Well, the results of the Democratic Primary are in. Sure, there are still a few unreported precincts, but, with 99.80% accounted for, the numbers are clear. Creigh Deeds will be the nominee for Governor and Jody Wagner will be the nominee for Lt. Governor. However, please note that all numbers used in this post come from the Virginia State Board of Elections and are currently unofficial.
First, I have one important observation with the Lt. Gov. race. Sure, Wagner won with a commanding 74.21%, and won just about every city and county save for nine. However, look at the numbers for Harrisonburg. Mike Signer won with 57.5% of the vote (which was his best showing after Halifax County and Martinsville)! In a down ticket race like this one, name recognition is everything. I expect that his band of volunteers around Harrisonburg made this small victory possible. A friendly face, a few good words, and a sign right before you vote can work wonders! Take note.
As expected for an off year election, turnout was low…6.315% of registered voters in Virginia for Governor and even less for Lt. Governor. However, there are some interesting variations. For example, you have a very high turnout in Deeds country like Bath and Highland County (24.52% and 21.92% respectively) while the southwest corner of the state, Lee, Scott, and Wise Counties had turnouts of only 1.536%, 1.614%, and 1.978%! Deeds captured 80 localities with an outright majority, and 43 by plurality. Not surprisingly, Senator Deeds performed very well in his Virginia Senate district getting over 90% (yes 90%) of the vote in Alleghany County, Bath County, and Covington City. Although just a preliminary glance at the map, it does not appear as if any particular geographic region was very bad for Deeds.
Considering Deeds was, for the most part, painted as the most moderate of the three Democratic choices, I think that this primary illustrates that Virginia voters, even the ones who vote in Democratic primaries, are more conservative than the media would lead us to believe. Therefore, I believe that if Bob McDonnell can successfully articulate and promote a conservative message, run a solid campaign, and highlight Deeds’ more liberal qualities, he should be able to capture the mansion in November. Here’s hoping.