Tom Perriello won the central part of the state, the area he represented in Congress from 2009 to 2011. He lost pretty much everywhere else – northern Virginia, Richmond, and Hampton Roads. There was a lot of talk about how this election was a Hillary-Bernie rerun but that was really a bunch of nonsense. Only about 16% of the variation in Perriello’s vote share by city/county can be explained by Bernie’s share of the vote in 2016. Some correlation exists but not much.
176,374 more people chose a Democratic primary ballot than a Republican one. Democrats represented 59.7% of voters. The Democratic advantage came in Northern Virginia (Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William), Richmond, and Hampton Roads, the vote rich centers of the state. They also got more votes in Roanoke, Charlottesville, and a few scattered counties and cities in the central and western part of the state. More Republicans voted in the west, particularly the counties bordering West Virginia and Kentucky and the counties separating greater DC and Richmond. If Republicans can’t improve their performance in the northern, Richmond, and Hampton Roads area, Millionaire Lobbyist Ed Gillespie has no chance of winning.
223,454 more people voted in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 2017 than in 2009, a 70% increase. Turnout increased 162.2% in Loudoun and 151.7% in Prince William County, the two fastest growing counties in northern Virginia. Turnout fell only in the western counties bordering West Virginia and Kentucky. Ralph Northam will do poorly there in November, but it won’t matter as long as he holds the growing regions of the state that have consistently voted Democratic since 2009.