Democratic rule over the Governor’s Mansion in Richmond has ended. U.S. Senator Mark Warner and departing Gov. Tim Kaine are speaking at the Westin in Richmond, congratulating Republican Bob McDonnell on victory and looking to the future.
Warner and Kaine won the previous two elections by dominating population centers such as Northern Virginia.
Deeds, who hails from Bath County near the West Virginia border, was down by 14 points in the last Public Policy Polling survey before tonight’s election. He has controlled many rural areas, especially southwest Virginia, but has struggled in Northern Virginia.
McDonnell currently holds commanding leads in Congressional districts 10 and 11, which occupy much of the Northern Virginia area. Although it is still early, McDonnell votes make up more than 60 percent of the votes in each district.
Virginia’s blue result last year punched President Barack Obama’s ticket to the White House. The enthusiasm even seemed to carry Deeds in the primary elections this summer, Virginia Business President and Publisher Bernard Niemeier said.
“Deeds was great in the primary, but that does not seem to be the case,” Niemeier said. “There was a hope that Deeds could reach out to the younger and maybe disenfranchised voters as happened during last year’s Presidential election, but that hasn’t really happened in this campaign.”
Many Democratic supporters say this year’s Democratic state campaign did not have the same ideals, or results, as the Obama campaign.
“When Deeds was asked if he was an Obama Democrat, he hesitated and said that he was a ‘Creigh Deeds Democrat.’ This is showing that Deeds was not fully embracing the top of the Democratic party–he was basically saying he was ashamed of it,” said Democatic supporter Amir Malik.
Deeds has been questioned during the campaign about his views on guns and other social issues. He has supported gun rights in the past, even garnering an endorsement from the National Rifle Association in a previous campaign.
Democratic supporter Imran Chaudhry said the energy shown by last year’s Democrats has been more apparent in the Republican party this year.
“Democrats should learn their lesson,” Caudhry said. “The Republicans had a better outreach program, without a doubt they were more aggressive. Democrats were unable to inspire the base of the supporters.”
Small business owner LaMar Dixon, also a Democratic supporter, said lessons from this campaign can be applied to future endeavors in the state.
“I think that hopefuls will take the lessons learned from the campaign and move forward for a greater success in the future. It has been proven over the last eight years that the Democratic thought process of people first is better,” Dixon said.
Chaudrhy said attorney general candidate Steve Shannon holds the future of the party.
“If Shannon is head of the ticket next time and he engages in more outreach opportunities, people will actually listen to what Shannon says. Overall, I believe the Republicans had stronger candidates, they had the stronger more outreach-centered ticket,” Chaundry said.