Democratic sweep may be in offing in statewide races

by Charlie Koenig - Posted on Nov 06, 2013 - 12:24 PM

Photo: During a last-minute swing through the Middle Peninsula, gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, right, stopped by Gloucester Republican campaign headquarters in White Marsh on Friday afternoon. In spite of receiving the majority of votes in Gloucester and Mathews counties, the Republican candidate lost Tuesday’s statewide election to Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe. Here, Cuccinelli speaks with Gloucester GOP chairman Dorothy Bayford. Also picured, in center, is Bayford’s husband, Brian. Photo by Bill Nachman

During a last-minute swing through the Middle Peninsula, gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, right, stopped by Gloucester Republican campaign headquarters in White Marsh on Friday afternoon. In spite of receiving the majority of votes in Gloucester and Mathews counties, the Republican candidate lost Tuesday’s statewide election to Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe. Here, Cuccinelli speaks with Gloucester GOP chairman Dorothy Bayford. Also picured, in center, is Bayford’s husband, Brian. Photo by Bill Nachman

A Democratic sweep of Virginia’s top three statewide elected offices may be in the offing, depending on the results of a likely recount in an extremely close race for attorney general.

In a race that has been viewed by political pundits across the nation as a bellwether for such issues as Obamacare and the continuing influence of the Tea Party in the electoral process, Democrat Terry McAuliffe narrowly defeated current Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, winning by a 47.75 to 45.27 percent margin. Libertarian Robert Sarvis drew 6.52 percent of the vote.

With the win, McAuliffe breaks a long-standing tradition of Virginia voters choosing its top executive from the opposite party of the president that had been elected the year before. The last time that happened was in 1973, when Republican Mills E. Godwin Jr. was elected governor a year after President Richard Nixon’s 1972 reelection.

The biggest winner of the night, in terms of margins in the state races, was Democrat Ralph Northam. The state senator received over 55 percent of the vote for lieutenant governor, easily defeating his Republican opponent, E.W. Jackson.

In the race for attorney general, the Virginia Board of Elections reported at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday that Obenshain took a 219-vote lead, out of nearly 2.2 million votes cast.

Herring, who had been trailing as early election numbers were reported, received a big boost from Northern Virginia voters to take a narrow lead at one point. However, the final three precincts on Wednesday morning placed Obenshain back in the lead.