I just wrapped up my annual trip to the NBC12 morning show and taked about some of the surprises from this year's election.
If you missed my segment you can see it here.
Some quick takeaways:
The only poll that counts is election day- How often do we hear candidates say just that and just dismiss the claim? Tuesday night was a perfect example of how it doesn't matter how many different ways pollsters sample the electorate the only way to know for sure who your next elected leader will be is to count the votes. The Real Clear Politics average of polling leading up to last night gave Terry McAuliffe a comfortable margin leading into the vote last night. As the returns came in, it was anything but comfortable. That was part of the reason that I predicted he could win by as much as 8% (I was wrong).
To their credit, the McAuliffe team never suggested this race was going to be anything but close. They were confident they could win, but knew it would be tight.
Recount on the way? The numbers keep changing, but it is a distinct possibility that we won't know for more than a month who the next Attorney General of Virginia is. At 6:46am as I post this story Mark Herring (D) leads by a little more than 500 votes. That is less than the .05% margin that would force localities to pay for a recount, should Mark Obenshain (R) ask for one.
Virginia has been through this before. The last Attorney General elected by a razor thin margin after a lengthy recount is in the Governor's mansion. That was only eight years ago.
Could Richmond be the new Washington? <Everyone groans> Yes, Virginia's governing body is set to have the same exact make up as what we see at the Nation's Capitol. It is that same set up that is causing massive dysfunction and leading to government shutdowns. Tuesday night everyone was talking a good game. McAuliffe said during his victory speech that he plans to work with both parties and will reach out to all the Republicans in the House of Delegates. House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R- Colonial Heights) said during our special digital broadcast that no one on his side of the aisle wants Richmond to become Washington and they are ready to compromise.
Richmond has it's fair share of conservative and tea party members of the General Assembly and McAuliffe has proposed ambitious and expensive plans, most notably an expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. While everyone claims to be ready to come to the table, if McAuliffe comes ready to start marking off his campaign promises he could be in for a rough road in January.
Who will challenge Mark Warner? Virginia now moves right into ANOTHER statewide election so who wil.... okay I won't do that quite yet, I'll give you a break.. ha ha..
We will continue to keep an eye on the Attorney General's race and talk more about the new McAuliffe administration in the days ahead. Stay tuned.