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McDonnell Wins Virginia Governor’s Race

The New York Times reports that Republican Bob McDonnell rode to an easy victory in the Virginia gubernatorial race Tuesday, based on exit polls.

Mr. McDonnell defeated the Democratic candidate, R. Creigh Deeds, an 18-year state senator from rural Bath County in western Virginia.

Republicans cited the victory as a repudiation of the Obama administration and the national Democratic Party’s agenda, especially that of outgoing Gov. Tim Kaine, who serves as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Nonetheless, exit polls conducted by Edison Research on Tuesday showed that support for Mr. Obama had changed little in the state since his victory here in 2008. The polls suggested that many of Mr. Obama’s voters stayed home on Tuesday, allowing Mr. McDonnell to win on strong support among white men and independents and among voters who say they are very worried about the direction of the nation’s economy.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele dances in the end zone with this statement:

“Tonight, Republicans made history in Virginia. In a state that had been in the Democrats’ column after the 2008 election – and in DNC Chairman Tim Kaine’s own backyard – Republicans swept all three top state offices in Virginia for the first time since 1997. These significant victories speak to the fantastic campaigns run by Republicans across the Commonwealth and the voters’ clear rejection of liberal tax and spend policies that Washington Democrats are trying to force on Americans.

“Governor-elect Bob McDonnell’s common-sense conservative message of less spending, lower taxes and more responsible government clearly resonated with voters. His opposition to the Democrats’ plans for higher taxes, government-run health care and a job-killing ‘cap and trade’ bill was rewarded by Virginia voters with a victory tonight. [...]

“The Republican Party’s overwhelming victory in Virginia is a blow to President Obama and the Democrat Party. It sends a clear signal that voters have had enough of the president’s liberal agenda. The Republican Party and our grassroots supporters have renewed strength in Virginia, and I look forward to working with Governor-elect McDonnell and Republicans across the state to build on our momentum.”

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