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June 2017
Virginia Governor's Race 2017: Democratic Primary Results
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Ralph Northam defeated Tom Perriello for the Democratic nomination for Governor. Tom did quite well among Democrats in the Fifth District, which he represented in Congress during the first two years of Barack Obama's presidency. But Ralph, the present Lieutenant Governor, did well in the more populous areas of eastern Virginia (his home base) and the area surrounding Washington D.C.

Perriello was expected to benefit from the endorsements of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, bringing young people, African-Americans and disaffected progressives into the primary electorate. Yet while turnout was quite high, he does not seem to have done especially well with those groups. Democratic enthusiasm is obvious but seems to be more a reaction against President Trump than for either candidate. Which bodes well for the general election.

Turnout among Democratic voters was nearly 543,000--about 10% of active voters, while Republicans turned out 7%. Compare this with the 2016 presidential primaries: Democratic turnout of 785,000 voters was surpassed by a Republican turnout of 1,025,000 voters.

Polling accuracy continues to be a serious issue in elections, particularly low-turnout off-year primaries. Several polls had the two candidates in a virtual tie, others showed Perriello dominating, and only one predicted Northam. And that one had him winning by a narrow margin.

Statewide 303,651   239,142  
Charlottesville 1,661   6,757  
Albemarle 3,315   10,923  
Fifth District 12,800   38,600  

In the competition for the Lieutenant Governorship, Justin Fairfax won with 252,319 votes, while Susan Smocer Platt got 201,156 and Gene Rossi got 60,008.

Incumbent Mark Herring is seeking re-election as AG.

(Dave Sagarin, June 16, 2017)

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