WINNER: Ed Gillespie OK, he lost, sure. But we expected him to lose. Just not by 18,000 votes. (Maybe 18 points, but not 18,000 votes.) Now Gillespie is the odds-on favorite to be the Republican nominee for governor in 2017. The empty GOP bench is past tense.
LOSER: Mark Warner OK, he won, sure. But we expected him to win. Just not by 18,000 votes. Shower, repeat, rinse. (The sound you hear is any thought of a White House run gearing down.)
LOSERS: Democratic Party of Virginia Remember when Virginia was a blue state? Like, you know, last year? Democrats have won the last six statewide races (president and the U.S. Senate in 2012, governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general in 2013, U.S. Senate in 2014), but it sure feels like Big Mo just got stopped dead in his tracks, doesn’t it?
LOSERS: Republicans who had a chance to back Gillespie, and didn’t The national GOP left Ed Gillespie to fend for himself, writing his race off as unwinnable. Those limber enough to do so are kicking themselves in the head over that one.
LOSERS: All the smart people Pollsters, pundits (including this one), no one foresaw this. Except the inner circles of the Gillespie and Warner campaigns, whose bloodbath over the past couple of months on the TV airwaves made no sense with this being a 10- to 15-point race in the polls, and only does so now in retrospect that it’s clear that it was much closer, likely all along.
– Column by Chris Graham