We’re still waiting on some stray precincts here and there, but they won’t change the outcome: Terry McAuliffe has defeated Ken Cuccinelli for governor. At the moment, it’s McAuliffe 47.4%, Cuccinelli 45.8%
That makes McAuliffe our first governor elected with a minority of the vote since . . . Mills Godwin in 1965. (Mike Sluss had a very insightful post a few days ago on some of the historic implications of this year’s election.)
It also raises more than a few questions, among them:
* Umm, what about all those polls that showed McAuliffe winning big? Were they wrong? Or did things change in the final days?
* Cuccinelli, in the last week, tried to make this a referendum on Obamacare. Did that tighten up what was otherwise headed toward a blow-out?
Former state Sen. Brandon Bell, R-Roanoke County, posted this prediction on Facebook just before the election:
In politics you never want to peak to early. While I believe McAliffe will win it will be much tighter than has been forecast. With the govt. shutdown debacle replaced by the health care debacle, a trend is toward Cuccinelli. Prediction 48 McAliffe, 46 Cuccinelli, 6 Sarvis. Lt Gov. much closer than it should be. With Jackson having no money, not sure why Northam didn’t put him away, anyway Northam wins 53-47. And the late coming home of some voters Obenshain wins 52-48. Yep, Terry should be glad this is tomorrow and not in another week, the trends with health care likely get worse.
Bell seemed to nail the numbers in the governor’s race. What do think of his analysis? I find it hard to argue with. Maybe things would have tightened up at the end anyway, as disgruntled Republicans “came home” to Cuccinelli, but maybe the GOP really latched onto a winning issue with Obamacare — just a little too late.