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How A Virginia State Election Is Revealing The Democrats' Election Playbook

28 June 2017

Virginia Democratic candidate for governor, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, with his wife Pam, left, and son Weston, celebrate his victory in the Democratic primary during an election party in Crystal City, Va., Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

Ed Gillespie was expected to hold onto a narrow lead to win the Republican nomination for Virginia governor in his party's primary election Tuesday evening, CNN projected.

A Hampton University poll last week showed former congressman Tom Perriello slightly leading Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam. Mark Warner in 2014, when Democrats across the country were swept from office.

Polls open at 6 a.m.in many locations, and will be open until 7 p.m. Perriello, who backed Obamacare, then defended his decision - and the law - when many of his Democratic colleagues backed off, was confronted on the trail for his support of the "Stupak Amendment", a contentious proposed Obamacare tweak that would have denied federal money to insurance plans offering abortion coverage.

The victor in November will succeed incumbent Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe, who is barred by term limits from running again. So was almost every Democratic member of the state's House delegation and statehouse and local-elected officials. The dichotomy evoked comparisons to the 2016 Democratic presidential primary between the upstart Sanders and the establishment Hillary Clinton.

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Perriello once ran the Center for American Progress Action Fund and later went on to serve in Obama's State Department. Frank Wagner, struggled to gain traction, despite winning the endorsement of The Washington Post's editorial board.

Prince William County decided selected a victor Tuesday night in Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. "He ran strongly among black voters and ended up carrying liberal strongholds like Alexandria and Arlington". Supporters for both campaigns are stationed at voting precincts across the state hoping to influence undecided voters.

A better way to put it may be that the Republican Party is heading out the back door and into the backwoods where it belongs.

However, the battle between Northam and Perriello was not the only noteworthy development for liberals - grassroots anti-Trump fervor also led to an unprecedented number of Democrats wrangling for seats in Virginia's House of Delegates.

Northam said Perriello called him to concede the race. "Now we're talking about a $15 minimum wage, consumer debt, environmental justice", Perriello said to his supporters at the State Theatre in Falls Church.

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Virginia law does not have automatic recounts, but a candidate is allowed to request one if there is no more than 1 percent difference in the total votes cast for the top two candidates (unless one is a write-in), according to the Virginia Department of Elections, which notes that an apparent losing candidate can not request a recount until after the election is certified. "It was definitely a focus from outside on what Virginia needs for the future Democratic Party". He's viewed as a more moderate Democrat. Northam, a pediatric neurologist and Army veteran, emphasized his pragmatic approach and ability to work with Republicans.

"We didn't see that from others who were in the race at the time or since". Perhaps more telling for the party is unusually massive turnout in an off-year primary.

But unfortunately for Gillespie, the commonwealth is in the shadow of Washington, D.C., and the contest for Virginia governor is going to be the nation's biggest race come November. Glenn Davis in Tuesday's primary.

"Virginia's economy has been suffering for too long".

Gillespie's win was by a 1.18 percent margin, outside what would be needed to generate a statewide recount. "There's a huge opportunity for Democrats there", Gilmore says. "He talked about a lot of the green energy initiatives as well as being a staunch opponent to the pipelines that are going through Virginia".

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How A Virginia State Election Is Revealing The Democrats' Election Playbook