The polls have closed in Virginia, and what we’re seeing is a bloodletting of the Republican party of a kind unseen in a generation.
Republican candidate for Virginia governor Ed Gillespie pauses while speaking with reporters after voting at his polling place Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Alexandria, Va. Gillespie faces Democrat Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in Tuesday’s election. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Ed Gillespie and the Virginia GOP needed the polls to be wrong, but the polls were right. Gillespie needed Loudoun County be Virginia’s next governor, as Governor Bob McDonnell did, and as President George W. Bush did. As of this writing he’s down 60-40 there. Ditto Prince William county.
But that’s not the worst of it. The way the returns are coming in, it’s a complete wipe out for the Republican Party. The Republicans have held the House of Delegates since the 1999 election completed the post-1994 conversion of the state to being a Republican state. Republicans won a 66-34 supermajority in the body after the 2015 election. As of now, they’re looking set to lose it.
According to Decision Desk, Republicans have already lost 11 seats, putting the Democrats at least at 45 votes. 6 more and they get the outright majority.
This is a 20 year flood for the Republican Party. Half owned by Donald Trump, half owned by the DC swamp establishment, neither team could find a way to win tonight, while Democrats rushed out in huge numbers to vote against Trump’s party, driving turnout way up.
If this is repeated next year, it’s bad news for Paul Ryan and national Republican House leaders.