So, I’m going to be live blogging Virginia’s election returns as they come in. Among other things, I’ll be focusing on localities that came close to matching the overall Virginia results in 2008 (which were 52.62%-46.33% Obama): places like Winchester (52.02% Obama in ’08), Loudoun County (53.66% Obama in ’08), Montgomery County (51.73% Obama in ’08), and Nelson County (53.98% in ’08). I’ll also be looking at specific precincts that came close to matching their locality’s overall results in ’08. Finally, I’ll be looking at turnouts and margins compared to ’08 to try to get an idea how Virginia will go tonight. Stay tuned…
P.S. My main source for Virginia election data will be the State Board of Elections website. I’ll also keep an eye on the Fairfax County Board of Elections numbers, as they are sometimes faster than the SBE.
UPDATE 11:22 pm: Barack Obama has now taken the lead in the State Board of Elections count, and that will only grow given where the outstanding votes are remaining (BLUE areas!). YES!!!!
UPDATE 10:54 pm: George Allen is now conceding to Tim Kaine on TV. Also, @PeterHambyCNN has called VA for Obama.
UPDATE 10:52 pm: Ben has called Virginia for Obama, and I agree, having crunched the numbers myself. With all the votes in NOVA still out, plus Norfolk and Portsmouth, plus lots of people still waiting in line to vote, and with Obama within 21,000 votes, I agree with Ben — Obama’s going to win Virginia and with it the White House!
UPDATE 10:17 pm: Del. Scott Surovell (@ssurovell) tweets, “44th District performing as expected. Precincts with long lines (Democratic howitzers) reporting soon. Watch Obama/Kaine numbers jump.”
UPDATE 10:12 pm: More detail on that last post, now with 77.7% of precincts reporting. First, Obama’s trailing by just 57,000 votes and Kaine by 7,000 votes, but with plenty of “blue” votes still out there in Fairfax, Arlington, Norfolk, Alexandria, etc. In other words, I think Ben’s right that Kaine will pull this out, and that Obama has a decent shot as well. Hopefully we’ll know a LOT more in the next hour or so…
UPDATE 9:58 pm: With 75.66% of precincts reporting, it’s now Allen 50.29%-Kaine 49.52%; Romney 50.59%-Obama 47.78%. Still plenty of Fairfax and other “blue” areas left to report, so stay tuned!
UPDATE 9:26 pm: Ben Tribbett – who is almost never wrong about these things – tweets, “9:10 PROJECTION: TIM KAINE (D) DEFEATS GEORGE ALLEN (R) FOR THE OPEN VIRGINIA U.S. SENATE SEAT.” Ben adds, “From the results in so far Obama is favored to win in Virginia- but still a lot of big numbers to report from absentee voting.”
UPDATE 8:59 pm: With 57% of precincts reporting, Romney now leads 52%-46% in Virginia. However, almost nothing from Fairfax County yet. So far, Loudoun’s going 50%-48% for Obama. That compares to the 54% Obama got in Loudoun in 2008.
UPDATE 8:51 pm: On the House races, as I said earlier, it appears that all incumbents are winning handily. Also, both constitutional amendments appear to be winning by wide margins. Also worth noting, third-party candidates are not doing much of anything.
UPDATE 8:45 pm: I was just looking at Arlington precincts currently reporting and comparing them to 2008. I’m not seeing a significant difference, which I think is encouraging for President Obama. Also, note that most urban areas of Virginia haven’t reported yet, so Romney’s lead doesn’t mean much. Looks like @notlarrysabato agrees with me – “Absolute lies from @johnkingcnn on Northern Virginia- precinct numbers tracking 08 results VERY CLOSELY”
UPDATE 8:30 pm: This is interesting from RT @TPCarney – “Every Fairfax VA precinct that has come in has tracked almost precisely with 2008.”
UPDATE 8:27 pm: I just got an interesting email. “Over a dozen satellite trucks at the Marriott – Kaines election night headquarters. Less than half as many at the Omni – Allen’s local. Think the press have made their own prediction.”
UPDATE 8:20 pm: Interesting results in some Virginia counties that were highly representative of the state as a whole in 2008. First, in Prince Edward County, with all precincts reporting, Obama won 55% of the vote, about 1 point up from his 54% in Prince Edwards in 2008. In Henrico, Obama was at 56% in 2008, this year he’s at 55% with 42/94 precincts reporting. On the other hand, Obama seems to be underperforming in Westmoreland County, where he got 55% in 2008, but is at just 48% with 6/7 precincts counted.
UPDATE 8:10 pm: By the way, I’m projecting right now that every incumbent Virginia Congressman, with the possible exceptions of Scott Rigell (R-2nd) and Robert Hurt (R-5th) will win reelection tonight easily.
UPDATE 8:09 pm: According to @notlarrysabato – “Prince William County has the state’s longest streak of voting for statewide electoral winners- looks headed to Obama.”
UPDATE 8:07 pm: I’ve just about given up on the Virginia State Board of Elections in terms of providing results. So…currently on CNN, with 13% of the votes counted, it’s 59%-40% Romney. Meaningless, of course, as Fairfax and other urban areas haven’t reported.
UPDATE 7:56 pm: Interesting from @CollegiateTimes – “The Va State Board of Elections will pause reporting until 8 pm to ensure voters are not unduly influenced by preliminary results.”
UPDATE 7:48 pm: @David_Gergen tweets, “Remember early exits often wrong but so far, news from Va not encouraging for Mitt. He needs Va big time — exit says tied.” @LarrySabato tweets, “VA is not going to be called quickly. Too many people still in line to vote in some areas (e.g., Hampton Roads).” Also, @HotlineJosh tweets, “@redistict pins Obama target # in Chesterfield Co at 41.64%. With 1/3 vote in, he’s at 43%. It’s close in VA.”
UPDATE 7:44 pm: According to CNN, very similar numbers in Henrico County to 2008. FYI, Henrico went 55.70% for Obama, about 3 points higher for Obama than the state as a whole.
UPDATE 7:39 pm: As @LarrySabato tweets, “Ignore early vote returns on VA boards–mainly strong R counties.”
UPDATE 7:33 pm: Romney now leading Obama 58%-40% in Virginia with just 2% of the vote counted, utterly meaningless – almost all from “red” areas.
UPDATE 7:21 pm: ThinkProgress reports, the Obama campaign has sent an urgent text message to supporters, volunteers need RIGHT NOW in Virginia to make sure everyone in line gets to vote. “Reply with VAPOLLS and an organizer will call you.”
UPDATE 7:13 pm: Interesting by @scontorno – “Demographic breakdowns in #Virginia are almost identical to 2008. 70% white, 21% black, 4% Latino, 3% Asian.”
UPDATE 7:11 pm: Just saw the following tweet by @kenwusa9 – “Headed to PW county. Getting reports of lines so long voters may have to wait there overnight.” Yikes.
UPDATE 7:04 pm: CNN exit polls show Virginia tied, 49%-49%. Exit polls reportedly show Tim Kaine leading. More Virginia exit poll info includes the economy being the top issue, voters favoring keeping abortion legal in most or all cases by a 2:1 margin.
UPDATE 7:00 pm: Polls officially close now, but if you’re in line, you are allowed to vote. DO NOT LEAVE THE LINE – MAKE SURE YOU EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE!
UPDATE 6:57 pm: Just saw this. “Voting lines in Northern Virginia are 4 hours long right now. We’re recruiting MoveOn members to head to the polling places to bring water, snacks, folding chairs, blankets, hot drinks, etc. to help make voters comfortable and help them stay in line and not leave without voting.”