BREAKING: Projected Winner Announced for Virginia Gubernatorial Race
Well, a strong Trump endorsement is worth about the amount of hot air it took for him to give it, it seems.
Another state is firmly ensconced on the left, as it is projected that Democrat Ralph Northam will be the next governor of Virginia.
The Associated Press called the race a little more than an hour after polls closed, and with nearly 60 percent of precincts reporting Mr. Northam held a 52-47 lead.
Outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, said the election should send shivers through the GOP as they gear up for the 2018 midterm elections.
“They ought to be terrified coming out of Virginia tonight when we sweep all three statewide elections, Mr. McAulliffe told reporters at the Northam election night party as results trickled in.
Northam’s opponent, Ed Gillespie, trailed for most of the election, but was closing the gap by saying he would crack down on sanctuary cities and accused Northam of aiding the violent MS-13 gang.
Democrats just associated Gillespie with Trump, and immigrants-rights groups took it over the top, with one ad showing a truck with a Gillespie bumper sticker stalking minority children.
Only after a man used a truck to run down bicyclists on a Manhattan bike path did they get a bout of conscience and pull the ad.
Where Mr. Gillespie faced a deeply divided GOP Mr. Northam benefited from a united Democratic Party, with President Obama campaigning for him, as did the man Mr. Northam topped in the primary, former Rep. Tom Periello, who was backed by Sen. Bernard Sanders.
The race was also buffeted by racial tensions after white supremacists marched in Charlottesville in August to defend a statue of Robert E. Lee, clashing with counterprotesters. In the aftermath, police say a man connected to the white supremacists drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one woman.
There are other races for the state’s top offices, such as attorney general and Lt. governor on the ballot, as well. Democrats are holding out for a clean sweep.
The expectation is that Republicans will maintain the majority in the state House of Delegates, but the Democrats are making some in-roads.