George Allen released the following statement on Virginia’s State and local election results: “Congratulations to all the State and local candidates who were victorious in their elections and thank you to all who ran to help shape a better future for the people of your communities and districts! Virginians everywhere can be proud of the strong and winning team of Republican leaders who were elected last night. By making significant gains in the House of Delegates and ending the Democrats’ majority in the State Senate, Governor Bob McDonnell will have an even stronger foundation of support to streamline State government, reduce regulatory burdens on families and businesses, protect the rights of working men and women to not be forced to pay union dues as a condition of keeping a job and advance his already-successful job creating efforts.
“This is an energizing and exciting time for everyone who worked so hard to ensure that Virginia continues to move in a positive, pro-growth direction for jobs and the economy for years to come. It was such a pleasure to work side-by-side with so many of our hard-working candidates on the campaign trail, and today I am even more optimistic and hopeful for the future of the families and businesses of Virginia. Their positive ideas and pro-growth solutions will help Virginia show the rest of the nation how we can restart our economic engines and make America the land of freedom and opportunity again. With the advances by strong, common sense conservatives and Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly, Election Day 2011 was a promising day for taxpayers, families and small businesses.”
20 - 20 = +1! - Bearing Drift - ............The night began with Democrats shaking their head at the number of races that went unchallenged and Republicans licking their chops at the number of vulnerable races. As the polls closed, turnout numbers looked quite low and given the deficit of Democrat turnout the last two cycles, Republicans around the state felt solid that the close races would flip their way. It was not to be. Race after race, VPAP called races for Democrat incumbents (quick shout-out, VPAP hands-down outdid itself this year, with a user-friendly interface on the mainpage with every contested race in the Senate along with a power structure chart showing realtime results. Outstanding, VPAP.org) By 11:15, we were ready to call it a night, dejectedly. One last glance at VPAP changed all of that.
In the equivalent of a hail mary from the one-yard line with one second left on the clock, a human error entering information in Spotsylvania County turned a 126 vote deficit to an 86 vote lead as the clock ran out and showed 100% on the clock. Bryce Reeves defeats Edd Houck. I screamed, yelled, shouting and posted fast and furious on facebook and twitter to spread the news and get instant updates. It was true. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Republicans now control the House (with a massive 7 seat pickup tonight, which is another story, including the forced-retirement of Ward Armstrong), the Governor’s Mansion and now have a 20/20 split in the State Senate, with all ties being broken by Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, the equivalency of full control in the state. The decline of Dems has reached a new low (if such a thing were possible) particularly given the way the nights’ results were looking. Chairman Moran was preparing a victory lap, Governor McDonnell canceled his media availability, and in the span of minutes everything flipped on its head.
The other takeaway from the night? If the presidential election were held today, Virginia would be a solidly red state, 61% – 39%, as Republicans account for nearly 660,000 votes; Democrats just 452,000 votes. Obviously those numbers will be higher, but it took every gerrymandering trick in the book for the Democrats to hold a 20/20 split in the Senate where all ties will be broken by Bolling (who likely will be the busiest man in Richmond next year, moving from his office to the General Assembly frequently and often). In statewide elections, Tim Kaine and Barack Obama look to be living on borrowed time.
Welcome back, Old Virginny!