Carry me back to old Virginny

A quick look at the most significant electoral contest in the United States since the election of Donald Trump, being held today in Virginia.

A thread for discussion of today’s mini-mid-term elections in the United States, the most important of which is the gubernatorial election in Virginia, a crucial presidential swing state where the Democrats have their first opportunity for a meaningful win in the age of Trump. With Democratic incumbent Terry McAuliffe out of the picture, thanks to a particularly severe term limits regime that prohibits consecutive terms, the contest pits Democratic candidate Ralph Norman against Republican Ed Gillespie. Gillespie stands to benefit from the usual assemblage of voter suppression laws brought in after Republicans swept the field in the 2010 mid-terms. This also enabled aggressively gerrymandered new electoral boundaries that will make it very difficult for the Democrats to win control of the lower house of the state’s legislature, which is also up for election today (the Republican-controlled upper house is not). The RealClearPolitics poll average has Northam leading 47.7% to 44.4%, although the gap has narrowed late in the campaign.

Voters in New Jersey will also choose a successor to Republican Governor Chris Christie, with Democratic candidate Phil Murphy looking a shoo-in against Christie’s designated Republican successor, Kim Guandagno. RealClearPoliics has Murphy leading 49.5% to 35.1%.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

24 comments on “Carry me back to old Virginny”

  1. I have been watching this one.

    Margin of error stuff in Virginia.

    My gut feel is that Republican turnout will be higher than the Democrats.

  2. If it comes down to turnout, surely it’s the Democrats who are more motivated.

    Though it is worth remembering that Ed Gillespie nearly unseated Senator Mark Warner three years ago, in a race polling suggested he’d lose by plenty.

  3. A convincing win here is very good for the Dems going into the 2018 mid-terns, where they need to make a serious go at taking back the House (despite the gerrymandering) and defend a set of Senate races that is very hostile to them, just holding what they have will be impressive.

  4. Also, The Republicans went in with 66 HoR seats in Virginia to the democrats 34.

    Currently, it’s 48 with Democrat ahead, 2 with no data and 50 Republican ahead.

    So on current numbers a significant gain for the Democrats, and possible for them to get a majority from here, despite the gerrymander.

  5. Republicans are getting smashed. NJ exit poll reported shows +18 points lead for Dem.

    Also a few good wins in mayoral races. 2018 midterms are looking tough for republicans.

  6. My reading of the House is that its 47 apiece with the following in doubt, in each case with one precinct outstanding:
    21st: Dem 2.7%, 95% reporting.
    27th: Rep 0.3%, 95.4% reporting.
    62nd: Rep 1.8%, 96.3% reporting.
    68th: Dem 0.6%, 96.5% reporting.
    84th: Rep 1.7%, 94.4% reporting.
    85th: Dem 1.0%, 94.4% reporting.

  7. @ WB – looks like at least 21st, 62nd and 84th could be called on that.

    Only the 27th looks particularly in doubt to me really.

  8. DTT

    I have been watching this one.
    Margin of error stuff in Virginia.
    My gut feel is that Republican turnout will be higher than the Democrats.

    How’s that gut feeling now?

  9. You get the best news from wikipedia!

    With 99% of precincts reporting as of November 8, 2017, Democrats control 48 seats, Republicans control 47 seats, and 5 districts are likely to be decided in a recount: the 27th, 28th, 40th, 68th, and 94th districts. If the current leaders in each district win, the House will be split 50-50.

  10. Ooops, turns out its the Lieutenant Governor, but in the case of Virginia, a Dem was voted in as LG, and in New Jersey, it is a leadership team ticket, so it varies by state.

  11. William – I thought you had sworn off covering US elections!
    Very good results across the board for Democrats – Virginia House of Delegates very close – looks like it could be a 50-50 split. I am not sure what this would mean in practice, because whichever side provided the Speaker would be left with a 49-50 deficit on the floor of the House.

    The New Jersey and Virginia Governor wins are interesting, but it has also been pointed out that these two elections always occur one year after the Presidential election – in New Jersey the Party of the Governor “flipped” against the year-old new Presidents Clinton, GW Bush and Obama. And in Virginia the Governorship “flipped” one year after the last four changes of Presidential Party – Reagan, Clinton, GW Bush and Obama.

  12. In other US election news…

    Is This It?
    Bill de Blasio wins a quiet, conservative victory.

    Mayor de Blasio’s Mandate: Creating the ‘Fairest Big City in America’

    Democrats Cheer, but They May Have to Do Better in ’18

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