It’s 7 pm, and polls are now closed in Virginia. In this live blog of the election returns, I’ll primarily be checking the Virginia State Board of Elections website, VPAP and the Fairfax County Board of Elections site. Feel free to use the comments section of this post to report what you’re hearing. As far as I can tell, the most interesting races tonight in Virginia will be: a) Mark Warner (D) vs. Ed Gillespie (R) for U.S. Senate; b) John Foust (D) vs. Barbara Comstock (R) for U.S. House of Representatives in the 10th CD; and c) Alan Howze (D) vs. John Vihstadt (R) for Arlington County Board. On that last one, which could be the closest of all of them, I’ll be very interested to see how much turnout increases from the April 8 special election, particularly in places with a lot of “federal-election-only voters” (e.g., the Orange Line corridor, precincts like Virginia Square, Rosslyn and Ballston; Blue Line precincts like Crystal City). My assumption is that higher turnout (and lower “dropoff”) among federal-only voters will help Howze. We’ll see.
UPDATE 11:25 pm: Make that Warner 1,059,269 – Gillespie 1,040,661 with 99.14% reporting. Not quite a 1 percentage point win for Warner.
UPDATE 11:15 pm: VPAP finally updates, has it as Mark Warner 1,043,554 (49.18%) – Ed Gillespie 1,024,340 (48.27%) with 98.24% of precincts reporting. For whatever reason, they STILL haven’t incorporated all the Fairfax County numbers, which have been available for a long time. I really don’t get it. Anyway, looks like Warner pulled this one out, but certainly not by 5 or 7 points or whatever, and certainly not what he beat Jim Gilmore by 6 years ago. A stunning turn of events, no matter how you look at it.
UPDATE 11:02 pm: This night is officially a fiasco for Democrats, with Michelle Nunn apparently losing outright in Georgia (not even going to a recount) and Tillis leading Hagan in NC. Oh, and Brown is losing in Maryland for Governor, Pat Roberts has won in Kansas, and…yeah, this just bites.
UPDATE 10:54 pm: The Virginia State Board of Elections website is so f’ed up, I’m going to switch to Politico (you know I’m desperate when I do that – lol!). Anyway, they have Warner up 1,037,231-1,033,809 with 98.6% reporting. They have Comstock winning 56.7%-40.2% with 100% reporting. Also Brat trounced Trammell by 24+ points (62.1%-37.9%), while Rigell is beating Patrick by 17 points (58.5%-41.5%).
UPDATE 10:47 pm: Gotta throw in a few tweets by David Roberts of Grist, one of the smartest people on the intertubes. First, the super-snarky “Looks like running away from Obama was just the ticket for Dems.” Second, “Somewhere, a Dem consultant is preparing his ‘how Dems can move to the right to recapture the center’ memo…” Exactly! And finally, “If I’m reading these election numbers right … [squints, adjusts green eye shade, taps on calculator] … everything sucks balls.” LOL 🙂
UPDATE 10:34 pm: @jennaportnoy tweets, “.@MarkWarnerVA crowd erupts when @CNN flashes the latest: Warner 48.7 percent to @EdWGillespie’s 48.6.”
UPDATE 10:20 pm: Really, really, REALLY (did I mention “really?”) bad news in Colorado. @rollcallpols tweets, “Corey Gardner defeats Mark Udall in #COSEN.” Gack. Also very unfortunate: @Taniel tweets, “Two of the biggest races of the night have just been called for the GOP: Scott Walker in Wisconsin (ABC), Rick Scott in Florida (AP).”
UPDATE 10:19 pm: @notlarrysabato tweets, “PROJECTION: MARK WARNER HAS DEFEATED ED GILLESPIE.”
UPDATE 10:11 pm: See here for final Fairfax County returns, other than absentees. Warner 160,164- Gillespie 112,190.
UPDATE 10:01 pm: @greggiroux tweets, “237/238 in Fairfax County, Warner up there 48,000 votes.” @HotlineJosh tweets, “With Fairfax County #s in (via @greggiroux), Gillespie would still hold about a ~2K lead. This one’s as close as they come.” VPAP now says it’s Gillespie by 424 votes with 95.54% counted. Craaaazy! @notlarrysabato tweets, “PROJECTION: (assuming sbe numbers are right now) MARK WARNER WILL FINISH NIGHT WITH A SMALL LEAD. Probably within recount range.”
UPDATE 9:57 pm: Ugh, this sucks. @Taniel tweets, “#COSen has been called for Cory Gardner by some networks. Senator Udall ousted. The biggest win yet for Republicans tonight.” Also, the Lousiana Senate race is going to a recount.
UPDATE 9:33 pm: All kinds of problems with the Virginia State Board of Elections and VPAP tonight. Really need reform and an infusion of resources there, as this is just pathetic and embarrassing. If you believe VPAP, it’s now Gillespie leading by under 19,000 votes with 91.40% counted. Still a decent # from Fairfax County to report. @notlarrysabato tweets, “From what I can see Warner is up about 8,000 but almost all of NoVA is now in.” Also, “Recount looking more and more likely.” For all of us who will never forget Webb vs. Allen election night in 2006, are you feeling a bit of deja vu??!?
UPDATE 9:11 pm: With 2,162 of 2,557 (84.55%) counted, it’s now Gillespie 49.32%-Warner 48.12%. Still a lot of Dem votes left in Fairfax County and Richmond City. As for John Foust, he’s very close to Judy Feder 2006 territory, with just 41.74% of the vote and 74% of votes counted. Yikes.
UPDATE 9:04 pm: @JakeSherman tweets, “AP calls VA10 for Barbara Comstock. Big win for political consultant Ray Allen. Allen was Eric Cantor’s longtime top political aide.” OK, so who are Dems going to recruit to run against her in 2016? That could be our best shot at getting her out of there for a long time to come.
UPDATE 8:59 pm: @CrassPolitical tweets, “2000 all over again. Crist down by 123,000 with 93 in and were hearing about bad viting machines in Broward. 14 years later.Can’t make it up.” Gotta love Florida. Or not!
UPDATE 8:50 pm: @notlarrysabato tweets, “This Warner-Gillespie election is going down to the wire. I’m stunned. Don’t believe anyone who tells you they know result yet.” On the other hand, @AMartinReports tweets, “Just spoke w/ Warner spokesman, very calm and confident in NOVA/Va Beach results to come in. Not sure if it that means anything.” Also, @MSchmidtRTD tweets, “Folks are getting slightly nervous here at Warner event, waiting for the wave of Fairfax votes to push the senator over the finish.”
UPDATE 8:45 pm: Great news from @ezraklein — “Scott Brown loses in New Hampshire.” 🙂 Also, @Taniel tweets, “Who thought Mark Warner would be sweating it out more than Jeanne Shaheen tonight?”
UPDATE 8:42 pm: Rep. Scott Rigell now leading in the 2nd CD by 10 points over Suzanne Patrick, with 28.5% of precincts reporting.
UPDATE 8:39 pm: @ArlingtonVotes tweets, “Still waiting on 4 pcts plus absentee: Howze 22379 Vihstadt 29173.” That makes three straight general election losses for Howze (2009 for House of Delegates, earlier this year in a special election for Arlington County Board, and tonight). Sigh…
UPDATE 8:34 pm: With 1,604 of 2,557 (62.73%) of precincts reporting statewide, it’s Ed Gillespie 50.57%-Mark Warner 46.86%. Still lots of precincts left in “blue” areas like Fairfax County, Richmond City, Norfolk City, etc. @notlarrysabato tweets, “Based on Loudoun precincts in- I see Warner overcoming deficit there and winning Loudoun. Looking better for him.” Could Warner win by a similar margin to what Terry McAuliffe won by last year? Starting to look quite possible.
UPDATE 8:27 pm: Good news for Rick Scott in Florida. Per @DKElections – “Last batch of votes very good for Scott. He’s up 3, with 85% in. #flgov” As for Mark Warner, with 46% of precincts reporting, he’s down 51.8%-45.7%. Looks like Mark Pryor lost Arkansas, as expected.
UPDATE 8:22 pm: @ArlingtonVotes tweets, “With 40 pcts reporting, it’s Howze 18280 Vihstadt 23929.” Will take a miraculous comeback at this point.
UPDATE 8:14 pm: I’ll have more on this tomorrow, but I think we can safely say that YouGov’s House of Representatives “polls” (which showed John Foust down just 2 points to Barbara Comstock in the 10th CD, Randy Forbes TIED in the 4th CD, and other crazy s***, were utter garbage.)
UPDATE 8:12 pm: @ArlingtonVotes tweets, “25 pcts: Howze 11050 Vihstadt 15027.” Still not good. Also, @RTDSchapiro tweets, “@DonBeyerVA wins heavily Democratic #Va08.” Not in the least bit surprising, except perhaps to Micah Edmond and the Fairfax Republicans? LOL
UPDATE 8:07 pm: In the 10th CD, it’s Comstock 56%-Foust 41% with 17 of 199 precincts counted. My private estimate for weeks now has been that Comstock would win by about 10 points. Right now, she’s doing better than that. The question is, will Foust out-peform Judy Feder’s 40.96% (in a somewhat different district vs. incumbent Rep. Frank Wolf) in 2006?
UPDATE 8:06 pm: @notlarrysabato tweets, “Can project Gerry Connolly as a winner as well tonight.” No argument there!
UPDATE 8:05 pm: @PostReid tweets, “CNN calls Pennsylvania Gov race for Tom Wolf (D), first incumbent governor goes down.” Good riddance. Now…time for Rick Scott to lose!
UPDATE 8:03 pm: @ArlingtonVotes tweets, “15 pcts reporting, it’s Howze 5887. Vihstadt 7703.” Not looking good for Howze.
UPDATE 7:59 pm: @LukeRussert tweets, “our models indicate Warner should be fine minus a collapse in Northern VA.”
UPDATE 7:56 pm: With 35% of Virginia precincts counted, it’s Gillespie 51%-Warner 46%. Still, mostly “red” areas, but definitely a serious race here.
UPDATE 7:46 pm: @ArlingtonVotes tweets, “So far @alanhowze has only won one precinct, Crystal Plaza, over @voteforvihstadt and there narrowly.” Hmmm. Also, Dave Brat is romping over Jack Trammell, 60%-40% with 23% of precincts reporting. That one’s over. Don Beyer’s crushing Micah Edmond, as expected. In the 10th CD, with 4 precincts counted, it’s Comstock 56%-Foust 40%. @notlarrysabato tweets, “PROJECTION: Barbara Comstock has defeated John Foust and is the new member of Congress from VA.” I agree.
UPDATE 7:40 pm: Finally some solid Virginia #s. In Arlington, with 3 precincts in, it’s Vihstadt 62%-Howze 38%. In the Senate race, with 398 of 2,557 precincts reporting, it’s Gillespie 53%-Warner 45%. Also, @notlarrysabato tweets, “Warner wins Bonnie Brae in FFX 575-407. He won it by similar margin in 01 Gov race. That race he only got FFX by 26K.”
UPDATE 7:39 pm: @notlarrysabato tweets, “I’m seeing some troubling signs for Warner- but way too early to project anything.”
UPDATE 7:34 pm: @CBSPolitics tweets, “PROJECTION: Republican Shelley Moore Capito wins #WVSen, a gain for #GOP.” Not surprising, but sad.
UPDATE 7:28 pm: @QuentinKidd tweets, “@MarkWarnerVA loses west/southwest #Va big, but wins inner #NoVa big.” No shock there. Also, @dsherfinski tweets, “At Warner HQ, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said they always knew the race was going to be close but that MW is headed back to the U.S. Senate.” Yep, that’s what I’ve been hearing from them for many weeks now.
UPDATE 7:21 pm: @Taniel tweets, “Already 760,000 ballots counted in #FLGov, and Crist leads by 24%. There was no particular reason to think he’d crush the early vote.” Go Crist!!!
UPDATE 7:20 pm: @markos tweets, “Whatever happens in the Senate, the governorships should be good for Dems tonight.” Which, I’d add, actually could be more important. Also, Daily Kos writes, “Working off exit poll numbers, Warner is up 49.63 to 47.39 in Virginia, shockingly close. Gillespie even went off the air at the end! (More proof of how irrelevant TV advertising has become.)”
UPDATE 7:18 pm: @vpapupdates tweets, “State Board of Elections site is down….Please beam good energy toward their server.” Seriously, it wouldn’t be an election night in Virginia without the State Board of Elections website going down, running really slowly, etc. #FAIL
UPDATE 7:14 pm: @DKElections tweets, “So far Crist outperforming Sink by quite a bit in Broward and Palm Beach. If it holds, very good omen. #flgov” Please please please please…
UPDATE 7:09 pm: @geoffreyvs tweets: “#VASen exit poll shows @MarkWarner up 50-47 over @EdForSenate. In #GASen exit poll, David Perdue (R) leads Michelle Nunn (D) 49-48.”
UPDATE 7:01 pm: @LarrySabato tweets, “CNN calls KY for McConnell right away. Not even close race. Why Crystal Ball had KY Likely R all year. NEVER a toss up.”