Wrapping up last week’s elections

WINNER: Virginia Democrats
It’s one thing to elect Mark Warner and Jim Webb and Tim Kaine. It’s another entirely to pull the lever for Barack Obama.
My friend Mark Rozell at George Mason said it best when we talked in the days leading up to the election. “I don’t think we could have had this conservation 20 years ago – about a liberal Democratic candidate from Chicago having a chance of winning Virginia, but here we are today having exactly that conversation.”

I don’t know that I’m there with Mark about Obama being all that liberal, but the point stands.

We’re waking up each morning in a different Virginia than we did the morning of Nov. 4 and previous.

 

LOSER: The Wilder (Bradley) Effect

A sad day, indeed, it was for The Wilder (Bradley) Effect. Because the pre-election polls had Obama winning by six points in the national popular vote and winning 360 votes-plus in the Electoral College, and he did exactly that.

No more musing about how African-American candidates end up getting less support at the ballot box than they do in the polls because of latent racism. A brave new world, it is.

 

palinPUSH: Sarah Palin in 2012

On the one hand, we all know her name, and millions of conservative Republicans swear by her.

On the other hand, she’s being set up to be the Republican McGovern if the GOP does indeed settle on her as its nominee in 2012.

I’d go for White Oprah status myself if I were her. A lot more longevity there.

 

obama-mark-warnerBIG WINNER: Mark Warner breaks the six-in-ten barrier

I couldn’t disagree when friends like Bob Denton at Virginia Tech were suggesting that it would be hard for Warner to get 60 percent-plus at the polls given what else was going on in last week’s elections and the more salient fact that no Democrat had received more than 52 percent of the statewide vote this decade even as the Dems were winning elections left and right.

And then Warner shows us up by pulling 63 percent of the vote.

(For that matter, Obama made us look silly getting 52 percent-plus.)

 

BIG LOSERS: Augusta and Rockingham go … Gilmore?

Seriously? The guy ran the state into the ground and promised more of the same if elected. At least our cities had the common sense to join in the electoral landslide.

Seriously now, though, this shows just how much work Dems in Augusta and Rockingham have to do to turn their counties blue.

 

election-night1-crowd-shotWINNERS: Those city Dems

Harrisonburg won a huge majority for Obama, Staunton won a slim majority, but still a majority, and Waynesboro improved 10 points in ’08 over what John Kerry did in ’04.

Oh, and The ‘Burg saw a Democratic sweep in its city-council race.

Staunton is already Democratic at the local level, in spirit, anyway.

Watch out, Waynesboro. You’re next.

   

– Compiled by Chris Graham

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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, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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