Virginia election sees highest turnout in recent history, fueling Glenn Youngkin's victory

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  texan1211  •  4 weeks ago  •  7 comments

By:   Annika Kim Constantino (MSN)

Virginia election sees highest turnout in recent history, fueling Glenn Youngkin's victory
Glenn Youngkin, a wealthy businessman, flipped the Virginia governorship to Republican control in a race that saw the highest turnout among the state's voters in recent history.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


  • Glenn Youngkin, a wealthy businessman, flipped the Virginia governorship to Republican control in a race that saw the highest turnout among the state's voters in recent history.
  • Voter turnout is also higher than any other gubernatorial election in Virginia since 1997.
  • Experts say that the high turnout is a product of expanded early voting access in the commonwealth and Youngkin and McAuliffe's massive campaign war chests.

© Provided by CNBC A woman waits to cast her ballot at George Marshall High School, being used as a polling location, on election day in Falls Church, Virginia on November 2, 2021.

Glenn Youngkin, a wealthy businessman, flipped the Virginia governorship to Republican control in a race that saw the highest turnout among the state's voters in recent history.

Polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Just over 55% of the commonwealth's 5.9 million electorate turned in their ballots on or before Election Day, according to the latest data from the Virginia Department of Elections. This number may increase as final votes in the race are tallied in the coming days.

An estimated 99% of the expected vote has been tabulated, with Youngkin snagging 50.7% of the votes while his Democratic opponent, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, got 48.3%, according to NBC's projections.

Voter turnout this year is higher than it was in Virginia's 2017 gubernatorial election, which saw 47.6% of the state's nearly 5.5 million electorate cast their ballots. This year's turnout is also higher than any other gubernatorial election in the state since at least 1997.

© Provided by CNBC

Experts say that the high turnout is a product of expanded early voting access in the commonwealth and Youngkin's and McAuliffe's massive campaign war chests.

Early voting in Virginia hit a record high. At least 1,137,656 voters submitted early ballots by the pre-Election Day voting deadline on Oct. 30, according to data from Democratic data firm TargetSmart. This is nearly six times the early voting turnout in 2017.

So far, early voting in person or by mail makes up 35% of the 3.3 million voter turnout in this year's gubernatorial election, according to NBC.

Virginia permanently enshrined early voting options after temporarily implementing them in 2020 when Covid-19 cases spiked across the U.S.

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who Youngkin will succeed, signed legislation into law in April 2020 that allowed registered Virginia voters to request absentee ballots without reason and vote 45 days prior to an Election Day. These early voting options went into effect during the November presidential election later that year.

Prior to the 2020 election, early voting in Virginia lasted for seven days and required an excuse.

Karen Hult, a political science professor at Virginia Tech, said the expanded early voting access likely contributed to the overall high turnout in the election.

"One reason may be that voting rules have changed - no-fault absentee voting now is available and COVID-induced in person early voting remained in place," Hult said, noting that such voting options makes it easier for people to cast their ballots.

High campaign spending from both Youngkin and McAuliffe likely boosted voter turnout as well, according to Hult.

Virginia is one of ten states with no contribution limits on individual donors to political candidates, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch. It is also one of five states with no limits on contributions by corporations, and one of 18 states with no restrictions on state party committees' ability to contribute money.

Both candidates have taken advantage of Virginia's loose campaign finance rules.

Youngkin, the former CEO of global investment firm Carlyle Group, has a campaign war chest of $49 million, according to the latest data from the Virginia Public Access Project. He entered the Republican field with a hefty personal fortune estimated at $440 million, and poured $20 million of his own wealth into his campaign.

The soon-to-be-governor has also received over $2 million from the Republican Party of Virginia, and 10.5 million from the Republican Governors Association, Open Secrets reported last week.

McAuliffe's campaign, meanwhile, raised about $55 million.

The Democratic Party of Virginia contributed about $4.4 million to his campaign, according to data from the Virginia Public Access Project. And the Democratic Governors Association has donated a cumulative $6.7 million to McAuliffe's campaign as of last week, according to Open Secrets.

Funds from both of their campaign war chests largely paid for an avalanche of TV and digital ads aimed at mobilizing their partisan bases.

Youngkin's campaign has spent the bulk of its political contributions on advertising, with over $21 million on TV and radio spots and $9.7 million on digital ads, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Similarly, McAuliffe's campaign spent $31 million on TV and radio spots and $6.2 million on digital ads.

"Record-breaking amounts of money were spent by the candidates," Hult said, noting that massive campaign funds "tend to increase turnout."

While votes are still being tallied, Youngkin is poised to succeed outgoing Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat who was unable to seek reelection this year because Virginia law prohibits governors from serving consecutive terms. Youngkin will officially take office as the commonwealth's 74th governor on Jan. 15, 2022.

A former businessman who has never held elected office, Youngkin has sold himself as a political outsider while rallying the commonwealth's voters around hot-button issues such as schools and keeping his distance from former President Donald Trump.

He will take the helm of a state that President Joe Biden won by 10 points just a year ago, ending a string of election victories for Democrats in Virginia and signaling a rough road ahead for the party in next year's midterms.

When asked about McAuliffe's loss in Virginia, President Joe Biden reiterated calls for his own party to move hastily to reach a deal on his legislative agenda.

"People want us to get things done," the president said when asked about Democrats' upset in the commonwealth. "They want us to get things done. And that's why I'm continuing to push very hard for the Democratic Party to move along and pass my infrastructure bill and my Build Back Better bill."


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Texan1211
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Texan1211    4 weeks ago

Now that the election is over, can we at long last put to bed forever the lie perpetrated by Democrats that they always win "when turnout is high"???

I don't believe, based on comments here, that Democrats will learn anything and will continue to tell voters they are too stupid to know what to vote for.

Seems pretty smart to me, and I wish them much success in insulting much of the nation!

 
 
 
Snuffy
Junior Quiet
2  Snuffy    4 weeks ago

Wow - hard to believe there were so many white trash racists in one state.   /s 

Just getting this pushed out there as you can be sure someone will have to say it..

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Snuffy @2    4 weeks ago
Wow - hard to believe there were so many white trash racists in one state.

Oh, that bullshit has already been thrown out as an excuse for the Democrat losing in VA. Someone here brilliantly "thought" that many Confederate flags would be flying in VA in the days following the election.

They aren't smart enough to realize that there aren't enough Republicans in the state to generate that many votes, and tell independent voters that they are too stupid to know what to vote for.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Silent
2.1.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1    4 weeks ago

Virginia voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, Clinton in 2016 and Biden last year.  Apparently, it only took one year to turn them into white trash racists.  

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.2  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.1.1    4 weeks ago

Well, Virginians must have just been "smarter" back then.

Hmmmmm.........couldn;t be that the Democrats ran the schools, and now have produced idiots?

LOL!

 
 
 
Moose Knuckle
Freshman Participates
2.1.3  Moose Knuckle  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.2    4 weeks ago

The racist narrative is what cost them the election, let's hope they continue their broken record failed narrative to 2022. Tell the Hispanics who voted for the Republicans that trash. Keep it up please!

jrSmiley_123_smiley_image.gif ------Rich white liberals calling voters racist, it's a winning formula!!!!

 
 
 
JaneDoe
Sophomore Silent
2.1.4  JaneDoe  replied to  Moose Knuckle @2.1.3    4 weeks ago
Rich white liberals calling voters racist,

From their white neighborhoods as they sit around with their white family and friends.

 
 
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