No big surprise because they were leading in all polling, but a Republican victory in Virginia governor race is a pick-up for the party.
Here’s the AP story:
RICHMOND, Va. Republican Bob McDonnell easily won the governor’s race Tuesday, just a year after the state went overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama and the Democrats.
Unofficial results showed McDonnell, a conservative and former state attorney general, defeating Creigh Deeds with more than 60 percent of the vote. He will be the state’s first Republican governor in eight years.
The race, along with the contest for governor of New Jersey, was viewed as the first referendum on the president and the Democratic Congress before the 2010 midterm elections.
A year ago, Obama became the first Democrat in 44 years to carry Virginia in a presidential race.This time voters expressed angst about major Obama initiatives such as health care, energy and stimulus spending. But McDonnell dominated the campaign’s central issues: jobs and the economy.
McDonnell, 55, never trailed in polls, even though his lead narrowed in September after news reports of a graduate thesis he wrote in 1989 that disparaged working women, gays and unmarried “cohabitators.” He dismissed it as a forgotten academic exercise and said raising three daughters had changed his views.
McDonnell will succeed Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, who is barred by state law from seeking a second term. Kaine directed $6 million in DNC money into Virginia for Deeds and other Democratic candidates.