Decision Desk HQ, one of the leading organizations dedicated to tracking and reporting US election results, was the first to call the Virginia gubernatorial elections in favour of Youngkin, some three hours after the polls closed across the state.
Stopping short of calling the election in anybody’s favour, CBS News described the race as “leaning” to the Republican upstart.
With just over 70% of Virginia’s ballots counted on Tuesday night, Youngkin enjoyed a nearly 10-point advantage over Democratic challenger Terry McAuliffe, according to a New York Times tally.
Vice President Mike Pence wasted no time in congratulating Youngkin, who campaigned primarily on local issues, declaring his victory a sign of “The Conservative Comeback.”
Ex-President Donald Trump, who backed Youngkin but did not rally for him in person, argued that the Republican’s strong performance at the polls was due to his own base “coming out in force” and voting for the businessman-turned-politician. “Without you, he would not have been close to winning,” Trump said in a statement.
Despite Youngkin’s holding a clear advantage over McAuliffe as of Tuesday evening, some argued that the fate of the race is not settled yet, since Virginia’s biggest country, Fairfax, has yet to complete reporting its results. The county, which is historically blue, missed its own 8pm deadline, prompting conservative commentators to cry foul over the delay.
Lavern Spicer, a Republican candidate in Florida’s 24th Congressional District, suggested that the county election officials might be dragging their feet on purpose to “see how many votes Younkin gets.” “That sounds familiar,” she tweeted.
Typically among the last counties to report its results, Fairfax is expected to give a major boost to McAuliffe.
The Democrat’s campaign claimed that the delay in its reporting was caused by the need to rescan thousands of early ballots. It was later revealed that some 20,000 ballots had to be rescanned due to a “thumb drive failure.”
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