Tonight's Election Results
The race most people were most interested in today was the lesser-of-two evils gubernatorial election in Virginia. As expected, the lesser of two evils, Clinton bagman Terry McAuliffe, won. The exit polls looked bad for conservatives in Virginia even before voting was finished. Democrats were voting in greater numbers than expected and Republicans were voting in smaller numbers. Pro-Choice voters vastly outnumbered anti-Choice voters, a sure death knell for Cuccinelli and his crackpot War on Women team. The good news: far right extremist Ken Cuccinelli has been thoroughly rejected by Virginia voters. The bad news: Virginia voters just saddled themselves with a corrupt hack as their next governor, likely to not be much of an improvement over the departing corrupt hack-- other than on social issues. At least the war against women, war against immigrants and the anti-gay hysteria won't have a friend in Richmond's Executive Mansion any longer. McAuliffe won a narrow victory 47.9% to 45.5% (with Libertarian Robert Sarvis taking 6.6%). Democratic state Senator Ralph Northam beat far right lunatic E.W. Jackson to become Lieutenant Governor by about 11 points. Cuccinelli had never stopped claiming that the election was a referendum on ObamaCare but it was probably more a referendum on the GOP government shutdown and the Tea Party. Democrats also picked up 2 House seats in the legislature, a disappointment and, an even bigger disappointment very narrowly lost the Attorney General race. Mark Obenshain, a fringe nut is up 1,095,565 over Mark Herring at 1,094,787. There are still some absentees and a few votes to count in blue precincts. This should be argued over for a few days.
Tragically, professional Democrats abandoned their best candidate for anything-- New Jersey state Senator Barbara Buono-- in her quixotic run against political machine hack Chris Christie. New Jersey has definitely been going for entertainment and celebrity over substance lately. At least New Jersey voters passed the new minimum wage increase sy a substantial margin. And, as expected, Bill de Blasio became the first Democratic mayor of New York City in 2 decades, and by a landslide, something over 70% of the votes. The first big Democratic win tonight, though was in St. Petersburg, Florida where progressive Democrat Rick Kriseman beat Republican Bill Foster by 12 points. (Six months ago Foster led in the polls 49-12%.) St. Pete also elected a nicely progressive city council while they were at it. This is all great news for FL-13 Democratic special election candidate Alex Sink.
But it was Rachel Maddow, in her on-going coverage of the Republican Party civil war (above), who explained my favorite contest today. It was in, of all places, southwestern Alabama, including Mobile and the whole of Alabama's coast. It's a hopelessly red district with a PVI of R+15. Last year, President Obama scored 37% against Romney, his best result among Alabama's 6 white congressional districts, most of the state's African-Americans having been gerrymandered into one mostly black district (AL-07), which gave Obama a 73-27% victory against Romney. Back to AL-01; longtime incumbent, Jo Bonner, decided to retire. He had no general election opponent last time he ran for reelection-- nor the time before that and the time before that. A Boehner puppet, tea baggers have tried, unsuccessfully, to beat him in primaries, including teabagger Dean Young. This was their chance-- and Young's chance-- to win the seat. By there's no prize for almost.
Former Democrat and former state Senator Bradley Byrne was the Boehner/Cantor candidate and was endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce and by Bonner. Byrne has raised close to $700,000, mostly in special interest money, and came in first in the crowded primary, with 34.57% of the vote to runner-up Dean Young's 22.95%. Like I said, Young is the Tea Party candidate and he's raised about a third of what Byrne did. Young wants to go to Washington to impeach President Obama, wage war against gays, immigrants and women and vote against Boehner for Speaker. The last poll before today showed him leading Byrne 43.2-40.2%. Young is batshitcrazy and described his supporters as "pitchfork people." Today the pitchfork people were overwhelmed by the city slickers in Mobile, who pushed the contest decisively in Byrne's direction, much to the relief of Boehner and Cantor. Until the Mobile precincts started coming in, Young was in the lead all night. With almost all precincts counted, Byrne had 52.5% to Young's 47.5%. The sigh of relief from the House Republican leadership could be heard coast-to-coast.
I'll update this post in the morning with final results, including how the northern Colorado secession movement fared and how the minimum wage vote in Washington went; it's currently ahead. Seattle did elect its first openly gay mayor, Ed Murray over progressive incumbent Mike McGinn. Here's the final, somewhat misleading Bradley Byrne ad:
In Virginia the attorney general’s race between state Senator Mark Herring (D) and GOP crackpot Mark Obenshain is still far from determined but as more votes come in, it keeps looking better. Technically, it's still a dead heat and will certainly go for a recount. Herring has a 541-vote lead over the psychopath with over 2.2 million ballots cast.
6 of the 11 counties asking their citizens about seceding from Colorado and trying to start a right-wing state voted yes. The only county with more people than cattle, Weld County, voted no, taking the steam out of the whole project. In Weld County, which had more voters against it than all the other counties combined had voting in both directions combined, it failed 57.1% to 42.8%. The worst county-- which Colorado should expel-- was Yuma, where 57 people voted to secede (81.4%). Yuma voted 77% for Romney last year and 84% for crackpot right-wing congressman, Cory Gardner.
Portland, Maine voters overwhelmingly approved Question 1 (70%), allowing for marijuana possession.