOP three sweep state races


The last pre-election polls had the Republican ticket of Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli winning by 11-14 points.

Bad news for Virginia Democrats – it was worse than expected.

McDonnell bested Democrat Creigh Deeds in the marquee race for governor Tuesday, piling up over 1 million votes en route to garnering just shy of 60 percent of the votes cast overall.

Bolling won a second term as lieutenant governor, beating back the challenge of Democrat Jody Wagner by a 57 percent-to-43 percent margin.

Cuccinelli was elected attorney general with 57.9 percent of the vote to Steve Shannon’s 42 percent of the vote.

Cuccinelli and Shannon each, like McDonnell, received more than 1 million votes.

“I congratulate my opponent, Bob McDonnell, and I look forward to maintaining my longstanding record of reaching across the aisle and working together to create workable solutions for the challenges we face,” Deeds said in his concession statement.

“I hope that Bob McDonnell and all Democrats and Republicans will join me in that commitment,” said Deeds, who led McDonnell in the polls in the immediate aftermath of his stunning June 9 primary victory over former State Del. Brian Moran and former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe, but fell behind big by the start of the summer and never really gained traction with voters.

That the Republicans were going to sweep the state races had become a foregone conclusion as the days counted down to Nov. 3. The margin of victory, though, was stunning, particularly given that just 52 weeks ago Mark Warner was rolling up a 63 percent-plus vote total in his Senate race against former Gov. Jim Gilmore and Barack Obama was getting 52 percent of the vote to become the first Democrat to win Virginia in 44 years.

The margin was more surprising given what the final pre-election polls had to say about the popularity of Obama and outgoing Gov. Tim Kaine – both of whom enjoyed the support of more than 50 percent of those polled in the final days before the election.

“Virginians have come to expect a lot from their leadership,” Democratic Party of Virginia chair Richard Cranwell said in a statement. “For the past eight years Virginia has been on a path of success – one that earned it repeated recognition as the ‘Best State for Business,’ the ‘Best Managed State’ and the ‘Best State to Raise a Child.’ And, while the nation at large is suffering in a difficult economy, superior management has enabled Virginia to weather the storm far better than most states.

“Democrats are eager to work in partnership with our next governor to ensure that Virginia continues its success, even in trying times, and with pragmatic bipartisan leadership, our Commonwealth’s future will be as bright as its past,” Cranwell said.

That is a nice sentiment, but is also perhaps wishful thinking given the large margin of victory for the GOP.

“We hope that Gov. McDonnell will approach the problems of our Commonwealth the same way he campaigned, in a nonpartisan and pragmatic way. We must all work together to create jobs and opportunity across Virginia, as well as face our transportation crisis head-on. We also commend Gov.-elect McDonnell on his position in support of redistricting reform and look forward to working with him on this important good government issue in the 2010 legislative session,” House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong and House Democratic Caucus chair Ken Plum said in a joint statement.

House Democrats had been hoping at the outset of 2009 to seize back control of the legislative chamber, but it appears that they will actually lose ground by the end of the night. Republicans had held an effective 55-45 advantage in the House heading into tonight, and they have already won 55 seats with another seven seats still in the tossup category.


– Story by Chris Graham



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