This is pretty amazing, and not something I expected I'd see. It's election day here in Virginia, and the Democrats have had a very good night.

A couple of quick notes about how our state is set up. Governors are limited to a single term, so these elections are pretty frequent. We also vote for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general separately (so it's possible to have different parties in each). In addition, counties and cities are wholly separate entities. Finally, the lower chamber of our legislature is called the House of Delegates.

As of right now (with about 98% of precincts recorded), the Democrats have swept the state-wide elections:

* Governor: Ralph Northram (D), our current Lt. Governor, beats Republican Ed Gillespie 53-45

* Lt. Governor: Justin Fairfax (D) beats Jill Vogel (R) 52-48.

* Attorney General: Mark Herring (D), our current AG, beats John Adams 53-47.

The gubernatorial race was seen as a referendum on Trump. Gillespie distanced himself from Trump somewhat, asking him not to come campaign, although there were some Trump-voiced robo-calls apparently. He still spent a lot of time talking about illegal immigration, including trying to paint Northram as being soft on MS-13 and a child pornographer. He also made preserving Confederate statues a big part of his campaign.

Trump, true to form, has tweeted that Gillespie lost because he didn't have Trump come campaign.

Turnout was very high, especially for a non-presidential year (even though it rained). Some places in northern Virginia were over 50%, and those counties are overwhelmingly Democratic. Getting people to show seems like it was a big focus for the Democrats, and I got easily 4-5 knocks on my door by the campaign of the Democratic candidate for the House in the last couple months. Her campaign ads showed up literally every time we were on YouTube for the last month.

Chesterfield County (a very white and generally conservative suburb of Richmond, one which went for Trump by 7 points), where the race was 50-50.

Some other big ones:

Danica Roem (D) defeats Robert Marshall (R), a 26-year incumbent in the House of Delegates, to become the first transgendered state legislator in US history. She's representing a district in Manassas and Prince William County in the northern part of the state, which has expanded pretty dramatically in both population and diversity over the last few years. Of note, Marshall proposed a so-called "bathroom bill" earlier this year, which died in committee. In a nearby part of the state, the House Majority Whip also lost to a Democrat who identifies himself as a Democratic Socialist.

In Henrico County, where I live (a suburb of Richmond), the Democrats have taken the Board of Supervisors (3-2 in Democrats' favor). This is the first time the Board has been Democrat-controlled in "modern" history (people keep using that word, but I can't find a specific date). My district also went to a Democrat for the House, unseating an incumbent Republican.

Finally, as of right now (about 10:30pm eastern), it is looking like better than even odds that the Democrats will take a slim majority in the House of Delegates. The Republicans had a 66-34 majority in the House this morning, but the prediction is that it'll end up 51-50 in the Democrats' favor. This would be the first time they've controlled the House since 1999. It's especially significant because it'd mean they're in charge in 2020: that's a census year, meaning they'd have a lot of control over how the districts are drawn in response.

According to exit polls:

* Men were the majority of voters, which was unusual. They went for Gillespie by only 3 points (compared to 9 for Trump), while women went for Northam by 21 points (compared to 17 for Clinton).

* 80% of minority voters went Democrat.

* When asked about the biggest issues influencing their decision:

   39% healthcare (77% of whom went for Northam)

   17% gun policy (split 49-49)

   15% taxes (64% of whom voted for Gillespie)

   12% immigration (73% of whom voted for Gillespie)

* 40% of voters polled approve of Trump, and they went for Gillespie 90-10. 57% said they didn't, and they went for Northam 87-11.


Quite a night, and this went far better for the Democrats than even they expected. It'll be interesting to see how the House turns out, but regardless, it means the Republicans may have some word to do come mid-terms next year.


this has been HUGE, and has been in many ways a reaction to the policies and politicking of the last 12 months. I mean, I think a lot of left-leaning people in the US (and frankly, globally) wish that this would have happened last year around this time.

posted by johnnyFive: 252 days ago