DemDaily: Virginia’s Surprising Results

June 14, 2017

As one of two gubernatorial battle grounds this year, Virginia was already the focus of national attention as a bellweather for the political mood of the electorate -- but the unexpected results of yesterday's Democratic and Republican primaries will have political pundits scrambling for the precinct breakdown.

The surprise is not with the end result, but with the margins.

Democratic Nominee Ralph Northam (pic: AP)

Just One Month Ago
A pre-primary May 9-14 Washington Post-Schar School Poll showed Democrats Tom Perriello and Ralph Northam at an essential dead heat @ 40%-38%.

The same poll showed former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie leading the Republican nomination 38% to Corey Stewart's 18% and State Senator Frank Wagner with 15%.

Instead Northam swept up the Democratic nomination by an unexpectedly wide margin of over 11%, while Gillespie's lead over Stewart closed to under 1% in the end for the GOP nod.


2017 Virginia Governor's Race

Results of Democratic and Republican Primaries

Democratic Primary

 May 9-14 Poll
June 13 Election
Final Percentage
Ralph Northam,
Lieutenant Governor
40% 55.9%
Tom Perriello, former Congressman (VA-05)
38% 44.1%

Republican Primary

Ed Gillespie
Former RNC Chair and 2014 US Senate nominee
38% 43.71%
Corey Stewart
Former Trump State Chair, Prince William Co Board Supervisors Chair, Candidate Lt Gov 2013
18% 42.53%
Frank Wagner
State Senator
15% 13.75%
General Election    
Northam v. Gillespie
Northam: 49%
Gillespie: 38%
Perriello v. Gillespie
Perriello: 50%
Gillespie: 37%

Republican Nominee Ed Gillespie

Northam and Gillespie will face off in November to succeed Virginia's term-limited, incumbent Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe  -- who approaches the final months of his term with an approval rating of 52%+ and over 83% among Democrats.

What Does it Mean for the General Election?
The WashPo-Schar May poll showed both Northam and Perriello beating Gillespie by double digits in the general. Let's hope that part of the poll sticks.

More analysis on the results to come.

See Also: DemDaily: Sweet Virginia  5/18


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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: Washington Post, Quinnipiac

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