WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republicans recaptured the Virginia governor's mansion Tuesday after eight years of Democratic rule, CNN projects.
Former Attorney Gen. Bob McDonnell defeated state Sen. Creigh Deeds to take back the seat currently held by Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine.
CNN also projects that the GOP will win the races for lieutenant governor and attorney general. The wins are a much-needed boost for the Republican Party; which suffered dramatic losses, including the White House, in the 2008 elections.
(CNN) - CNN projects Republican Bob McDonnell will be elected Virginia governor.
Bob McDonnell is leading Creigh Deeds in Virginia's gubernatorial race (Photo credit: Getty Images)
(CNN) - Republican Bob McDonnell is leading Democrat Creigh Deeds in Virginia's gubernatorial race, according to CNN exit polls.
(CNN) - The economy and jobs are the number on issue on the minds of voters in Virginia, according to data from CNN exit polls Tuesday.
Forty-six percent of Virginian voting Tuesday, as Republican Bob McDonnell and Democrat Creigh Deeds faced off for the governor's mansion, say that the economy and jobs are the most important issue to their vote. One in four indicate that health care reform is their most pressing issue, 14 percent said taxes were upmost on their minds, and 8 percent suggest that transportation woes were most pressing.
"The economy as the number one issue probably bodes well for the Republicans in Virginia," says CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.
Those questioned in exit polls were asked their opinions after they voted, as they departed polling stations.
RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) - Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Virginia, acknowledged Monday a lack of enthusiasm among Virginia Democrats in this year's gubernatorial race, and predicted that turnout at the polls tomorrow will be low.
If that forecast holds true, Tuesday could be a difficult day for Creigh Deeds and his fellow Democrats, who have strung together a series a statewide victories in recent years by capitalizing on high voter turnout in Democratic-leaning regions of Virginia. Deeds is trailing Republican Bob McDonnell in the polls, due largely to an exodus of independent voters from the Democratic fold.
"It's going to be a low-turnout election," Scott told CNN after appearing at a rally with Deeds and the rest of the Democratic ticket in Richmond. "It's going to be tough. But Creigh Deeds knows how to come from behind."
Scott, the highest-ranking African-American elected official in the state, said he saw anecdotal evidence that Democrats have been getting more excited about the election over the final few days. He said a rally in Roanoke earlier in the day was larger than a similar crowd in the city at the same point last year, when Barack Obama captured the state on his way to winning the White House.
But he admitted that voters in his heavily-Democratic district are "not as enthusiastic as last year," even with an appearance by the president in Norfolk last week.
"There is no question that turnout will be the difference," he said. "And if there's a lack of enthusiasm then it breeds real trouble for the Democrats."
Story updated at 11:00 a.m. EST to correct transcript of robocall
RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) – Sarah Palin isn’t staying out of the Virginia governor’s race after all.
Less than 48 hours before voters head to the polls to elect a new governor, several Virginians reported receiving robocalls on Sunday from the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, urging them to “vote your values” on Tuesday.
But the recording makes no mention of the Bob McDonnell, the Republican gubernatorial candidate who has been reluctant to embrace Palin during the governor’s race, out of fear that she might alienate some of the independent voters who have helped him climb to a healthy lead in the polls over Democrat Creigh Deeds.
“Virginia, hello, this is Sarah Palin calling to urge you to go to the polls Tuesday and vote to share our principles,” the former Alaska governor says in the call, which was provided to CNN by one Democrat who recorded it. “The eyes of America will be on Virginia and make no mistake about it, every vote counts. So don’t take anything for granted, vote your values on Tuesday, and urge your friends and family to vote, too.”
Washington (CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele isn't predicting victory yet in the Virginia and New Jersey governor's races, but in Virginia - a race Republicans look poised to win - he sees a "blueprint" for GOP success in 2010.
"You dont win until the last vote is counted," Steele told CNN by phone during a campaign swing in southern Virginia with Republican candidate Bob McDonnell. "We failed in the past by assuming too much. The only thing I am assuming is there is much more to do."
Steele said that while Virginia and New Jersey are very different states requiring different "messaging styles," the gubernatorial races have provided the RNC with a way to "test the waters" before next year's midterm elections. He said the party has been trying out new strategies in both races "in terms of resources we put on the ground, in providing ground support or air support, on the Internet, on television, phones, things like that."
As McDonnell has surged to a lead in Virginia polls over his Democratic rival Creigh Deeds, national Republicans have described his campaign - in which he focused on job creation and downplayed his conservative positions on social issues - as a blueprint for future GOP victories. Asked what specifically in McDonnell's approach represents a way forward for the party, Steele praised the Republican for focusing on issues relevant to middle-class voters while staying true to conservative economic principles.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – With their final mailing of the Virginia governor's race, Democrats are hoping President Obama can motivate his 2008 supporters to show up once again for Creigh Deeds next Tuesday.
The Democratic Party of Virginia sent a mail piece Thursday to 330,000 "surge voters" - the Democrats who voted for the first time in 2008 and helped propel Obama to victory in the Commonwealth.
"Last year you joined with over 600,000 Virginians who registered and voted for the first time in their lives," reads the one-page letter, titled "A special message from President Barack Obama." "Your message was clear, your voice was heard and today we're beginning to see the fruits of that labor."
"To make real changes in this country, it will take more than just my presidency - it requires your continued vigilance in the cause of progress," the note continues.
The president goes on to ask voters to make time to go to the polls on November 3 and cast their ballots for Deeds, "the partner I need in Virginia."
Obama appeared with Deeds earlier this week in Norfolk in an effort to rally Democrats who have been less-than enthusiastic about the governor's race. Deeds is trailing Republican Bob McDonnell in the polls.
(CNN) - With only five days until Election Day, Virginia is has become ground zero for the political glitterati.
First, President Obama paid a visit to the state Tuesday on behalf of Democrat Creigh Deeds. The two held a rally at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.
Now Republican Bob McDonnell is bringing in the GOP star power: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is campaigning for the former state attorney general in Democratic-leaning Fairfax County, while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will join McDonnell for events in Virginia Beach, Roanoke, and Richmond.
(CNN) – Amid some controversy, President Barack Obama returns to the campaign trail Tuesday afternoon in Virginia to lend a helping hand to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds.
The president teams up with Deeds at a rally in Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. The event comes just hours after the release of a new poll that suggests Deeds trails his Republican rival Bob McDonnell by double digits, with a week to go until election day.
The rally also comes just a few days after negative quotes about Deeds from anonymous Obama administration officials appeared Friday in the Washington Post. Unnamed administration officials told the paper that if Deeds loses, it will be his own fault for shunning White House advice and not doing enough to embrace Obama on the campaign trail.
Asked Monday if the White House has been happy with the Deeds campaign, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said "that's not for me to pass judgment on."