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Virginia: Kaine Wins, But GOP Can Also Smile

Wednesday Update: washingtonpost.com posted a graphic today showing how Virginia counties and cities voted in the gubernatorial and other statewide races.  Look at the map here.

Watch Lt. Gov. Kaine's victory speech online here.  The Post's analysis of election 2005 is here.

The "Race to Richmond" blog is looking back at the Virginia election as well as the still-undecided Attorney General race.

The Fix's Tuesday night post:

The Washington Post reports:  "Democrat Timothy M. Kaine took an early lead tonight in Virginia's election for governor over his Republican rival, Jerry W. Kilgore, according to unofficial returns from the State Board of Elections. Kaine, the state's lieutenant governor, was leading Kilgore, the former Virginia attorney general, by 51 percent to 47 percent, with nearly three-quarters of precincts reporting. Independent candidate H. Russell Potts Jr. was running a distant third, with 2 percent."

The official state elections site reports the following UNOFFICIAL numbers:

Precincts Reporting: 2329 of 2426 (96.00%)
Registered Voters: 4,451,715   Total Voting: 1,873,386   Voter Turnout: 42.08 %
Candidates       Party             Vote Totals     Percentage
  T M Kaine        Democratic     964,328         51.48%
  J W Kilgore      Republican      866,550         46.26%
  H R Potts Jr      Independent     40,891           2.18%

Downballot returns were closer, but  Bill Bolling (R) defeated Leslie Byrne (D) in the lieutenant governor's race, and Republican Bob McDonnell appears to have won a narrow victory over Democrat Creigh Deeds in the attorney general race.

Although Kaine is the biggest winner tonight, current Virginia Gov. Mark warner (D) will receive a major boost as well. Warner effectively staked his legacy on a Kaine victory, campaigning all over the state for his second-in-command and appearing in Kaine television ads. Warner's ability to deliver a Democratic victory in a Red State will serve him well in the eyes of donors and party insiders looking for a horse in the 2008 presidential race.  Make no mistake -- Warner's star is shining a bit brighter on the national stage after tonight.  See my post from last week.

 Go to washingtonpost.com's comprehensive Virginia results page for more results. 

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 9, 2005; 2:18 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Next: Election 2005: Let the Spin Begin!

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