**VA LIVE UPDATES** McAuliffe Projected Winner with 47% of Vote
UPDATE (10:05pm EST) It appears Terry McAuliffe will become Governor of Virginia with 47% of the vote. In other words, a clear majority of voters rejected him, as well as surrogates like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Barack Obama. A win is a win, no doubt. In the end, though, he simply held onto to the base Democrat vote. Cuccinelli was torpedoed by a Libertarian candidate and a GOP Establishment that abandoned him.
Cuccinelli also, though, ran a poor campaign until the final week. Nationalizing the race against ObamaCare and reconnecting with the grass roots almost got him to victory. Perhaps if he had started a week earlier.
UPDATE (9:31pm EST) If the Fox projections holds, McAuliffe will win the Governor's mansion with 47% of the vote. (!) Cuccinelli and the Libertarian Robert Sarvis, combined, have the support of 53% of Virginians.
UPDATE: FoxNews has projected Democrat Terry McAuliffe the winner of the Governor's race in Virginia. With almost 90% of the vote counted, Cuccinelli still holds a slim lead, but there are a lot of Democrat precincts still to be counted.
UPDATE (9:14pm EST) We are in the phase of the election returns we called "the dance" when I was in politics in Illinois. A handful of urban, Democrat precincts would hold back their results as would a handful or rural, Republican counties. Each was afraid the other would steal the election if they reported all their results at once. So, a few here would be released, followed by a few there. Some areas of Virginia may be stuck at 80% reporting for a while.
UPDATE (9:10pm EST) With 81.5% of the vote counted, Cuccinelli leads by just under 2 points, 47.2% to 45.9%. Unfortunately, a fair number of the 18.5% left to report are Democrat precincts.
UPDATE (8:57pm EST) With 85% of the vote counted, Cuccinelli is carrying Virginia Beach, 48% to 45%. Sarvis is getting 6.5%. Democrat Tim Kaine carried Virginia Beach when he won the Governor's race in 2005. It has become a very swingy area in recent elections.
UPDATE (8:50pm EST) From the very astute Sean Trende at RealClearPolitics:
Trende's election model is predicting a Cuccinelli victory. Your mileage may vary, but I wouldn't discount Trende's analysis. (Also, you should follow him.)
UPDATE (8:43pm EST) With 62% of the vote counted, Cuccinelli leads McAuliffe 48%-45%. Sarvis is at 7%.
UPDATE (8:35pm EST) Cuccinelli wins Rockingham County in the Shenandoah Valley 68% to McAuliffe's 25%. Sarvis pulled 6%. Cuccinelli won the county by about 9,000 votes. In 2009, Bob McDonnell won by 12,000 votes, on his way to a 17-point landslide. Cuccinelli's numbers then, aren't that far off pace and suggest that turnout was much higher this year. Turnout in this county is a significant bellwether.
UPDATE (8:16pm EST) A major mainstream media source has told Breitbart News that their models suggest overall turnout could end up in the mid 30% of registered voters. If true, it would represent an historically low turnout for a Virginia election. It also means it could be a very long night.
UPDATE (8:06pm EST) McAuliffe flips Prince Edward County, outside of Richmond. With 100% of precincts reporting, McAuliffe has 50.3%, Cuccinelli 42.4% and Sarvis 7.3%. In 2009, Bob McDonnell carried the county with 55% of the vote.
UPDATE (8:03pm EST) Knowledgeable sources tell Breitbart News that the election results are likely very close and well within the margin of error of 3 or 4 points.
UPDATE (7:53pm EST) Another big Virginia race to watch tonight is Attorney General. Because VA's Governor is limited to one term, the AG usually has an advantage going into the next election. The GOP has held the office since the 1980s. Sen. Mark Obenshain is the Republican and Sen. Mark Herring is the Democrat. Much of the state GOP Establishment shifted its energy to this race in the final weeks, fearing that Cuccinelli was about to lose.
UPDATE (7:49pm EST) From BearingDrift blog on Virginia politics:
Results from the bellwether of Chesterfield county…Cuccinelli 50.01 percent, McAuliffe 39.88 percent, Sarvis 10.11 with 73 out of 74 precincts reporting. McAuiffe missed his 44 percent target. But he out-performed Creigh Deeds’ results from 2009.
Historically, GOP candidates need 56 percent or more from Chesterfield to win statewide.
UPDATE (7:41pm EST) With 90% of the vote in, Ken Cuccinelli leads Terry McAuliffe by about 7,000 votes in the important bellwether Chesterfield County. His margin looks similar to Jerry Kilgore, who narrowly lost to Democrat Tim Kaine in 2005.
UPDATE (7:38pm EST) With 8% of the vote in, Ken Cuccinelli leads Terry McAuliffe, 51.7% to 39.6%. Libertarian Robert Sarvis garners 8.6% of the vote.
UPDATE (7:02pm EST) Randy Marcus, chief of staff to VA Lt Gov Bill Bolling, who considered his own campaign for Governor, tweets an early returns tip, watch Chesterfield County:
UPDATE (7:00pm EST) The polls have close in Virginia. Scroll below for election news throughout the day. The latest election returns will be posted at the top of the post.
Early reports from voters at two polling places in Virginia's gubernatorial election, one in Richmond and one in Lynchburg, indicate that as of 9:30 am eastern standard time, turnout has been just "a trickle."
A third report, from Rustburg in rural Campbell County, a conservative stronghold, indicates turnout is good there. At that location, Cuccinelli signs are highly visible and McAuliffe signs are not present.
UPDATE (10:15am EST): From Kerry Picket, in Loudoun County.
A polling official at the site of the polling place experiencing connectivity problems at the Lovettsville Community Center told Breitbart News on Tuesday that three laptops still need to be networked to one another, but the ethernet hub issue is not preventing people from casting their votes or long lines in the Loudoun County town. As of 10:15 AM, over 300 individuals have voted at this polling site. That number, the polling official said, is a good turnout so far for the small town.
UPDATE (11:06am EST): The Virginia State Board of Elections reports turnout for the following counties (as of 11am EST):
James City County 15%
Falls Church 25%
UPDATE (11:12am EST) Alexandria Turnout Mixed. Mike Flynn: I voted in my precinct in Alexandria City around 9:30am. Just under 30% of the precinct had voted by then. My precinct generally has a higher turnout than the rest of the state. My precinct is overwhelmingly Democrat.
Other precincts around Alexandria had much lighter turnout. A source following election day voting told Breitbart News that turnout was running behind 2009 levels. In that election, 40% of Virginia voters went to the polls.
McAuliffe will win Alexandria handily, but he needs a very big turnout here to overcome his losses in the rest of the state.
UPDATE (11:45am EST) Picket:
A Loudoun County polling site located in East Lovettsville at Lovettsville Elementary School is on target for a 50 percent turnout, a polling site official told Breitbart News. As of 10:45 AM, around 430 people had voted at that polling site. According to the polling official, that same site received an 80 percent turnout rate from voters in 2012.
UPDATE (Noon, EST) The Virginia State Board of Elections reports turnout for the following counties (as of 11:49am EST):
UPDATE (12:29pm EST) Picket:
A Loudoun County polling site located in Purcelville at Emerick Elementary School has had an over-20-percent turnout rate since noon. Over 600 Virginia residents have voted at this precinct so far. It should be noted that 105 absentee ballots have been cast at this site as well.
UPDATE (12:43pm EST) Absentee ballots are up from 2009. The Virginia State Board of Elections reports 121,000 absentee ballots have been returned in 2013. In 2009, 88,189 absentee ballots were cast. With around two million votes expected to be cast, absentee voting makes up a very small share of the overall electorate.
UPDATE (12:50pm EST) From the great BearingDrift blog on Virginia politics:
Brian Schoeneman is a member of the Fairfax County election board.
UPDATE (2pm EST) From the Facebook Page of The News Leader in Staunton, VA:
Post by The News Leader.
UPDATE (3:10pm EST) From Picket:
An Arlington County polling site located in Clarendon at the Courtlands precinct had an 18 percent turnout rate as of 3:10 PM. According to the onsite election official, 572 voters cast their ballots up to this point.
Note: Like Alexandria, McAuliffe will win Arlington by a large margin. He needs a heavy turnout as well, though.
UPDATE (3:30pm EST) More info from BearingDrift's Brian Schoeneman in important vote-rich Fairfax County:
UPDATE (4:07pm EST) Norther Virginia Tea Party emails to its supporters a message from Fairfax County GOP Chair Jay McConville:
Mid-Day numbers are rolling in, and while early, we know one thing for sure. This looks like it will end up being a very close race which means that every little thing you do matters.
Tell your neighbors and friends that we need them to get to the polls right away! All of us in Virginia are counting on you to do your part.
UPDATE (4:30pm EST) Picket: A polling site located in Alexandria at Landrey precinct 101 had a 35 percent turnout rate as of 4:07 PM. According to the onsite election official, 789 voters cast their ballots up to that point.
UPDATE (4:45pm EST) Picket: A polling site located in Alexandria at precinct 102 had an over 50 percent turnout rate as of 4:21 PM. According to the onsite election official, 1002 voters cast their ballots up to that point.
UPDATE (5:15pm EST) Picket: A polling site located in Alexandria at precinct 103 had a 40 percent turnout rate as of 4:34 PM. According to the onsite election official, 1400 voters cast their ballots up to that point.
UPDATE (5:58pm EST) Flynn: As we wait for the polls to close in Virginia, a funny story from New Jersey. This morning fire alarms went off at Christie campaign headquarters. An aide told Breitbart News, "same thing happened in 09, so a good sign." Not that Christie needed any good omens. He is expected to win reelection by 20 points. The key test for Christie is how long his coat-tails are for legislative contests.
UPDATE (6:10pm EST) Picket: A polling site located in Alexandria at precinct 104 had a 30 percent turnout rate as of 5:03 PM. According to the onsite election official, 1389 voters cast their ballots up to that point.
Note: Alexandria precincts 101, 102, 103 are among the more Republican precincts in the city. All three look to have very strong turnout. Precinct 104 is among the more Democrat precincts. So far, its turnout is lower.
UPDATE (6:24pm EST) Flynn: Since we are about an hour away from the first election results, Breitbart Readers should take a look at the interesting crib-sheet from Virginia Public Access Project and its "Six Things to Watch" as returns come in, forwarded by Breitbart's Tony Lee. VPAP is one of those hair-shirted groups that frets about "money in politics," but these are some pretty astute goalposts.
According to VPAP, things are going well for Republicans if:
1. The Shenandoah Valley Amps the Turnout
The GOP statewide ticket has a favorite son -- Mark Obenshain -- from the ruby-red Shenandoah County. Republicans need to crank the turnout in the counties of Augusta, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Frederick.
Returns VPAP will track: The turnout in 20 precincts where McDonnell won 80% or better four years ago. Anything over 55% turnout would be a good thing for Republicans.
2. If Loudoun County Turns Red
No candidate since Mark Warner in 2001 has won a statewide election without carrying Loudoun County, an ex-urb behemoth with 210,000 registered voters. Loudoun has full-on politics this year – all House seats are contested and most are targeted. Democrats have a local guy – Mark Herring -- running on the statewide ticket. Loudoun is a real test of party ground game this year.
Returns VPAP will track: Seven precincts where McDonnell won 55% or better in 2009 and Obama won 52-55% in 2012. If these precincts go solidly red, Republicans might be able to breath easier.
3. Can the Center Hold in the Republican Party
This year’s election has exposed GOP fault lines between the country club establishment and the upstart Tea Partiers. Some high-profile Republicans – led by Lt. Governor Bill Bolling – have refused to endorse Cuccinelli or have outright defected to Terry McAuliffe.
Returns VPAP will track: Eight precincts in the near west end of Richmond and Henrico in the proximity of the Country Club of Virginia. Each of these precincts gave at least 2/3 of vote to McDonnell in 2009 and Romney in 2012. Cuccinelli is in good shape if he can draw 66% or better.
Things will be going well for Democrats, according to VPAP, if:
1. If Federal Workers Rise “Inside the Beltway”
Frank O’Leary, the elected treasurer in true-blue Arlington, reports that this year’s election will break all records in non-presidential absentee voter turnout. He speculated it was federal workers – angered by the federal Government shutdown last month.
Returns VPAP will track: County-wide turnout in Arlington. A turnout of 44% or more would put a smile on McAuliffe's face.
2. If Virginia Beach Glows Blue
The state’s largest city once was a reliable GOP stonghold. Jim Gilmore came out of Virgnia Beach with a 17,000-vote margin in 1997. The GOP margin was cut by half four years later and, in 2005, Democrat Tim Kaine carried Virginia Beach. The city returned to form four years ago to give hometown Republican Bob McDonnell a 27,000-vote margin.
Returns VPAP will Track: 8 precincts where Kaine did 52% or better in 2005 and McDonnell won by more than 60% four years later.
3. The Core-City African-American Vote Turns Out
Returns VPAP will Track: Twenty-eight precincts in Hampton, Norfolk, Petersburg, Portsmouth and Richmond that gave 95% or greater of the vote to Barack Obama in 2012. Democrats are looking for a turnout in these precincts of 36% or more.