2017 Post Primary Analysis and Open Thread

7pm: Polls have closed for this June 13, 2017, primary. As returns come in, stay with Bearing Drift for all the latest.

Meanwhile, you can catch up on Bearing Drift’s post with reports from throughout the Commonwealth with information about local precinct turnout.

A reminder of the Bearing Drift Political Junkies’ predictions (see 2017 Primary Predictions from Bearing Drift’s Political Junkies).

7:30: First precincts are trickling into VPAP.

7:25: Trixie Averill called to alert that there were no Democratic signs at Lindenwood precinct where she was a poll watcher for Gillespie, nor workers or literature. One sign showed up later and she suspects it was brought by Dick Cranwell. Voters were 3-1 Republican in the red precinct.

With 1,167 of 2,561 precincts reporting (45.57%), Republican Ed Gillespie is leading (43.48%), Corey Stewart (41.77%), Frank Wagner (14.74%).

With 1,167 of 2,561 precincts reporting (45.57%), Democrat Ralph Northam is leading 57.24% over Tom Perriello with 42.76%.

Ed Gillespie has a slight edge over Corey Stewart in Loudon County: 44.17% vs 44.10% with almost all precincts reporting, and he leads in Fairfax as well with 34% of the votes.

Corey Stewart won Fauquier County 51.26% to 38.77%, and looks like he’ll take Prince William County, 60.22% to Ed’s 31.41%

These are all big counties, making the vote total between the two very close.


Jill Vogel is leading Bryce Reeves slightly statewide, 41.99% to 41.05%. About 2,000 votes separate them.


Ed Gillespie maintains a slight lead, about 1,500 votes.

Candidate Votes Percent
Edward W. “Ed” Gillespie
113,988 43.47%
Corey A. Stewart
112,409 42.87%
Frank W. Wagner
35,816 13.66%

Pretty VPAP map with about 80% of the vote:

Republican: With 2,130 of 2,561 precincts reporting (83.17%), ED GILLESPIE (43.45%), COREY STEWART (43.09%), FRANK WAGNER (13.46%).

Democrat: With 2,130 of 2,561 precincts reporting (83.17%), RALPH NORTHAM has been declared the winner.

HORSE RACE is the Republican Lieutenant Governor race between JILL VOGEL and BRYCE REEVES. With 2,191 of 2,561 precincts reporting (85.55%), JILL (42.23), BRYCE (40.98), GLENN DAVIS (16.79).

Democrat Lieutenant Governor: With 2,191 of 2,561 precincts reporting (85.55%), FAIRFAX (48.61), PLATT (39.51), ROSSI (11.88).

With 2,191 of 2,561 precincts reporting (85.55%):
Ed Gillespie

Corey A Stewart

Frank Wagner

9:04: Waiting for final precincts to report.

LYNCHBURG COMMONWEALTH’S ATTORNEY: Congrats to Bethany Harrison who won 2:1. She and her campaign manager Dexter Gains ran a positive campaign in the face of some questionable tactics used by her opponent.

9:10: DEMOCRATIC LT. GOVERNOR — JUSTIN FAIRFAX has been declared the winner (48.87%) followed by PLATT (39.25), ROSSI (11.88).

HORSE RACE IN REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL between Ed Gillespie and Corey Stewart:
With 2,337 of 2,561 precincts reporting (91.25%):

Ed Gillespie

Corey A Stewart

Frank Wagner

Bob Witte
Benjamin Dessart
Gilbert Wilkerson

9:20: Statement of House Republican leadership on results of Tuesday’s Republican House primaries

RICHMOND, VA – Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), Speaker-designee Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Majority Leader-Designee C. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax), and Majority Whip Jackson Miller (R-Manassas) released the following statement Tuesday congratulating Republican House candidates on their primary victories:
“We would like to congratulate Delegate Bobby Orrock, Delegate Ron Villanueva, Emily Brewer, Bob Thomas, Eddie Whitlock and John McGuire on their primary victories. We have a strong slate of House candidates across the Commonwealth prepared to run positive, solutions-oriented campaigns focused on what is best for their communities and our Commonwealth.

“Bobby and Ron are strong and effective legislators who will continue to make positive contributions to their communities and the Commonwealth. Their leadership in Richmond is an invaluable asset to their districts.
“Emily, Bob, Eddie and John are all community leaders who believe in the ideas and values that House Republicans have championed over the last 15 years – creating good jobs, responsibly balancing budgets and working hard to solve Virginia’s toughest challenges. They will spend the coming months talking with voters and sharing their visions for a stronger Commonwealth. I am confident that they will win in November and will be a welcome addition to the House Republican Caucus.
“Throughout the next five months, all Republican House candidates will have the opportunity to share our record of accomplishment and lay out a vision for the future of our state that focuses the issues that matter most to Virginia families: growing our economy, strengthening our education system, and protecting our communities. We’ve proven time and time again that no matter what happens in Washington, we will govern and lead the Commonwealth in a way that Virginians expect and deserve. We have no doubt that we will return in 2018 with a strong majority.”

With 2,374 of 2,561 precincts reporting (92.70%):

Ed Gillespie

Corey A Stewart

Frank Wagner

2,405 of 2,561 precincts reporting (93.91%)

Ed Gillespie

Corey A Stewart

Frank Wagner

2,429 of 2,561 precincts reporting (94.85%)

Ed Gillespie

Corey A Stewart

Frank Wagner

9:55 — Waiting on last few precincts from Fairfax County which should break for Ed Gillespie.

10:00 — REPUBLICAN LT. GOVERNOR: Jill Vogel has been declared the winner. Congrats!
2,485 of 2,561 precincts reporting (97.03%)

Jill Vogel

Bryce Reeves

Glenn Davis

10:15 — Still waiting on final Governor numbers.

2,525 of 2,561 precincts reporting (98.59%)

Ed Gillespie

Corey A Stewart

Frank Wagner


There will be much analysis about tonight’s results over the next few days. Bearing Drift’s writers will have thoughts, and there may be a podcast tomorrow evening to rewind the election and take a look at the candidates and the returns.

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  • mezurak

    Looking like a recount kind of night.

  • Dcgorillafighter

    When you try to destroy a people’s cultural identity they will stop at nothing to seek revenge. Go Corey go!

    • Stephen Spiker

      What is the cultural identity of your people?

      • notjohnsmosby

        The South shall rise again?

    • old_redneck

      And Stewart’s cultural identity wold be . . . ??

    • Anonymous Is A Woman

      Yeah, those Minnesota confederates are fierce in hanging on to their Confederate heritage. Remember that time in Duluth – oh wait, wrong region.

      • MD Russ

        Now, now. Corey is from southern Minnesota, where the daytime temperatures in January actually rise above zero. Dontjaknow?

  • mezurak

    This one is done. Ed is on the home stretch.

    • Rethuglican

      Say hello to Governor Northam! Gillespie doesn’t have the fight in him to beat the Democrat, who will hold nothing back. This is going to be like 2016, only with ¡Jeb! in place of Trump.

      • mezurak

        Look at the bright side. At least he’s going up against the weaker Democrat. 😉

        • Rethuglican

          Indeed, but the Dems taste blood and will do anything to win. Stewart is the only one who will do what it takes to win.

        • Anonymous Is A Woman

          I am not so sure any more that that is true. After all, the polls have been wrong so far.

          It’s Northam and Perriello who were supposed to be neck and neck. Meanwhile, Gillespie was supposed to have a cakewalk against Stewart. How did any of those predictions turn out?

  • notjohnsmosby

    A very weak showing for Gillespie.

  • S Fisher

    Surprised! Not sure what surprises me most that Gillespie had a weak showing or that Stewart had such a strong one…Ed nor Corey were my choice, but I assumed that Ed would win.

  • MD Russ

    Interesting outcome. Both Gillespie and Perriello way underperformed the polling expectations. But the real story was the difference in voter totals between Republicans and Democrats. The Trump Chumps turned out to vote for Corey Stewart and the Gillespie voters stayed home. Meanwhile, the Democrats had record primary numbers supporting the “establishment” candidate instead of Little Tom.

    My prediction is that November is going to be a Democratic landslide in Virginia. The harbinger of it for 2018 is that the Republicans will lose badly as only the hard-core Trumpsters will vote while the establishment Democrats will be energized as never before. The Republicans will lose the Senate and very possibly the House. And if Donald Trump is still in the White House in November 2018, then they richly deserve it.

    • old_redneck

      I certainly hope your prediction is correct. Otherwise, Virginia is in danger of becoming North Carolina is Republicans have their way.

    • Daniel M. Gray

      How in heaven is the GOP going to lose the Senate in 2018, when the vast majority of contested races will be in Red States which went big for Trump?

      That’s why Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly voted for Gorsuch. Claire McCaskill was lucky to win against the pathetic Todd Akin in MO in 2012, and will probably go down in a state which went hugely for Trump. If the MO Republicans don’t nominate a candidate who drools in the stage, they will win back that seat.

      Sherrod Brown is in trouble in OH, a state which went by 8 points for Trump with high minority turnout in a presidential year. Bob Casey, Jr. in PA is in big trouble for re-election in 2018, because the PHI vote will be down in non-Prez year, and he voted against Gorsuch in a pro-life state.

      The allegedly unbeatable Mark Warner barely beat Establishment sap Gillespie in low turnout Senate race in 2014, and someone like Carly Fiorina could use the MS-13 issue to beat Little Tim in 2018. Are the Dems going to call Carly a tool of Trump?

      Do you really pay attention to the makeup of the Senate, and the races on the ballot in 2018, or are you just popping off for the hell of it?

      • MD Russ

        Still living in November of 2016, aren’t you Daniel? I suggest that you catch up on Trump’s disapproval ratings since then. Your boy is not helping Republicans who want to flip vulnerable Democratic seats. As for Carly, she couldn’t win dog catcher in Hanover County, much less win statewide in Virginia. You Trumpsters are so delusional. You remind me too much of the Tea Party idiots who are now no where to be found after they crashed and burned after promising the world to the gullible voters.

      • Withheld Information

        Don’t be delusional. If Virginia and New Jersey and the Special House Elections are any indication, the Dem base is motivated, the Republican base is demoralized.

        Warner beat Gillespie in a Red Wave year with low turnout (which favors Republicans, not Democrats). Carly Fiorina is a joke. Kaine’s popular in the state and boasts a raised profile. He’ll make short work of her.

      • Alan

        Thanks for bringing some rational thinking to this discussion. It was just a few short months ago when we were told the republicans were going to lose the house, senate and presidency.

    • hpd929

      Let’s put this one away in the MD Russ prediction file…hopefully it’s as correct as the other recent items in there.

      • MD Russ

        At least the MD Russ prediction file is retrievable since I post in my real name and don’t hide behind an anonymous user ID. But keep being classy and brave there, Whoever-You-Are.

        • hpd929

          Whether or not one uses his real name is irrelevant in this context. The question is whether or not the archive is retrievable (via disqus)- and mine is. Go ahead and look.

  • Jerel C. Wilmore

    Two takeaways from a democratic perspective:

    1) The Republican Party of Virginia is badly divided and has a neo-Confederate problem; and

    2) All Tom Perriello did was to awaken a sleeping giant. As a result of the primary, Virginia Democrats are as organized in June as they normally are in October. Our canvass organization is in place and functioned very well this weekend. It will be perfected by October and November.

    • Anonymous Is A Woman

      I suspect Jerel is right. We had a great dress rehearsal and came out of it well organized for November. And reports of our disarray or division are greatly exaggerated.

    • MD Russ

      Tom Perriello awakened a sleeping giant? He lost by over 11 points. No, Donald Trump awakened Democrats to the fact that Republicans elected an incompetent and psychotic President and aren’t willing to do anything about it. Perriello is history and so will the Republicans be if they stick by the Cheetos Benito.

      • Anonymous Is A Woman

        I am not sure Perriello is history just yet. He’s young and promising. There is probably a third act there somewhere, but not this season.

        • Withheld Information

          State Department job most likely in 2020 if the Dems retake the WH. Unless he sticks around in Virginia and does some activism and work there, I can’t imagine he’ll be a contender for either Senate seat should Kaine or Warner ever retire or take up a Cabinet job. Herring and Bobby Scott will be better positioned to take that job.

          • Anonymous Is A Woman

            I seriously doubt he’s going to wait three years to get a position somewhere, depending on somebody else’s victory. That said, State Department is an option if we take back the White House. But he will probably need to do something leading up to that. He could be interested in his old congressional seat, if he senses another wave year coming in 2018.

            It is true that should Warner or Kaine leave the Senate, which is no sure thing, others may eye it. But it would be an open primary.

            Plus, he could focus more on state than national (given his actual resume, that might not be likely) and run for an open lieutenant governor or AG seat in the future too. Beyond this coming term, those will be open seats too, as either Justin Fairfax or Mark Herring move up to run for governor.

            He definitely has several possible scenarios. Or he goes back to the international scene working in human rights or peacekeeping. He’s not exactly a man without prospects.

          • Withheld Information

            He could run for Attorney General one day, but that’d be just as long of a wait as a State Department job. Same with Lt Gov.

            State Senate is a little too low profile for him I think.

            Open primary sure, but Herring would be a two time AG and Bobby Scott is a powerhouse.

            He could run for his seat again, but he won it primarily off of Obama’s coattails. It’s quite a red district and Perriello took pains to present himself as the more progressive, liberal choice this election. 2018 might be a Blue Wave though, and if Georgia’s 6th is competitive with a relative nobody giving Georgia’s Secretary of State a hard time, maybe he can do it.

            Northam might even give him a Cabinet job. Secretary of Administration maybe? Perriello did conduct department review work with the Department of State, so he’s well equipped to handle that as this is a much, much smaller department.

            Honestly, if he doesn’t get a job in Northam’s cabinet (and he probably won’t accept it if it was offered) I think he’ll most likely just work in the state with some nonprofits and do more activism. See how the field looks in 2020. He might get another job in the Department of State (maybe even as an Ambassador) or he could see if the field for Governor looks more comfortable.

          • Anonymous Is A Woman

            Well, it’s certainly true that he is talented and has many possibilities. I am not convinced his big ambition is to go back to State in 2020, except possibly as an ambassador. But those appointee jobs usually go to big donors. And he’s not career diplomatic corps.

            Also, he’s done the international thing, especially in the dangerous hotspots and hazardous duty areas. He might be ready for something different, closer to home.

            He could head a cabinet in the Northam administration and launch a career from there too. And I am not completely convinced he couldn’t go back to Congress. Again, we could be building to another wave election in 2018. It’s too soon to tell. In normal times, it wouldn’t be an option. But these may continue to not be normal times. Or, he could indeed hold out to go back to State.

          • Withheld Information

            Ones in places like England and France generally do. But he’s a promising guy, and Under Sec or Assistant Sec jobs are also very important and have a lot of influence.

            He might very well retake his House seat. But I think he might find himself in a similar spot in 2022 if the Dem momentum doesn’t hold.

            We’ll see. He’s a young man, he’s got plenty of time.

      • notjohnsmosby

        I think what he meant was that the primary got Dems rolling on GOTV and voter registration. Stuff that usually wouldn’t begin until the summer got started in February.

        Perriello was an opportunist who lost handily. He did however get the competitive actions for Dems cranking a few months early.

        • Jerel C. Wilmore


      • Jerel C. Wilmore

        Normally we don’t organize our canvass until October. By having a dress rehearsal in June we are able to address the things that could be done better. Our canvass for the general election is going to better organized than ever.

    • hpd929

      Bob Fenwick is gone…but Lee’s still here!

      • Jerel C. Wilmore

        I don’t understand this comment.

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