Democrat Ralph Northam has just been declared the winner of the Virginia gubernatorial race.
A few weeks ago, that news wouldn’t be surprising — but a serious of missteps by the Northam campaign paired with a strong performance by Republican Ed Gillespie turned the race into a nailbiter.
BREAKING NEWS: Democrat Ralph Northam wins Virginia gubernatorial race, Fox News projects https://t.co/Hb4csQYErG pic.twitter.com/bT0vQIiffN
— Fox News (@FoxNews) November 8, 2017
The surprisingly thin margin of this race was propelled in part by an ad that was aired on behalf of the Northam campaign. That ad, which showed a fictional Gillespie supporter running down minority children with a truck, backfired spectacularly.
In the end, however, it didn’t matter. While it may have eaten into the Governor-elect’s margin of victory, it wasn’t enough to cost him the race.
But don’t cry for Gillespie. This wasn’t supposed to be a close race to begin with. President Donald Trump lost Virgina by 3 points one year ago this week. Since then, the media have been pushing the narrative that Trump is hurting his party across the country.
In reality, Virgina is still blue and the margins are still small. Neither party forced a state-wide shift, as precinct-by-precinct data shows. Gillespie overperformed Trump in some counties and underperformed in others.
In other words, Trump isn’t killing the party like the media says. He isn’t really changing much at all.
This actually bodes well for Republicans next year, where the geographic makeup of the open seats favored the GOP by a considerable margin. With the current trajectory — which appears pretty flat — it looks like they’re still poised to win.
Comment “Good job, Gillespie” and SHARE if you’re proud of this race!
He may not have won, but he performed above expectations!