This is a great resource I stumbled upon. With the 2017 race for Virginia’s Governor position just about to heat up, it is worth trying to see what we know and need to know to predict a winner.
We know that Democratic candidate Ralph Northam outperformed expectations when he defeated Tom Perriello in the primary.
We know that Republican candidate Ed Gillespie under-performed and eked out a primary victory over Corey Stewart.
We know that Virginia narrowly went to Hillary Clinton in 2016, Tim Kaine’s addition to the ticket did not exactly make this an easy victory either.
We also know that Gillespie surprised many in 2014 when he had Senator Mark Warner on the ropes. His performance, one that even the RNC did not predict, is the main reason he is sitting with the nomination now for Republicans.
We know that there is a great deal of emotion over Donald Trump’s Presidency so far on all sides but how will this play out in November?
Here is a good resource in noting where this election will be won or lost?
The site divides Virginia into four categories:
All Republican: Areas that voted for Trump/Gillespie
All Democrat: Areas that voted for Clinton/Warner
Split tickets: Trump/Warner, Clinton/Gillespie
What we learn is not shocking but also important: Virginia is becoming more polarized.
The major fluctuations are the pockets of conservatism in Northern Virginia and the Democrats in Southwest Virginia.
Warner’s decision to ignore Northern Virginia and take it for granted at the expense of trying to steal votes in the rural Southwest did not really pan out.
The decision to pick Northam though means the Democrat will probably exercise a similar strategy as he was the more moderate of the two options.
Can Gillespie have success in Northern Virginia with the increasing activism on the left? Will he be able to overcome some of the negative headlines and maximize his advantages in other parts of Virginia?
We do not know yet but this is a great primer for it!