Toocloseforcomfort: Mark Warner wins Senate re-election by razor-thin margin

mark warnerDemocratic Sen. Mark Warner didn’t run like an incumbent upon 25 points in the polls in the early summer. He must have seen something that the rest of us couldn’t see.

Republican Ed Gillespie led in the returns on Election Night until the late stages before Warner eeked out a narrow win on the strength of returns from heavily Democratic Northern Virginia.

With 2,535 of the state’s 2,557 precincts reporting as of 11:55 p.m., Warner held a 14,510-vote lead over Gillespie, 49.07 percent to 48.40 percent. Libertarian nominee Robert Sarvis was a distant third with 53,139 votes, 2.47 percent.

The margin between the top two candidates on the ballot, 0.67 percent, is outside the .5 percent that under state law would allow Gillespie to request a taxpayer-funded recount, but within the 1 percent that would allow Gillespie to request a recount that would have to be paid for by his campaign.

Warner had led by double digits in most of the final-month pre-election polls, with the last one to be shared publicly, from Christopher Newport University, released on Oct. 31, getting the attention of observers because it showed Warner up by only seven points.

Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chair making his first bid for public office, would make a much stronger showing than the polls had suggested, running very well in Southwest, Southside and the 29 corridor in Central Virginia.

With those precincts making up the bulk of the early returns, Gillespie was up on the big scoreboard for much of the night, and only trailed late when vote-rich counties in northern virginia started coming in for Warner.

Warner’s working margin came in Fairfax County, which he won by 51,000 votes of the 290,000-plus votes cast. The Democrat also won the City of Richmond, the state’s capital, by 27,000 votes, neighboring Henrico County by 12,000 votes, the City of Norfolk by 17,000 votes, and Portsmouth by 11,000 votes.

Augusta County and Rockingham County, two traditional Republican strongholds, were big sources of votes for Gillespie, each providing 9,000-vote margins for the Republican, both also giving Gillespie more than 71 percent of the vote.


UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell

Buy here.

augusta free press news
augusta free press news
augusta free press news