Since the Virginia constitution doesn’t allow a governor to serve two consecutive terms, Virginians will be choosing a new governor this year to replace Democrat Terry McAuliffe. In Tuesday’s primary, the heated campaign battle between Democrats Tom Perriello and Ralph Northam turned into a runaway victory for Northam.
On the Republican side, Ed Gillespie was running ahead in the polls. Gillespie’s top rival was Corey Stewart, the Virginia chairman of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Surprisingly, Stewart only lost to Gillespie by 1.7 percent.
After the primary, Virginia voters will head to the polls again on November 7, 2017 to chose between the two winners. Libertarian Cliff Hyra will also be on the November ballot. Polls closed in Virginia at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Final Results & Updates
The live results for the Virginia gubernatorial races are compiled by Decision Desk HQ. If the full results aren’t displaying on your device, scroll down the table to see more. If you’re still having trouble seeing the results on your phone, you can click here to see another version of this post.
Here are the results for the gubernatorial primaries.
Here are the results for the lieutenant gubernatorial primaries.
UPDATE 10:32 p.m. ET: The AP has called the GOP race for Gillespie.
UPDATE 10:00 p.m. ET: Notably, turnout was much better for Democrats. There were over 538,000 votes cast, with 55.5 percent of voters chosing Northam over Perriello. This was a record turnout for the Democrats. Northam won with 301,559 votes and Perriello received 236,868.
Gillespie won with 159,194 votes, while Stewart received 154,906 votes.
UPDATE 9:55 p.m. ET: Decision Desk HQ has finally called the race for Gillespie. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Gillespie is at 43.7 percent with 158,339 votes, while Stewart has 42.6 percent with 154,143 votes. Frank Wagner earned 13.68 percent or 49,633 votes.
UPDATE 9:34 p.m. ET: FiveThirtyEight is projecting Gillespie as the winner, but the AP has yet to call it. Decision Desk HQ hasn’t called it either.
UPDATE 9:30 p.m. ET: Gillespie is still barely holding on to his lead. He has 43.53 percent of the vote, while Stewart is at 42.86 percent. This is with 94 percent of the precincts reporting.
Meanwhile, Northam’s celebration was delayed by a group of protesters who don’t want pipelines in Virginia.
UPDATE 9:00 p.m. ET: It’s now two hours after polls closed and the race between Gillespie and Stewart is just way too close to call. Gillespie has 135,234 votes (43.47 percent), while Stewart has 134,029 (43.09 percent). That’s with just over 86 percent of precincts reporting.
UPDATE 8:50 p.m. ET: With 81 percent of precincts reporting, Gillespie’s lead is at 43.5 percent (127,651), over Stewart who’s at 42.9 percent (125,937). It’s possible that Virginia’s open primary system – where voters can vote in any primary, no matter what party they belong to – influenced Republicans to vote in the Democratic race, which was perceived as the real nail-biter in Virginia.
Also, Perriello has already offered to support Northam.
UPDATE 8:40 p.m. ET: Gillespie’s lead is now down to 1,021 votes as of 8:35 p.m. However, there are still votes to be counted in Fairfax county, where Gillespie is up by 7 points. Fairfax is the most populated county in Virginia.
UPDATE 8:30 p.m. ET: With over 250,000 votes in, Gillespie’s lead is now less than 1 percent. He’s at 107,104 votes, while Stewart is at 105,413. Gillespie has done well in the urban, eastern part of the state. Stewart ran up his vote totals with wins out in the southeast corner of the state.
Meanwhile, Northam is getting prepared to celebrate his victory with a speech soon. McAuliffe has already issued a statement congratulating Northam.
UPDATE 8:15 p.m. ET: Gillespie’s lead is now at 44.08 to 41.75 percent, according to the Virginia Department of Elections. Gillespie as 95,202 votes to Stewart’s 90,162.
UPDATE 8:07 p.m. ET: The Lieutenant Governor race for Democrats was also an easy call. With 38 percent of precincts reporting Decision Desk HQ called that race in favor of Justin Fairfax, who beat Susan Platt with 48.6 percent of the vote. Jill Vogel has a 0.2 percent lead over Bryce Reeves.
Also, the Associated Press called the Democratic race for Northam.
UPDATE 8:00 p.m. ET: An hour after polls closed and with 146,000 votes in, the race between Stewart and Gillespie is far tighter than the majority of polls predicted. Gillespie has less than 63,420 votes to Stewart’s 60,622.
Even Stewart’s campaign manager has been surprised by how close the race is.
UPDATE 7:53 p.m. ET: Decision Desk HQ calls the Democratic race for Northam. At this time, he’s up 56.9 percent over Perriello’s 43.1 percent with 141,797 votes in. The Republican side continues to be too close to call, since Gillespie’s lead is only at 1.7 percent.
UPDATE 7:50 p.m. ET: With just over 106,000 votes in for the Democratic race, it looks increasingly like Northam will pull this off. He’s at 56.9 percent of the vote, with over 15,000 more votes than Perriello. On the Republican side, there’s just over 98,000 votes in and the race couldn’t be any closer. Gillespie is still has 2,000 more votes than Stewart, but Stewart has pulled off a strong showing in rural areas. Surprisingly though, Stewart is winning in Loudoun County with just 16 votes more than Gillespie.
UPDATE 7:40 p.m. ET: There’s 50,000 votes counted in the Democratic primary and it looks like Northam is pulling away from Perriello, 55.6 to 44.4. On the GOP side, Stewart remains closely behind Gillespie, 40.7 to 43. However, Stewart has been lifted by votes in the southwest corner of the state.
Northam’s big lead is coming from results in Arlington and Henrico Counties.
UPDATE 7:30 p.m. ET: Northam is leading the Democratic Primary in early results so far. However, Perriello is doing well in western counties, as expected. He represented the rural Fifth Congressional District while in Congress.
UPDATE 7:18 P.M. ET: The first results showed Perriello up in the Republican primary with 95 votes. However, the first results in Chesterfield show a close race in the Republican race. Votes are also coming in from Loudoun County and Alexandria.
Another early map shows Gillespie leading Stewart with 46.4 percent.
UPDATE 7:04 P.M. ET: Polls in Virginia have just closed. Results haven’t started to come in yet.
Governor Races Background & Pre-Election Polling
Since current U.S. Senator Mark Warner won the governor’s seat in 2001, three of the past four Virginia governors have been Democrats. Bob McDonnell won in 2010, but he was followed by Democrat McAuliffe in 2014. No Republican Presidential candidate has won Virginia since 2004.
Gillespie’s primary win was the first time he’s won an election, although he has spent much of his life working in politics behind the scenes. He served as Chair of the Republican National Committee from 2003 to 2005 and Chair of the Republican Party of Virginia in 2006 and 2007. From 2007 to 2009, he was Counselor to President George W. Bush. He was also a senior adviser to Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign and ran an unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign in 2014.
Northam and Perriello have both held elective office before. Northam was a State Senator before he served as McAuliffe’s Lieutenant Governor. Perriello represented Virginia’s rural Fifth District.
The two Democrats vying for the party’s nomination found themselves in a fight over who had the more conservative past before moving to the left during the campaign. Periello has been criticized for voting for an anti-abortion amendment during his one term as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and his past donations from the NRA. Lt. Governor Ralph Northam has had to answer for voting for President George W. Bush twice and once called health care a “privilege” in 2011. But during the campaign, the two candidates have tried to distance themselves from their pasts and have embraced many of the typical Democratic Party policy ideas.
As a result of their similarities, Perriello and Northam were very close in recent polls, with Periello holding on to slim leads. A CSP Polling poll taken from June 8 to June 11 shows Perriello with a 46-41 lead over Northam. Change Research‘s poll, taken from June 8 to June 10, has Perriello up 54-46.
On the Republican side, Gillespie had three rivals and had a wide lead in many polls. The other Republican candidates were Bishop Emmanuel Peter, former Lt. Governor candidate Corey Stewart and State Senator Frank Wagner. Of those three, Stewart had the best showing in recent polls.
In fact, the Change Research poll gave Stewart a 42-41 lead (with a 3.1 percent margin of error). That poll was shared by Brietbart, since Stewart has voiced strong support for Trump, while Gillespie hasn’t. Stewart was also Trump’s campaign chairman in Virginia.
A May poll from the Washington Post and Schar School showed Gillespie up 38-18 over Stewart.
When Gillespie is up against either Northam or Perrellio, the polls don’t look good for him. A May 9-14 Washington Post/Schar School poll shows Gillespie losing 49-48 to Northam and 50-37 to Perriello.
In the Republican lieutenant governor race, voters chose between State Senators Bryce Reeves and Jill Holtzman Vogel and State Delegate Glenn Davis. The Democratic lieutenant governor candidates were former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin Fairfax and Gene Rossi and former Joe Biden Chief of Staff Susan Platt. None of the three Democratic candidates have held elective office before.
The general election is scheduled for November 7, 2017.