CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (CNN) - While many observers expected a late night of watching election returns Tuesday to see who would win the three-way Democratic gubernatorial primary, state Sen. Creigh Deeds was able to claim victory not long after the polls closed.
Why the quick call? Deeds was able to win the nomination, in part, because of his strong showing in the Washington, D.C. suburbs in northern Virginia.
His opponents, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe and former House delegate Brian Moran under-performed on their home turf of northern Virginia. Deeds, meanwhile, helped his chances by racking up big margins in the southern and western parts of the commonwealth - his political base.
The state senator also outperformed McAuliffe in Richmond and Hampton Roads, where the former DNC chairman had campaigned hard to bring African-American voters into his camp.
Deeds’ late surge in the campaign was sparked late last month when The Washington Post endorsed him over the two other candidates. The Post wrote that Deeds “may not be the obvious choice in the June 9 primary, but he's the right one.”
Deeds and his campaign hyped that endorsement relentlessly in television ads and in direct mail, a push that also helped him raise thousands of crucial dollars down the stretch.