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Map of Virginia counties and cities
Map of Virginia counties and cities

It's election day in a number of places around the country; as is always the case in a year after a presidential election, the main events are the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, and the mayoral contest in New York City. However, these races, often the source of drama, and often a harbinger of what happens in the following year's midterm elections, simply aren't on track to be close. New Jersey is poised to re-elect Republican Governor Chris Christie by a margin of at least 20 points, while New York City is poised to elect its first Democratic mayor in decades, Bill de Blasio, by a margin of ... I'm not even sure I can count that high.

Of that trio, the open seat Virginia gubernatorial race is the least set-in-stone, although even it looks like a likely victory for Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe. Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli hasn't led a single poll since July, and poll aggregators put McAuliffe's lead in the high single digits. HuffPo Pollster, for instance, puts it the projected margin at 7.4%, and gives McAuliffe a 100% chance of winning. (Why 100%? A 7.4% margin in one poll can be a little dubious, but when it's spread out over literally dozens of polls, the margin of error dwindles, and really the only possible source for an error would be an unprecedented level of across-the-boards methodological fail.)

Nevertheless, let's take a look at the county-level benchmarks for this race, since it's probably the one you'll be watching the closest. In fact, the initially reported results in this race may be deceptive, in that the small rural counties tend to report earlier in Virginia, with the metropolitan areas where most of the Democratic votes are located reporting later. (If you think back to 2012, you'll recall Mitt Romney and George Allen leading for a fairly long period of time, until they collapsed at the very end as Democratic votes were added to the heap.)

By breaking down the results county-by-county, and keeping in mind what percentage McAuliffe needs to get in each major county in order to hit at least 50% overall, you'll have a much better sense of how the race is going than if you just look at the topline numbers. (I'm only including the counties and independent cities that, individually, make up 2% or more of the state's total vote; there's no need to keep track of how the candidates are doing in counties with only a few thousand people in them. Taken together, they account for about half of the state's votes.)

County % of 2012
vote in-district
vote share
in 2012
What McAuliffe
needs to
hit 50%
% of 2009 vote Deeds/McDonnell
vote share
in 2009
What McAuliffe
needs to
hit 50%
Statewide 100.0 51/47 50/48 100.0 41/59 50/50
Fairfax 13.7 60/39 59/40 13.8 49/51 58/41
Virginia Beach 5.1 48/50 47/51 5.1 36/64 45/55
Prince William 4.7 57/41 56/42 3.8 41/59 50/50
Chesterfield 4.4 45/53 44/54 4.5 34/66 43/57
Henrico 4.2 55/43 54/44 4.4 44/56 53/47
Loudoun 4.2 52/47 51/48 3.3 39/61 48/52
Arlington 3.1 69/29 68/30 2.8 66/34 75/25
Chesapeake 2.9 50/49 49/50 2.7 40/60 49/51
Richmond 2.5 78/21 77/22 2.3 69/31 78/22
Norfolk 2.3 72/27 71/28 2.0 60/40 69/31
Newport News 2.1 64/34 63/35 1.9 50/50 59/41

I've added a wrinkle to this particular set of benchmarks, by using two different election models: a high-turnout model (the 2012 election, where the Obama campaign surprised many observers by keeping pace with the allegedly once-in-a-lifetime turnout from 2008), and a low-turnout model (the terrible 2009 gubernatorial election, where Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds failed to arouse any excitement). As you can see, though, the two models still require very similar percentages in the various counties, with a few notable exceptions: there was little falloff among the reliable Dem voters of affluent Arlington, helping Deeds to overperform there, while further out in the northern Virginia exurbs, Prince William County saw a particularly stark Deeds underpeformance (though it's hard to tell whether that's because of steep falloffs among irregular Dem voters — Prince William has rapidly grown, with most of that increase among Hispanic and Asian voters — or because of a sharp turnaround among swing voters, which Prince William also has a lot of).

There's one other caveat you should be aware of: neither 2012 nor 2009 were characterized by a lot of third-party votes, but Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis has been polling surprisingly well, sometimes in the low double digits. As a result, McAuliffe won't actually need to hit precisely 50% to win ... but it's hard to predict just how big an effect Sarvis will have. Third-party candidates rarely come anywhere near their poll numbers, and PPP's final poll of the race captured that, finding a late collapse in Sarvis's numbers. So you'll need to make some minor mental adjustments to the benchmarks, based on what percentage Sarvis is putting up in early results (and whether Sarvis's votes seem to be coming out of Cuccinelli's tally or are more evenly spread).

So how did Virginia get to this place, where a formerly red state is poised to elect a Democratic candidate who has "issues," and do it by a significant margin? Part of that is due to the fundamental crappiness of the Cuccinelli product, part of that is due to a well-coordinated Democratic effort ... and part of that is due to the massive demographic shifts occurring in Virginia. Over the fold, we'll look at how these counties that I mentioned have changed...

Although Barack Obama winning Virginia in 2008 was quite the turning point, it wasn't entirely out of the blue. Even as John Kerry was badly losing the state overall in 2004, you could see significant progress for Democrats in the parts of the state that were actually growing, compared with where they were in the 1990s or 1980s. (Obama's analytics people no doubt noticed that, and that probably factored in greatly in the decision to compete in Virginia, something that Democrats hadn't tried in many years.)

To illustrate that more clearly, I've put together a chart of how the presidential vote has evolved in the major counties and independent cities of Virginia over the last three decades. Each year's vote is expressed as both percentages (the Democratic candidate's percentage is on the left of the slash, and the Republican is on the right), and more usefully, as Partisan Voting Index, which calculates that county's deviation from the national average.

County 2012 % 2012 PVI % of state 2008 % 2008 PVI % of state 2004 % 2004 PVI % of state
Statewide 51/47 R+0 100.0 53/46 R+0 100.0 45/54 R+3 100.0
Fairfax 60/39 D+8 13.7 60/39 D+7 13.9 53/46 D+5 14.4
Virginia Beach 48/50 R+3 5.1 49/50 R+4 5.4 40/59 R+8 5.5
Prince William 57/41 D+6 4.7 58/42 D+4 4.4 46/53 R+2 4.1
Chesterfield 45/53 R+6 4.4 46/53 R+7 4.4 37/63 R+12 4.1
Henrico 55/43 D+4 4.2 56/43 D+2 4.2 46/54 R+3 4.2
Loudoun 52/47 D+0 4.2 54/45 D+0 3.7 44/56 R+5 3.4
Arlington 69/29 D+18 3.1 72/27 D+19 3.0 68/31 D+20 3.0
Chesapeake 50/49 R+1 2.9 50/49 R+3 2.9 42/57 R+6 2.9
Richmond 78/21 D+27 2.5 79/20 D+26 2.5 70/29 D+22 2.3
Norfolk 72/27 D+21 2.3 71/28 D+18 2.4 62/37 D+13 2.2
Newport News 64/34 D+13 2.1 64/35 D+11 2.2 52/47 D+4 2.1
Balance 45/53 R+6 50.8 47/52 R+6 51.0 41/58 R+7 51.7
County 2000 % 2000 PVI % of state 1996 % 1996 PVI % of state 1992 % 1992 PVI % of state
Statewide 44/52 R+4 100.0 45/47 R+6 100.0 41/45 R+6 100.0
Fairfax 47/49 R+1 15.1 47/48 R+6 15.1 42/44 R+5 15.1
Virginia Beach 42/56 R+7 5.5 41/51 R+10 5.2 32/50 R+14 5.4
Prince William 45/53 R+4 3.7 43/50 R+9 3.2 35/47 R+11 3.0
Chesterfield 35/63 R+15 4.1 32/61 R+20 3.9 27/56 R+20 4.0
Henrico 43/55 R+7 4.2 40/53 R+12 4.2 34/52 R+14 4.3
Loudoun 41/56 R+8 2.8 40/52 R+11 2.0 35/46 R+11 1.6
Arlington 60/34 D+14 3.1 60/35 D+9 3.1 58/32 D+11 3.2
Chesapeake 45/53 R+4 2.7 46/47 R+5 2.6 38/47 R+9 2.4
Richmond 65/31 D+18 2.4 63/31 D+12 2.8 60/31 D+13 3.1
Norfolk 62/35 D+13 2.3 63/31 D+12 2.5 54/32 D+9 2.7
Newport News 51/47 D+2 2.1 51/42 R+0 2.2 42/44 R+4 2.4
Balance 42/55 R+7 52.0 44/47 R+7 53.2 40/45 R+6 52.8
County 1988 % 1988 PVI % of state 1984 % 1984 PVI % of state
Statewide 39/60 R+6 100.0 37/62 R+4 100.0
Fairfax 38/61 R+8 15.0 37/63 R+4 13.6
Virginia Beach 30/64 R+15 5.1 25/74 R+15 4.5
Prince William 32/67 R+13 2.7 31/69 R+10 2.4
Chesterfield 24/75 R+22 3.6 20/80 R+21 3.2
Henrico 30/69 R+16 4.1 25/75 R+16 4.0
Loudoun 33/66 R+13 1.4 31/68 R+9 1.2
Arlington 53/45 D+8 3.4 51/48 D+11 3.4
Chesapeake 39/61 R+7 2.2 37/62 R+3 2.1
Richmond 56/42 D+11 3.4 56/44 D+15 4.1
Norfolk 55/44 D+9 3.1 52/48 D+11 3.5
Newport News 39/60 R+6 2.5 39/60 R+1 2.6
Balance 39/59 R+6 53.5 37/62 R+4 55.4

Before compiling these charts, I would have guessed that the big story would be substantial growth in the suburbs and exurbs of northern Virginia; however, that's not really the case, as each county stayed pretty consistently at the same percentage of the state's total votes. For instance, the state's most populous county, Fairfax, represented 13.6% of the state's votes in 1984, and 13.7% of the state's votes in 2012.

The only places where there was significant movement was Prince William and Loudoun Counties, the more exurban counties further outside of Washington DC; Prince William went from 2.4% of the state's vote in 1984 to 4.7% in 2012, and Loudoun went from 1.2% to 4.2%. The flipside of that is what happened to the "balance," i.e. "Real Virginia," as the McCain campaign so charmingly put it... in other words, all the other counties and cities that individually make up less than 2% of the state. The balance does contain some medium-sized locales that either have large African-American populations (Portsmouth, Petersburg) or large concentrations of highly educated voters (Alexandria, Charlottesville), but for the most part, the balance is more rural, whiter, and more downscale than the large cities and counties. And it's also declining as an overall share of the state: from 55.4% of the state's votes in 1984, down to 50.8% of the state in 2012.

Instead, the main story is how much the large cities and counties moved in the Democratic direction as they diversified. For instance, Fairfax County, one of the nation's most archetypal affluent, well-educated suburbs, went from R+8 in 1988 to D+8 in 2012. The changes are even more profound further out, as Prince William County went from R+13 in 1988 to D+6 in 2012 — and also in Richmond's suburbs, with Henrico County going from R+16 in 1988 to D+4 in 2012 and Chesterfield County moving from a beet-red R+22 to an almost-swingy R+6. In fact, every one of the 11 large jurisdictions moved sharply in the Democratic direction (with the always-reliably-Democratic Arlington — just across the river from Washington and full of federal employees — and reddish Chesapeake — the most suburban part of the Hampton Roads metro area — moving the least).

Compare that with the "balance," which has stayed put in the same narrow band over the decades: R+4 in 1984 to R+6 in 2012. Almost all of Virginia's progress, instead, occurred in the large jurisdictions ... which, not coincidentally, are becoming a larger and larger percentage of the state's votes.

I mentioned earlier that those 11 large jurisdictions were also the parts of the state that are rapidly becoming more diverse, so here's one more table that puts that into sharper relief, showing the evolution of those counties during the 1990, 2000, and 2010 censuses. The "Races" number reflects racial composition, showing Non-Hispanic White/African-American/Asian/Hispanic percentages; the "Educ." number is the percentage of persons 25 or more with a bachelor's degree or more.

County 2010 Races 2010 Educ. % of state 2000 Races 2000 Educ. % of state 1990 Races 1990 Educ. % of state
Statewide 65/19/5/8 33.8 100 70/19/4/5 29.5 100 76/19/2/3 24.5 100
Fairfax 55/9/17/16 58.0 13.6 64/8/13/11 54.7 13.7 77/8/8/6 49.0 13.2
Virginia Beach 64/19/6/7 31.9 5.5 69/19/5/4 28.1 6.0 79/14/4/3 25.5 6.4
Prince William 49/20/7/20 37.5 5.0 65/18/4/10 31.5 4.0 81/11/3/4 27.6 3.4
Chesterfield 65/22/3/7 35.7 4.0 75/18/2/3 32.6 3.7 84/13/2/1 29.2 3.4
Henrico 57/29/7/5 38.9 3.8 68/25/4/2 34.9 3.7 77/20/2/1 28.0 3.5
Loudoun 62/7/15/12 57.2 3.9 80/7/5/6 47.2 2.4 88/7/2/3 32.7 1.4
Arlington 64/8/10/15 70.1 2.6 60/9/9/19 60.2 2.7 69/10/7/14 52.3 2.8
Chesapeake 60/29/3/4 27.9 2.8 66/28/2/2 24.7 2.8 70/27/1/1 16.9 2.5
Richmond 39/50/2/6 32.6 2.6 38/57/1/3 29.4 2.8 43/55/1/1 24.2 3.3
Norfolk 44/42/3/7 23.7 3.0 47/44/3/4 19.6 3.3 56/39/2/3 16.8 4.2
Newport News 46/40/3/8 23.5 2.3 52/39/2/4 19.9 2.5 61/33/2/3 18.4 2.7
Balance 74/18/2/5 24.6 51.0 77/17/1/2 20.9 50.3 79/18/1/1 16.8 53.2

The state in general has become more diverse, with a similar composition and pace as the United States as a whole, going from 76% white in 1990 to 65% white in 2010 (though the black population has stayed the same at 19%; the gains all came among the Asian and Hispanic populations). But notice how the large jurisdictions got much less white much faster; Fairfax, for instance, went from 77% white to 55% white in the same period. It's even faster in Prince William (81% in 1990, 49% in 2010) and Loudoun (88% in 1990, 62% in 2010). (The least movement was in Arlington, which, in fact, got whiter in the period between 2000 and 2010, perhaps in large part because it also got much more expensive.)

Contrast that with the "balance," which did become more diverse over the decades, but at a rate significantly slower than the state as a whole: it went from 79% white in 1990, to 77% white in 2000, to 74% white in 2010. And notice how the places that became more diverse more quickly also were the ones that became more Democratic more quickly (especially Prince William and Loudoun Counties in the DC exurbs, and Henrico and Chesterfield Counties in Richmond's suburbs), while the places that became diverse more slowly were also the ones that moved the least, politically (Arlington, Chesapeake, and, of course, the "balance" in the rest of the state).

The other part of the puzzle is that Virginia became significantly better-educated over the decades. The major cities and counties are much better-educated than the "balance" of the state (with the exception of some of the more blue-collar parts of the Hampton Roads area, like Norfolk and Newport News), but the rate of change in education is fairly proportionate throughout the state.

For instance, statewide, the trend was from 24.5% college-educated in 1990 to 33.8% in 2010, while both Fairfax (from 49.0% to 58.0%) and the "balance" (from 16.8% to 24.6%) evolved at a similar pace. The exception is the more upscale parts of northern Virginia, which became even more heavily-concentrated with the highly-educated; Arlington went from 52.3% in 1990 to 70.1% in 2010, while Loudoun County went from 32.7% to 57.2%.

Demographics isn't entirely destiny. Campaign quality still matters, and being a good ideological fit for the place where you're running is essential. Considering how ham-handed the Cuccinelli campaign has been, it's quite possible Terry McAuliffe would be winning handily even if Virginia weren't dramatically evolving. However, where the population is more diverse and better-educated, it's more likely that Democrats are going to win — and Virginia is heading particularly rapidly in both those directions. Certainly it helps that the GOP offered up a broadly unacceptable candidate, but the groundwork for the likely Democratic victory in Virginia has been building for decades.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 06:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos Elections.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sarvis is a Hillary pilot project... (21+ / 0-)

    funded by Dem PACs to gauge the effects of a libertarian on the ballot. If he successfully siphons off enough votes from Cooch, Dems will organize a 50 state strategy to get libertarians on the ballot everywhere and we'll Nader/Perot them to death in 2014 and 2016.

    So says the dummies at the FreeRepublic. I'd like to believe Hillary not only runs an excellent campaign for herself, but also builds a coalition of underground, libertarian plants to give us the winning edge. Yeah, I'm sure Mark Penn could get this all figured out. Still, its a pretty good idea.

    Anyway, thanks for the analysis here. I'm going to keep this handy for tonight's returns. I'm taking my 4 and 2 year old to vote in Fairfax tonight so they can participate in the time-honored tradition of voting against insane people.

  •  Phenomenal article (11+ / 0-)

    This is a great "back of the envelope" analysis of what to expect.  The only thing it doesn't (and can't) take into account is if certain counties have greater interest than other counties.  

    Thanks for putting this together, I will use it tonight when I see results starting to come in.

  •  WAPO says early turnout heavy (19+ / 0-)

    At Thomas Jefferson Community Center in Arlington, precinct captain Charles Head said 400 out of 3,000 registered voters — 13 percent — had voted by 8:45 a.m., “extremely heavy for a non-presidential election.”
    And from a Cuccinelli supporter, a contender for quote of the day:
    Julia Landrum, a designer, said her vote for Cuccinelli was because she is “very much pro-life.”

    “I think he has been really misrepresented,” Landrum said of Cuccinelli. “It’s not like he doesn’t support women’s rights.

    •  Not always a big fan of early turnout reports (6+ / 0-)

      They tend to cover a small sample size but it's really good news so far :)

      Also, I hope that the fact that most people are doing straight party line means there will be few ticket splitters in the Attorney General race so McAuliffe can pull Herring over the finish line.

      For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37. Go Trojans!!

      by Alibguy on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 08:55:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am SO pumped this morning! (26+ / 0-)

    Went over to my son's house shortly before 7 so I could feed and dress Miss Pink Cheeks and get her off to day care. Her father has a one-hour commute so I wanted him to have time to vote (polling place is at the end of his street) before he set off through the traffic.

    As Granddaughter and I walked up to the polling place we saw our candidate, Jennifer Boysko, and our attorney general candidate, Mark Herring!  The parking lot at the school was full, and there were people coming and going. Jennifer said as of 8:15 a.m. 426 people had cast ballots.
    Miss Pink Cheeks "helped" me fill out the paper ballot when we went inside and we both received our "I voted" stickers. She wore hers to day care; mine's on the jacket I'll wear when handing out Democratic ballots at the polling place this afternoon.

    Hubby has just gone to cast his vote. I am so excited!

    We're in the Fox Mill precinct of Fairfax County. Thanks for the diary!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 06:53:32 AM PST

  •  light turnout so far (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, blugrlnrdst

    It was cold this morning and hopefully the woman will show up and vote. If turnout is as low as some are projecting the cooch could  win but I assume turnout sucks in conservative areas also.

  •  Very enjoyable read and great research. (0+ / 0-)

    I particularly appreciated the last paragraph on demographics.
    My suspicion is that it beginning to happen in several states. Hopefully I'm correct that the GOP is in for a major disappointment in this area. Those who they appeal to are shriveling up and that's a great thing!

    While not all republicans are bigots, all bigots are republicans.

    by Maximilien Robespierre on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 06:55:40 AM PST

  •  With Chesapeake being barely Republican (15+ / 0-)

    nowadays, Republicans are in for some real trouble in the state.  I know that area... it used to be really conservative.

    This also doesn't bode well for Republicans in North Carolina, which should be following in Virginia's footsteps, a mere step or two behind.

    Thanks for the informative diary.

    Tipped and recced.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 06:56:31 AM PST

  •  Spouse and I voted (8+ / 0-)

    in Fairfax County this am.  Seemed like a pretty steady flow of traffic but no lines.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 06:57:24 AM PST

  •  Hope the shutdown motivates voters here (16+ / 0-)

    Lots and lots of government workers in Prince William. They were heavily impacted by the shutdown.

    Even out here in the Winchester area (Clarke-Frederick-Warren Co.) I've seen alot more Mcauliffe signs than the Cooch.

    "If men were angels, no government would be necessary." James Madison, Federalist #51

    by history first on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 06:57:47 AM PST

  •  Cucc Leads in the Big Sign Polling (17+ / 0-)

    Out here in western Loudoun, the Cucc and friends definitely have the edge in big signs -- signs that seem to cover a good half acre.

    But, signs don't vote. I'm about to shove off and do my duty for the Dems.

  •  Houston mayoral race today. (9+ / 0-)
    Houston Mayor Annise Parker is hoping voters will elect her to a third and final term.

    Parker is squaring off against eight other candidates in Tuesday's mayoral race. If no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates would face each other in a runoff on Dec. 14.

    Parker has touted her administration's work in helping Houston weather the recent recession better than most major U.S. cities.

    Her strongest opponent is former city attorney Ben Hall. Hall has charged that Houston has become less safe and economically sound under Parker's administration.

    With Parker's election in 2009, Houston became the largest city in the United States led by an openly gay person. Parker won her second term in 2011.

    Annise Parker is a white  woman who has run a well-funded, professional campaign appealing to all Houston communities by touting the city's economic success in a time of recession; Ben Hall is a black attorney who enjoys personal resources sufficient to self-fund his $2 million campaign, and although he failed to shore up the city's black vote early in the race (30% of the electorate), the ultra-conservatives who object to Ms. Parker because of her sexual orientation have given him their support.

    It will be an interesting vote to watch.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 07:02:10 AM PST

  •  Just Voted In Western Arlington County (14+ / 0-)

    at 9:45 AM, was told that just over 500 people had voted in a precinct with around 3000 which is just over 17%.

    I think that is pretty good at this time in the morning, correct?

    There was one woman handing out the Republican slate and two men, with a table, handing out the Democratic slate.

  •  I just came from my voting precinct (14+ / 0-)

    and voting they say is 'heavy' for an off-year.    There have been more than 500 people vote by 10 a.m. which means they expect 2000 to vote by end of day, about a 40% turnout. Quite high, if the poll workers' estimates are right.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 07:11:01 AM PST

  •  Arlington precinct (4+ / 0-)

    Light turnout at 7:45 a.m.  Last year there was line around the building at that time with several hundred voters waiting to enter.  This year, more poll workers than voters in the building. Short line of no more than 3-4 during the whole time I was there.

  •  So a candidate can get elected with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    less than 50% of the vote, with no runoff? McAuliffe wins if he gets, say, 45% of the vote to Cucinnelli's say 40% and the Libertarian's 15%?  In that case, there's no runoff?

    That seems to bode really well for McAuliffe.  

  •  I love the turnout reports! (5+ / 0-)

    Keep them COMING!

    22, Male, NC-02 home, SC-04 School. Majoring in Piano Pedagogy. Not your typical DKE junkie!

    by aggou on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 07:37:23 AM PST

  •  When the votes are counted and reported... (6+ / 0-)

    As a former Virginian (Charlottesville and Arlington), it's probably worth pointing out to folks outside the Old Dominion that Richmond (city) and a few other nearby cities/counties that tend to drive up -- quite significantly -- the Democratic numbers also tend to be among the last vote-counts to be reported.  I hope it won't matter in this particular election (knock on imitation wood grain), but in the past you could go to bed at midnight with the Democratic candidate within a percentage point or two and be fairly comfortable that the Richmond numbers would push him (not trying to be sexist, but they've always been hims) over the top.  

    •  That's true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oortdust, stevenaxelrod

      However I think McAuliffe's win may be big enough that he will start leading fairly early.

      Wherever he is at 9PM you can add four points to that and that's how much he will win by.

    •  I followed VA closely a year ago (0+ / 0-)

      and noticed the following late-reporters:

      Norfolk City (not a single vote recorded until 10pm)

      Fairfax County

      Alexandria City

      Virginia Beach City


      All but Virginia Beach are blue. Norfolk also dramatically undervotes compared to its population because of the naval base; most of the military personnel there vote elsewhere (because Virginia applies its state income tax to all domiciled residents no matter where they actually live).

  •  I will be shocked if McAuliffe loses VA Beach (7+ / 0-)

    In the last two Presidential elections it only voted Republican by two points.  Voted for Kaine in 2005 and 2012.  There are a lot of moderate Rs there (like the mayor) who will be turned off by Cooch's extremism.

    I think McAuliffe wins VA Beach by five.

    •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

      Sorry, but there are plenty of social conservatives who like Cucc's social extremism just fine down there (home of the 700 club, after all).  I think the bigger driver in that area will be the governement shutdown.  

      Kevin (aka "NoVa Dem")

      by NoVa Dem on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 09:04:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very Interesting but what else about the balance? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it would also be very informative to better understand the numbers in all the rural counties that are only tallied under "balance".  

    Is there a file that can be downloaded that gives table entries for those counties?

    Quite a few questions could be addressed with such data that are only tangentially addressed in this otherwise excellent post.

    What local or regional issues are causing them to remain statically republican?

    Are there covariates such as race, gender, religion, economic specialization, besides education and wealth that can be analyzed to better understand why the balance areas are not changing or moving toward blue.

    Are there counties within the "balance" that are becoming even more red and if so, why?

    One important maxim of politics and warfare is to know thy enemy.  Further analysis of the "balance" would be especially useful in the future for a number of reasons.

    With the governorship perhaps soon in the hands of Democrats, it may well be that democrats could actually do even better by working toward selective targeting of funds for educational schools and universities in some of the more populated counties within the balance, which could then move the State legislature as well.  Then such things as GOPTP gerrymandering will become a thing of the past and truly representative districts can then be made the law of the land.

    Also, if the Democrats can find a way to take the momentum within the blue and purple counties into the red counties, it may be possible to force the GOPTP to actually start to run candidates that aren't crazy TPers with no real plans to govern other than to do as much damage to government as possible so that no one could reasonably expect government to be able to do anything of value.  If fewer TPers were in the GOP, dems might have a more difficult time politically, but at least  government shutdowns and defaults on debts wouldn't be on the agenda.  This would be progress as well.

    Those of you in Virginia, don't forget to get out and vote and encourage other Democrats to do so.

  •  Very simple formula to success (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnva, Alibguy, radarlady, bythesea

    First - demonize the Tea Party.  Show the electorate what a bunch of nutcakes these people are.  Make sure Seniors know the Tea Party is a direct threat to their Social Security and Medicare.

    Then - just simply tie the Republican Candidate to the Tea Party.  This is working in Virginia.

  •  And here we go with final predictions (6+ / 0-)

    In Virginia:

    McAuliffe 51
    Cuccinelli 43
    Sarvis 7

    Northam 60
    Jackson 40

    Herring 51
    Obenshain 49

    In New Jersey:

    Christie 61
    Buono 39

    In AL-01:

    Byrne 53
    Young 47

    In New York City:

    De Blasio 66
    Lhota 32

    In Seattle:

    Murray 56
    McGinn 44

    In Detroit:

    Duggan 64
    Napoleon 36

    In Boston:

    Walsh 52
    Connolly 48

    In Charlotte:

    Cannon 55
    Peacock 45

    In St. Petersburg:

    Kriseman 51
    Foster 49

    Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

    by SaoMagnifico on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 08:05:54 AM PST

    •  One Comment (5+ / 0-)

      No chance in hell Herring wins if McAuliffe only pulls 51%.

      My prediction, if McAuliffe tops 53%, then Herring wins in a nailbiter as I expect him to underperform the top of the ticket by about 3 points.  VA doesn't permit single button straight ticket voting, and unfortunately undervotes at the bottom of the ticket hurts dems universally more than repubs.    

      Kevin (aka "NoVa Dem")

      by NoVa Dem on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 08:45:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Herring Wins Easily If McAuliffe Gets A Majority (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Possible Liberal

        You're forgetting that the AG race, unlike the gubernatorial race, has no significant third-party candidate.

        On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

        by stevemb on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 09:45:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wrong (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zbob, LordMike, charliehall2

          Those Sarvis (L) voters for governor are NOT going to sit out the downballot races ... upwards of 80% are going to vote for the R AG candidate, and the remaining 20% are going to note vote or write-in.   That 80% are fiscal repubs that just cannot stomach voting for the loud and proud cultural nutjob.  Obby has done a good job of keeping his mouth shut on the cultural issues, so he will benefit from the Rs coming home downballot (Rs tend to vote in down ballot races much more strongly then Ds).

          Recent history of past VA races plus the polling confirms that Herring will underperform the D vs R+L governor's race by about 3 points.

          Kevin (aka "NoVa Dem")

          by NoVa Dem on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 11:02:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I imagine most of Obenshain's extra votes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevemb, Alibguy

        will come from Sarvis-Obenshain voters rather than McAullife-Obenshain voters.

        My prediction is that TMac pulls out a 51-44-5 victory, and if we're working with that for arguments sake, I can see maybe 4/5 Sarvis voters who would vote Obenshain (this is probably an overestimate). Assuming that Herring wins all TMac voters and assuming that Obenshain wins all Cooch voters, the new margin would be Herring 52-48.

        My gut instinct tells me there will some McAullife-Obenshain voters though, perhaps enough to shift the margin to 51-49 or 50-50. However, I'm being bullish though that the number of McAullife-Obenshain voters will be very low, and therefore predicting VA-AG for Herring.

        •  Sorry, but that does not add up (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          In 2005:
          Kaine(D) won governor at  51.7D-46R-2.3L
          Bolling(R) won LtGov at 50.5D-49.5R
          McDonnell(R) won AG at 49.96D-49.95R

          For Gov, there were 1025942D total votes versus 956280 R+L votes.

          For AG, there were 970,563 D versus 970886 R votes

          In short, the R side went up by 15k votes downticket, while the D went down by 55k votes!  It is not just moderate ticket splitting plus the libertarians voting for Rs when there are no L options, but also, AND MORE SIGNIFICANTLY, Ds just not bothering to vote as you go down ticket.

          I am telling you, to be safe we need McAuliffe to get about 53% of the vote.

          Kevin (aka "NoVa Dem")

          by NoVa Dem on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 10:56:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  To be safe or to have a chance? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stevenaxelrod, sapelcovits

            I'd agree that TMac at 53% is probably enough to make VA-AG safe for the Dems, but I think TMac at 50-51% could still be enough to put Herring over.

            One reason why I think McDonnell vs Deeds is not representative of what's going to happen in this election is the fact that McDonnell massively outspent Deeds, especially in the final weeks of the campaign, whereas Herring has been able to keep up with Obenshain. Added onto the fact that Obenshain is more conservative than McDonnell, I just can't see there being significant amounts of ticket splitting this time round.

            Also, I'm not convinced that in 2005, 55,000 Democrats were too lazy to tick the boxes just underneath the gubernatorial candidates. It seems more likely to me that a significant number of those Dems split their ticket, giving McDonnell those extra votes (along with 3rd party Gov voters going for McDonnell as well).

            This time round, I just can't see it happening to the degree it happened in 2005.

            •  Take another look. (0+ / 0-)

              I actually used REAL numbers.  You saw that, right?

              40k voters (about 2% of the total voters) did not vote in the AG race versus the governor race. That is a fact.  This pattern of people not voting in down ticket races is a common polysci phenomena, and happened in VA when Warner (2001) and Kaine (2005) won their VA governor race.  

              Polling and poli-sci research also suggests that infrequent (i.e., Democratic) voters tend to not vote on down ballot races many times more than regular voters.  This meshes with the Warner and Kaine races.  Good D candidates get independents AND gets more dems to the polls, unfortunately those dems to not vote in all races.  

              Remember - it is not that 55k Dem voters decided not to vote for AG.  It is that, in all probability the number of voters for D governor who did not vote for AG is probably larger than the number of (net) ticket splitters.  .  

              Kevin (aka "NoVa Dem")

              by NoVa Dem on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 01:04:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Infrequent voters aren't monolithically Dems (0+ / 0-)

                Take 18-29 year olds for example, who likely voted 60-40 for the Kaine - that's still 40% of these 'infrequent voters' who voted Republican. It would be a stretch to assume that only the Democrat-infrequent-voters failed to vote downballot - its more likely that both sides get knocked, the Democrats perhaps slightly more. Of the 40,000 who didn't vote, perhaps a reasonable assumption would be that 24,000 of them were Democrat voters (and 12,000 Republicans) - based on the earlier proportions. However, that's a mere 12,000 vote advantage for the Republicans.

                As my primary point was before, McDonnell must have attracted a reasonable amount of cross party-support. There were only 43,000 3rd party Governor voters (who I doubt would all have gone for McDonnell), and if you take away the proportional number of infrequent voters who would have voted for Republican downballot, that's around 67,000 extra votes McDonnell needs to get from somewhere.

                This cross party-support makes the example of 2005 VA-AG unrepresentative because a) Herring has not being swamped by advertising like Deeds was in the final weeks, and b) Obenshain is more conservative than McDonnell, which is less appealing to crossover voters.

                I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

                •  again (0+ / 0-)

                  I never said monolithically - you are strawmanning me. I am saying that the undervote is more significant then the ticket splitter, who is a rapidly dying breed in the era of party unity.

                  Studies have shown that voters who vote at the top of the ticket but don't vote downticket tend to be infrequent voters, and they also tend to be on the liberal side.  They are disproportionately Dem leaners who, if they were convicnced to actually vote downticket would more often vote for the dem.  We're not saying 100% (or even 80%) of the down ticket undervotes are dem leaners, but a majority of them are and you cannot proportionally take away votes from each of the Gov candidates and allocate that as a starting point with the down ballot races.

                  This happened with the Franken for Minnesotta US senate seat race in 2008 where everybody on dkos wanted to project out the Obama numbers to Franken during the recount when the reality is that the groups Obama drove to the polls were marginally interested in politics and couldn't be bothered to learn about other races.    An establishment polysci person (Larry Sabato ? maybe) posted an analysis about this effect with regard to Deeds in VA as well a few years back.  The infrequent voters who get off their butts to vote for the top-of-the-ticket race they hear about in a gazillion TV commercials do not bother to vote for the down ticket races.

                  Kevin (aka "NoVa Dem")

                  by NoVa Dem on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 02:15:33 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Mine (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Christie 58-41
      De Blasio 64-31
      Byrne 60-40
      McAuliffe 52-43-5
      Northam 57-43
      Herring 52-48

      (-9.38, -7.49), Blood type "O", libertarian socialist, KY-01, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy." — Stanisław Lem

      by Setsuna Mudo on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 10:19:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  voted earlier today (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnva, itskevin, blugrlnrdst, sapelcovits

    Managed small races in VA and DC. Worked political for DGA. Did some time at a super PAC focused on NJ lege races. Follow me @bharatkrishnan if you want to be my friend.

    by Bharat on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 08:28:43 AM PST

    •  I voted by mail a month ago (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      here in NJ.  I vote in LD-8 in Burlington County.

      "You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!" -Charlie Chaplin

      by KingofSpades on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 09:17:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just heard from my friend (11+ / 0-)

    who is a biggie with the Arlington Democratic Party.   Turnout in Arlington is up 50% over 2009.


  •  Prepare yourselves tonight (12+ / 0-)

    for Republicans to once again get excited by early returns, and then for the gnashing of teeth as the rest of the state reports, followed by claims of "voter fraud".

    •  Happens Every Time..... (5+ / 0-)

      .....I just home DK front-pagers have figured this out.  I remember back in 2005 when the early returns from the Shenandoah Valley showed Kilgore beating Kaine, people were flipping out making the same claims.

      Some of your more clueless election analysts (ahem, Bob Schieffer) can be counted upon to make the same dumb observation based on early VA returns every two years.

      •  In 2008 (0+ / 0-)

        Dems were flipping too and I thought for a second we would not win VA. We did though and remember, the Obama turnout is more focused in the inner cities which report last (more so than other candidates.)

        For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37. Go Trojans!!

        by Alibguy on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 10:59:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Webb, Obama (2008), Kaine, Obama (2012) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alibguy, skibum59, Skaje

      All followed the same nail-biting scenario. Perhaps we'll get lucky and the trends will allow for an early call, although I expect the AG race to go down to the wire.

  •  Really good analysis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terjeanderson, johnva

    Remember to keep an eye on Loudoun and Chesapeake in the Attorney General race (although Herring may get a small regional bounce from Loudoun.)

    I would not be surprised if Prince William and Henrico are more bellwetherish this time because there should be some dropoff in minority turnout if trends are consistent.

    For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37. Go Trojans!!

    by Alibguy on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 08:47:21 AM PST

  •  Another turnout report (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, terjeanderson, johnva, TofG

    Agree with everyone that turnout is heavy (for a governor/legislature election) in dem heavy northern virginia.  We have a LOT of college educated women voters here, as well as government employees.  McAuliffe, despite being a non-exciting candidate, will significantly outperform Deeds in NoVa both in turnout and margin.

    Voted at 9:45am in Arlington in a heavy blue precinct.  Well over 500 had voted by that point (did not get exact number, poll worker said they topped 500 at 9am) with a total number of registered voters of only 3000.  Poll voter said turnout prediction was 30% (not sure if this was a precinct prediction, a county prediction, or a statewide prediction), and that volume therefore was significantly better than expected.

    My guesstimates from 10 years of prior elections in the same neighborhood is that about 40% vote prior to 9am, 35% midday (all the stay at home moms and retirees), and maybe 25% after 5pm.

    There was maybe 1-2 people in line at any time, but things were moving briskly with 6 total touch screen machines.  Took me under 5 minutes.

    Kevin (aka "NoVa Dem")

    by NoVa Dem on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 08:50:39 AM PST

  •  Another turnout report (10+ / 0-)

    Nothing more useless than an anecdotal turnout report. That having been said here is another :)

    Domenico Montanaro ‏@DomenicoNBC 6m
    McAuliffe camp excited abt turnout in Dem strongholds like Arlington/Richmond area. One 70% black pct in Henrico at 51% of 09 turnout at 10a

    Vote Democratic. We're not perfect-but they're NUTS! - Barney Frank

    by Minnesota Mike on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 08:56:58 AM PST

  •  Regarding the Article's projections (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnva, ArcticStones, TofG

    I think the big thing that you are missing is that the two "exurb" counties outside of Fairfax, namely Loundon and Prince Charles, were the fastest growing counties in VA and simultaneously had huge swings in PVI toward Dems - especially since 2000.  

    This swing, plus the mobilization of already Dem leaning (but previously poor turnout) voters in the Hampton Roads/VA Beach area is what has turned VA purple.  In other words, once demographics changes in NoVa put VA in striking distance, Dems finally started focusing on activating and turning out their base in Some of the more populous areas downstate.  

    Kevin (aka "NoVa Dem")

    by NoVa Dem on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 08:58:34 AM PST

  •  Why would McAuliffe voters go R for atty general? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnva, ArcticStones, TofG

    I don't quite understand the disparity between the high single digit polling margin in the governor's race in favor of McAuliffe, who's campaigned openly on many progressive themes, and the precriously narrow margin in the Attorney General's race, in which the Republican candidate Mark Obenshain "has a long record as a soldier in the conservative culture wars" according to the Loudin, Va Times.  I cannot fathom the mentality of someone who would vote for BOTH McAuliffe for governor and Obernshain for attorney general.  Perhaps the difference comes from voters going for the libertarian candidate in the governor's race but the republican candidate in the AG's race?

    •  Many won't vote (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnva, nimh

      they don't know enough about the candidates, so they skip the AG race.    I doubt there are many McAuliffe Obenshain voters.

    •  Because Obenshain is more competent (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnva, skibum59, charliehall2

      and is running as a generic, McDonnell-type R.

      "You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!" -Charlie Chaplin

      by KingofSpades on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 09:15:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, just as McDonnell fooled some people... (4+ / 0-)

        ...into thinking he was some sort of "moderate", Obenshain has managed to do the same to a degree. He's not a moderate by any stretch of the imagination, but low-info voters don't know that to the degree that they know it about Cuccinelli or Jackson. He's got a radical right record, but he's not been running a balls-to-the-wall ultra-conservative campaign like the other two R's. The AG race also has gotten a lot less discussion than the other two races, so people are less aware of the contrasts.

        Obenshain seems to have concluded that the more people know about what Republicans stand for, the less they like them. He's correct in that calculation, so he's tried to fly under the radar.

        So smarter politically, but still just as evil. I hope enough people aren't fooled.

    •  Cuccinelli's craziness is better known (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Most people in the state have no real idea who Obenshain is or how far right wing he is. He doesn't have Cuccinelli's high profile history of bad lawsuits and ideological statements.  And when he speaks, he doesn't come off as nutso as Cuccinelli or Jackson.

      The Democrats have done their best to define Obenshain - but in a lower profile race, there are still moderate Republican leaning voters who are freaked out by Cooch and Jackson, but haven't heard bad things about Obenshain. He becomes their default Republican vote.

      (And, yes, the assumption is that most of the folks voting for the Libertarian for Governor will vote Republican for AG.)

      There won't be a huge number of ticket splitters casting McAuliffe/Obenshain votes, but there will be enough of them to make the race very close. Hopefully Democratic GOTV is strong enough to counter that.

      My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world - Jack Layton

      by terjeanderson on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 09:20:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not really ticket splitting (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnva, nimh

      Ticket splitting is not the issue so much as people that vote Dem for governor do not vote for AG at all - at a signfificantly higher rate of fall-off to voters for Repub governor.  Viriginia does not have a "straigt ticket" button/box that encourages straight ticket voting, so there is significant fall-off in turnout as you go down ballot.

      Kevin (aka "NoVa Dem")

      by NoVa Dem on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 09:21:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obenshain is my State Senator (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psychicpanda, zbob, johnva

      While his positions may not differ much from Cuccinelli's, he is a much more personable guy than Cuccinelli and maybe even McAuliffe.  That might be worth a couple of points.  I know many people who are voting for McAuliffe because they perceive him as the lesser of two evils, even though McAuliffe has run a very good campaign.  Plus, I have seen a lot of Obenshain ads, much more than Cuccinelli ads.  I haven't seen a Jackson ad all year. I think most of the Republican money is going into the AG race.

    •  Keep in mind also that Obenshain is more familiar (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Charger72, johnva, charliehall2

      The "Obenshain" name is well-known to many older Virginians because of his father, Dick's, involvement in GOP politics.  

  •  Prince William And Loudoun Should No Longer...... (4+ / 0-) generically coupled together as they were back in 2005 and 2006 when they first started trending Democratic.  Based on returns from 2008 and particularly 2012, Prince William appears to have changed to the point that it's closer to Fairfax County in its Democratic strength than Loudoun.  Let's say McAuliffe wins Fairfax County by 25 points and Loudoun County by 10 guess is he'll win Prince William County by 20 points.

    •  Prince William is the place with the booming (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark27, Alibguy

      Latino population, I believe.

      "You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!" -Charlie Chaplin

      by KingofSpades on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 09:15:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And Bob Marshall is there (0+ / 0-)

        I'll bet he's sweating bullets as Manassas gets more and more racially diverse.

        "You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!" -Charlie Chaplin

        by KingofSpades on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 09:16:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I lived in Prince William (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KingofSpades, gabjoh

          until 2001.  Voted from there form 1993-2000.  And I hated it for the last decade or so I was there (though I was most often at college or grad school elsewhere.)  It's better now, though I wouldn't have any desire to move back.

          I had the misfortune of being registered to vote in Marshall's district (I refused to consider him my delegate.)  I voted Libertarian at least once when that was the only alternative.

          38, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

          by Mike in MD on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 09:27:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I Believe Asians As Well..... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...particularly Indian-Americans.

  •  Voted at 7:45 (6+ / 0-)

    I vote in a red area of Virginia (in 2012 my precinct went 70-30 in favor of Romney).  There were no lines and I got in and out in five minutes.

  •  Think McAuliffe might win VA Beach? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, blugrlnrdst

    the mayor endorsed him and was in an ad for him.

    "You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!" -Charlie Chaplin

    by KingofSpades on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 09:14:14 AM PST

  •  This is why it's worth it in the long run to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnva, ArcticStones, TofG

    compete in Texas.  In the short run, Wendy Davis and the 2016 Democratic ticket may still not win there, but diversity (not sure whether Texas is becoming more educated or not) makes it a worthwhile goal.  Even forcing Republicans to spend money in a state they've considered safe for years would be a plus.

  •  I would like to see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a running commentary from Cuccinelli headquarters tonight.

    Not Larry sabato hopefully would do that.

    Where are his headquarters?

  •  I just want to say... (9+ / 0-)

    ...I'm proud of my parents.

    They got pretty disgusted with politics in the wake of 2000 and 2004, but I managed to get them to start paying attention again in time for 2006, and they were actively campaigning for Obama in 2008 in VA (their home state).  They figured an old white southern couple knocking on their neighbors' doors for Obama would help his acceptance among their peers.  (They repeated in 2012.)

    ...and now, this year, today, Dad's one of the poll watchers in Virginia, and Mom's out helping people they know get to their polling places.

    So cool, so involved.  Yay them!

  •  I voted in Henrico Co. at 9:00 am (5+ / 0-)

    I was astonished to see only 1 other voter at the poll.  I've been voting in the morning at this precinct for over 15 years and there has ALWAYS been at least 10 or 15 other voters, minimum.  Last year, I had to wait in line for over 45 minutes, IIRC.  Such low turn-out in my ultra-safe GOP precinct (same precinct as Cantor, if that gives you any idea) does not bode well for the Republican ticket, especially when combined with reports of strong turn-out in other areas.

    Another anecdotal point of evidence supporting the low GOP enthusiasm for their man -- unlike past years, there were no mobs of volunteers standing outside of the polling place this morning.  Just 1 lonely guy handing out a sample GOP ballot.  LOL.

    •  Anecdotal stuff like this isn't helpful (0+ / 0-)

      did you stick around a bit to see if there was any incoming traffic?

      "You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!" -Charlie Chaplin

      by KingofSpades on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 12:17:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry you didn't find it helpful. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingofSpades, Arlingtonian, TofG, madmojo

        Seems to me it's just as helpful as any of the other anecdotal accounts above.  No, I had to get to work and so didn't stand around counting heads.  

        However, as I mentioned, I do have some basis for comparison since I've voted at the same polling place at roughly the same time in past off-year and Congressional elections.  There was significantly less traffic and outside poll activity at this location than in any other election I've seen over the past 15 years.

  •  For those who don't like anecdotes (5+ / 0-)

    How about this from the Richmond Times-Dispatch

    State election officials said 121,000 absentee ballots have been received as of today, up from 88,000 in the 2009 gubernatorial race.
    A strong turnout is being reported at the Forest Hill Presbyterian Church precinct in South Richmond.
    More than 2,700 voters are on the rolls there. By 12:25 p.m., a total of 922 had already voted, a turnout pace that surpassed poll workers' expectations. Earlier an official said he expected about 1,500 to vote there.
    •  For the record (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, madmojo

      Many of us do enjoy the anecdotal info. It may not be representative of everything going on at the precinct, but it is interesting to hear nonetheless, especially as we are all waiting for returns to come in. Thanks for your comment.

    •  I like reading ancedotes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I like seeing what is happening in key areas on election day. However, I do not like relying on them or assuming we are going to win just because a few of them look good for us.

      Still, I would rather see good ones instead of bad ones.

      For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog CA-2 (former CA-6) College in CA-37. Go Trojans!!

      by Alibguy on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 03:07:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anybody doing exit polling in Virginia? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, Minnesota Mike

    “The meaning of life is to find it.”

    by ArcticStones on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 12:51:13 PM PST

  •  Electorate more minority than 09 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    4 years ago, 78% of #VAGOV voters were white. tonight it's 72, per prelim exit polls

    Vote Democratic. We're not perfect-but they're NUTS! - Barney Frank

    by Minnesota Mike on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 03:02:25 PM PST

    •  More Early Exit Info (0+ / 0-)

      Preliminary Virginia exit poll results, including interviews with early voters, suggest an electorate more closely resembling 2012 than the last gubernatorial election four years ago. Early voters are more Democratic, less white and more highly educated than the final composition of the electorate in 2009. These preliminary results will evolve as more vote returns are counted.

      Vote Democratic. We're not perfect-but they're NUTS! - Barney Frank

      by Minnesota Mike on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 03:05:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  great news (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Minnesota Mike

      sounds like WaPo is strongly hinting at a big Dem night, especially with this:

      PARTY — Nearly four in 10 voters identify as Democrats in early exit poll results for the Virginia governor’s race. Just over three in 10 identify as Republicans or independents. If they hold, these early numbers would mark a big departure from the 2009 Virginia exit polls in which Republicans outnumbered Democrats by four percentage points, 37 to 33 percent. In the 2012 election, Democrats outnumbered Republicans in Virginia by seven points, 39 to 32 percent.
  •  I called the 2012 election for Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    an hour before the networks did by keeping my eye on just these kind of data. I noticed that even though Romney and Obama were just about tied, not a single vote had been tallied from the City of Norfolk. But your chart is missing some important data that I found essential: turnout in NUMBERS. Could you update with actual tallies from 2009?

  •  Where is the election thread? :) (0+ / 0-)
  •  Independents (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In 2012, the independents went for Romney by 11% in Virginia. If the Independents go for the Democrat, it will be large victory.

  •  voter suppression? (0+ / 0-)

    According to Pro Publica, VA is one of the states that enacted voting restrictions when Scalia decided to let them do so:

    So was the race closer than it would have been due to voting restrictions? Did turnout correlate with wealth and car ownership or gun ownership?

    "Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place." -- Mandela

    by agoldnyc on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 12:41:48 PM PST

  •  Cooch fails to look up more women's... (0+ / 0-)

    ...vaginas, despite an opponent who's the Washington Establishment's poster child. Stop looking for the little man in the boat, Ken! There's a whole lot more to women than their private parts!

    There is lesson in all this - something having to do with sausage-making and the enemies we know.

    Oh, and frat-boy nicknames should not follow someone after graduation.

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