Happy Less-Popular Election Year Eve! Dave is reporting from Richmond tonight, but in the meantime this will act as a catchall post for updates about the Three Big Races (NJ/VA/NYC) as well as sundry local elections and ballot initiatives. And if you haven't already, read our guide to watching tonight's results like a smart person.
11:56 Sad news, everyone: Charlotte, North Carolina will not have a mayor named "Edwin Peacock." We'll have much more in-depth analysis like this tomorrow—on Minneapolis' Scylla-like mayoral race, New York's expanded gambling, and Colorado's new marijuana tax, for starters. Thanks for playing along! As a show of gratitude, here is yet another photo of a cake—this one a model of Chris Christie standing outside the New Jersey statehouse.
11:38 We're getting to the point in the night where we're scraping the barrel for results. (Stay tuned for results from Omaha's Lunchlady of the Year Award!) In all seriousness, one of the more important local races is coming out of Washington state, where a single race will tip the state legislature. It's looking like that balance will tip toward Republican Jan Angel, though she only holds a 769-vote lead for now.
11:26 As Jeremy Stahl points out, the most exciting race tonight has become the Virginia attorney general race. The race, which will fill Ken Cuccinelli's seat, is between Republican and "Cuccinelli clone" Mark Obenshain, and Democrat Mark Herring. (Full maps here.)
It does not get any closer than the Virginia Attorney General's race: pic.twitter.com/zmbCJTySVj-- Jeremy Stahl (@JeremyStahl) November 6, 2013
11:20 Detroit has elected its first white mayor in nearly 40 years—former hospital chief Mike Duggan. From the Detroit Free Press: "Duggan’s message of his turnaround skills, including rescuing the Detroit Medical Center from near-bankruptcy a decade ago, caught on in a city that’s facing a financial disaster of its own, fighting for survival in bankruptcy court, with residents exasperated by high taxes, poor public services, blight, unemployment and crime."
11:06 Terry McAuliffe's victory speech touted efforts to expand Medicaid to 400,000 low-income Virginia residents: "It was perhaps the clearest issue that voters had during this election," he said. Then, as Rascal Flatts' cover of "Life Is a Highway" played, McAuliffe flashed a thumbs-up reminiscent of a certain friend of his.
10:48 Alabama's 1st Congressional race has been called for Republican Bradley Byrne. His opponent, fellow Republican Dean Young, once told gay Alabamans to "go back to California or Vermont." Between Young's defeat and that of two virulently anti-gay Virginia politicians, Tuesday's races are most allegorical for gay marriage more than most other issues.
10:32 Ken Cuccinelli is giving a concession speech. His spin: that the failure of Obamacare's implementation gave Terry McAuliffe a closer race than he would've had otherwise. "Despite being outspent by an unprecedented $15 million, this race came down to the wire because of Obamacare."
10:11 As the race in Virginia was called for Terry McAuliffe, I got in touch with Michael Mann. Slate readers might remember Mann as the former UVA professor whose climate science work was heavily investigated by Attorney General Cuccinelli. Mann, who's been at Penn State for the past few years, was pleased by tonight's vote.
"I congratulate Terry McAuliffe, a man truly worthy of being the next Governor of the great Commonwealth of Virginia. As for Ken Cuccinelli, I am pleased to see Virginia voters reject his destructive and dangerous brand of politics, and his contempt for science and rational thought."
Slate's own Dahlia Lithwick has her own delightful adieu to Cuccinelli.
10:02 McAuliffe has many friends to thank for his win, not the least of which is the liberalization of Virginia over the past ten years. Chris Cilizza has some helpful maps documenting the state's purpling: "The growth in the state has all favored Democrats," he writes, "turning a state that no Democrat since Lyndon Johnson had carried at the presidential level into one that Barack Obama has won twice."
9:54 Meanwhile, in Terryland as CNN calls the race:
9:42 NBC News is projecting Terry McAuliffe as the winner of Virginia's gubernatorial race. Dave is live at the scene of the Cuccinelli victory party:
At the Cuccinelli party the moment McAuliffe takes the lead pic.twitter.com/TzCqoagUT7-- daveweigel (@daveweigel) November 6, 2013
9:22 Bill De Blasio will be the next Sandinista mayor of NYC. (But you knew that already, right?) Michael Barbaro:
Exit polls conducted by Edison Research suggested that the sweep of his victory cut across all of New York’s traditional divides. He won support from voters regardless of race, gender, age, education, religion or income, according to the exit poll.
Mention of Dante De Blasio's "towering afro" doesn't appear until paragraph seven. Elsewhere in mayoral news, Marty Walsh defeated John Connolly to become Boston's next mayor. "I put my career on the line to protect Massachusetts’ groundbreaking equal marriage law," he wrote Monday. This in a metro area of almost 2 million Catholics!
9:13 New Jersey is a picture of what could have been for Democrats. Oh, not that they could have won—but the ballot measure to raise the state's minimum wage is winning by a bigger margin than Christie, at the moment. In other states, the minimum wage ballot measure has worked as sort of a pullcart for Democratic candidates, and it may be for Democrats in legislative races.
But never mind! Christie's polling held up—after exit polls were updated, he split the Hispanic vote with Barbara Buono. There's your story for tomorrow.
9:02 Barbara Buono gave a truly New Jersey concession speech, using it as an opportunity to chastise Chris Christie, if not by his name then by his actions. "Stand up to the name calling and the objections to not who you are, but what you are," she told the crowd of supporters. She also said she hoped her quixotic run would encourage more women to run for office, citing Shirley Chisholm as her inspiration. "Their attempts to marginalize and dismiss you is never an excuse to back down," she said. "They wouldn't let us into the old boys' club, so we decided we have to kick in the door." The fired-up crowd broke into chants of "Buono! Buono!"
8:38 Democrat Ralph Northam has been elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Perhaps E.W. Jackson's consolation cake will detract from the grim mood at his victory party. A sad loss for those values voters who think gay people are "full of darkness."
8:25 There was just another cheer for Cuccinelli, but it's more justified—the election exit poll has been adjusted and now gives Terry McAuliffe a 47-45 lead, down from 50-43. The reason—actual numbers! There are no counties flipping (the AP blew it in Culpeper, actually), there are counties where Cuccinelli is running ahead of Romney, and there are counties where he's running behind.
8:10 And we have our first victory of the night: Chris Christie has won re-election in a rout. The exit polls show that, interestingly, Christie made double-digits gains among black and Hispanic voters compared to 2009. As John Dickerson reports, his road to the White House begins tonight.
7:58 Shortly before 8 p.m., the headline on the Drudge Report blares that Cuccinelli is leading by 14 points. When the same number comes across a TV screen at the Republican Party, there's a small cheer from the crowd. This sort of election analysis is—to use the technical term—incredibly stupid. If you look at the counties in or partially counted so far, they're safe Republican country—and the Republicans are underperforming.
Cumberland County becomes the first county that's flipped from Romney in 2012—a 50-48 margin—to a 52-48 margin today. Actually, the only underperformance from McAuliffe in coming in areas where Libertarian Robert Sarvis is strong.
7:42 The War on Women voters could prove to be an albatross for Ken Cuccinelli, as Chris Cillizza points out: "20% of VA electorate said abortion was most important issue in their vote. McAuliffe winning 2-1 among that group." In the last week of the campaign, Cuccinelli actually made a point to be more adamant about his anti-abortion views:
Polling shows Cuccinelli slipping and his efforts to woo moderate and female voters has dropped as a priority in the final days.
Instead, Cuccinelli is working to win over social conservatives, whom he believes will fuel a come-from-behind victory, by talking about his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.
7:33 Dave here, having returned from a quick trip to E.W. Jackson's victory party—mysteriously, a 12-minute walk across downtown Richmond from the main Republican Party bash. When I arrived, as polls closed, four volunteers milled around, two campaign staffers refreshed a screen of live results—none yet, no TV in the room—and the mood was grim. Fortunately, there was cake.
7:26 Less than 30 minutes after the polls closed, Twitter pundits were already scrutinizing quirky early results. In Buckingham County, Virginia, it at first appeared as though all 80 voters in one precinct had cast their ballots for Terry McAuliffe. The Washington Examiner's Tim Carney quickly cried foul—could it be voter fraud?—but shortly after the poll numbers were updated: 80 for McAuliffe, 144 for Cuccinelli.
7:05 We have preliminary exit polls, those dastardly inconclusive numbers, from Virginia: McAuliffe 50%, Cuccinelli 43%, Sarvis 7%, according to CNN.
Earlier this evening, WaPo dissected the Virginia electorate by party ID:
Nearly four in 10 voters identify as Democrats in early exit poll results for the Virginia governor’s race. Just over three in 10 identify as Republicans or independents. If they hold, these early numbers would mark a big departure from the 2009 Virginia exit polls in which Republicans outnumbered Democrats by four percentage points, 37 to 33 percent. In the 2012 election, Democrats outnumbered Republicans in Virginia by seven points, 39 to 32 percent.
6:51 Polls close in Virginia in a few minutes! The Fix has a list of the five counties to be watching.
And for levity's sake, here's a fantastic photo of Anthony Weiner hanging out with his fellow failed NYC primary candidate, Republican John Catsimatidis:
Something look out-of-date? Tweet at me @emmaroller and I'll update as needed.