Virginia gubernatorial election, 2017 Article

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Virginia gubernatorial election, 2017

←  2013 November 7, 2017 2021 →
Turnout47.6% (of registered voters) [1]
  Governor Ralph Northam Gives Inaugural Address (39348612584) (cropped).jpg Ed Gillespie by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Nominee Ralph Northam Ed Gillespie
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 1,409,175 1,175,731
Percentage 53.9% 45.0%

Virginia gubernatorial election results by county 2017.svg
Virginia gubernatorial election results map.
Blue denotes counties or independent cities won by Northam.
Red denotes those won by Gillespie.

Governor before election

Terry McAuliffe
Democratic

Elected Governor

Ralph Northam
Democratic

The Virginia gubernatorial election of 2017 was held on November 7, 2017. Incumbent Governor Terry McAuliffe of the Democratic Party was not eligible to run for reelection due to term limits established by the Virginia Constitution.

Primary elections took place on June 13, 2017. Virginia utilizes an open primary, in which registered voters are allowed to vote in either party's primary election. [2] The Democratic Party nominated Ralph Northam and the Republican Party nominated Ed Gillespie. The Libertarian Party nominated Clifford Hyra by convention on May 6, 2017. [3]

In the general election on November 7, 2017, Democratic nominee Ralph Northam defeated Republican nominee Ed Gillespie, winning by the largest margin for a Democrat since 1985. Northam became the 73rd governor of Virginia, and assumed office on January 13, 2018. [4] The election had the highest voter turnout percentage in a Virginia gubernatorial election in twenty years with 47% of the state's constituency casting their ballot. [1]

Democratic primary

Declared

Declined

Endorsements

Tom Perriello
Federal elected officials
Local elected officials
Individuals
Organizations
Newspapers

Polling

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Ralph
Northam
Tom
Perriello
Other Undecided
Change Research June 8–10, 2017 919 ± 3.1% 46% 54%
Hampton University June 1–6, 2017 750 ± 4.2% 21% 29% 50%
HaystaqDNA (D-Perriello) June 1–6, 2017 455 36% 37% 29%
Garin-Hart-Yang (D-Northam) May 15–17, 2017 601 ± 4.0% 50% 33% 17%
Washington Post-Schar School May 9–14, 2017 351 ± 6.0% 38% 40% 18%
Public Policy Polling (D) May 9–10, 2017 745 ± 3.6% 45% 35% 21%
Public Policy Polling (D) April 13–14, 2017 586 ± 4.1% 42% 28% 30%
Quinnipiac University April 6–10, 2017 483 ± 4.5% 20% 25% 1% 51%
Christopher Newport University March 16–26, 2017 391 ± 5.4% 26% 26% 3% 45%
Quinnipiac University February 10–15, 2017 462 ± 4.6% 19% 19% 3% 61%
Christopher Newport University January 15–28, 2017 464 ± 4.8% 15% 26% 1% 58%

Results

Results by county:
  Ralph Northam
  Tom Perriello
Democratic primary results [34]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ralph Northam 303,846 55.92%
Democratic Tom Perriello 239,505 44.08%
Total votes 543,351 100.00%

Republican primary

Declared

Failed to qualify

  • Emmanuel Peter, bishop [38]

Withdrawn

Declined

Endorsements

Corey Stewart
National figures
Military figures
  • LTC Louis E Dorfman III, Purple Heart recipient [59]
State figures
Organizations
Frank Wagner
Newspapers
Notable people
  • Elwood Sanders, attorney, contributor to Virginia Right! [64]
  • John Watkins, former State Senator [65]

Polling

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Ed
Gillespie
Corey
Stewart
Frank
Wagner
Rob
Wittman
Other Undecided
Change Research June 8–10, 2017 919 ± 3.1% 41% 42% 16%
Washington Post-Schar School May 9–14, 2017 264 ± 7.0% 38% 18% 15% 24%
Quinnipiac University April 6–10, 2017 435 ± 4.7% 28% 12% 7% 2% 51%
Christopher Newport University March 16–26, 2017 349 ± 5.7% 38% 11% 10% 3% 38%
Quinnipiac University February 10–15, 2017 419 ± 4.8% 24% 7% 2% 6% 59%
Christopher Newport University January 15–28, 2017 418 ± 5.0% 33% 7% 9% 3% 48%
Quinnipiac University December 6–11, 2016 451 ± 4.6% 24% 4% 4% 10% 57%
Public Opinion Strategies September 18–21, 2016 800 ± 3.5% 38% 5% 4% 12% 40%
Public Policy Polling (D) June 13–15, 2016 1,032 ± 3.1% 29% 13% 16% 41%

Results

Results by county:
  Ed Gillespie
  Corey Stewart
Republican primary results [34]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ed Gillespie 160,100 43.7%
Republican Corey Stewart 155,780 42.5%
Republican Frank Wagner 50,394 13.8%
Total votes 366,274 100.0%

Libertarian convention

Candidates

Nominee

Cliff Hyra, the Libertarian nominee
  • Cliff Hyra, attorney [66]

Withdrawn

  • Jason Carrier

General election

The race had been closely watched by national observers. For Republicans, National Review wrote that Gillespie's campaign was an important example of whether and how mainstream Republican politics can produce victories in a purple state in the "era of Trumpism" and said that the outcome would affect Republican strategies in future races. [67] Democrats have stated a view that the election is a test of whether the party can find its way after losing the 2016 presidential election and several subsequent special elections. [68] NBC News reported that Northam was the "hand-picked" choice of outgoing Governor Terry McAuliffe, and that McAuliffe's legacy and potential 2020 presidential aspirations depended on Northam winning the election.[ citation needed]

Debates

After the primaries, Gillespie challenged Northam to ten debates, but only three were held. [69] The first debate was hosted by the Virginia Bar Association on July 22 in Hot Springs, Virginia. [70] The second was held on September 19, hosted by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce in Tysons Corner, Virginia, and televised statewide by NBC-affiliated TV stations. [71] The third and final debate was held on October 9 at University of Virginia's College at Wise in Wise, Virginia. [72]

Endorsements

Ed Gillespie (R)
Federal officials
U.S. cabinet and U.S. cabinet-level officials
U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
U.S. Governors
Statewide politicians
Virginia State Senators
Virginia State Delegates
Local officeholders
Party officials and individuals
Organizations
Newspapers
Cliff Hyra (L)
Organizations
Notable people
Ralph Northam (D)
Federal officials
U.S. cabinet and U.S. cabinet-level officials
U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
U.S. Governors
Statewide officeholders
Virginia State Senators
Virginia State Delegates
Local officeholders
Party officials and individuals
Organizations
Newspapers

Polling

Polls for the general election varied significantly, ranging from a 17-point lead for Ralph Northam on one end to an 8-point lead for Ed Gillespie on the other, with most polls showing the race within or close to the margin of error. Politico reported that the wide variation in polling numbers was likely due to differences in methodology among the polls. [197] Polls tightened significantly in the last two weeks of the campaign with several showing the race tied or within the margin of error. [198] [199] [200]

Polls

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Ralph
Northam (D)
Ed
Gillespie (R)
Cliff
Hyra (L)
Other Undecided
FOX News November 2–5, 2017 1,239 LV ± 2.5% 48% 43% 3% 1% 7%
1,450 RV 45% 41% 3% 1% 9%
The Polling Company (R) November 2–5, 2017 800 ± 3.5% 45% 44% 3% 4%
47% 46% 4%
Monmouth University November 2–5, 2017 713 ± 3.7% 47% 45% 3% 1% 5%
IMGE Insights (R) November 1–5, 2017 800 ± 3.5% 48% 47%
Change Research November 1–5, 2017 3,648 ± 2.8% 52% 46% 2% 0%
Quinnipiac University October 30 – November 5, 2017 1,056 ± 3.9% 51% 42% 3% 4%
Emerson College November 2–4, 2017 810 ± 3.4% 49% 46% 1% 4%
Christopher Newport University October 29 – November 4, 2017 839 ± 3.5% 51% 45% 2% 2%
Rasmussen Reports October 31 – November 3, 2017 875 ± 3.5% 45% 45% 2% 2% 6%
Gravis Marketing October 30 – November 3, 2017 1,143 ± 2.9% 48% 43% 3% 6%
0ptimus (R) November 1–2, 2017 1,600 ± 2.4% 37% 40% 23%
Trafalgar Group (R) October 31 – November 2, 2017 1,200 ± 3.3% 49% 48% 1% 2%
The Polling Company (R) October 30 – November 2, 2017 800 ± 3.5% 43% 45% 2% 7%
43% 46% 7%
Upshot/Siena College October 29 – November 2, 2017 985 ± 3.0% 43% 40% 2% 14%
Roanoke College October 29 – November 2, 2017 781 ± 3.5% 47% 47% 3% 3%
Suffolk University October 30 – November 1, 2017 500 ± 4.4% 47% 43% 2% 6%
Washington Post/Schar School October 26–29, 2017 921 LV ± 4.0% 49% 44% 4% 3%
1,000 RV ± 3.5% 46% 39% 5% 5%
Quinnipiac University October 25–29, 2017 916 ± 4.2% 53% 36% 3% 7%
The Polling Company (R) October 24–26, 2017 600 LV ± 4.0% 44% 44% 3% 7%
October 23–26, 2017 800 LV ± 3.5% 43% 45% 9%
Christopher Newport University October 20–25, 2017 812 ± 3.8% 50% 43% 3% 4%
Plural Vote October 15–25, 2017 397 ± 4.9% 49% 46% 5%
Hampton University October 18–22, 2017 750 ± 4.2% 33% 41% 27%
FOX News October 15–17, 2017 697 LV ± 3.5% 49% 42% 1% 2% 5%
815 RV ± 3.0% 45% 42% 2% 2% 6%
Quinnipiac University October 12–17, 2017 1,088 ± 3.7% 53% 39% 2% 5%
Monmouth University October 12–16, 2017 408 ± 4.9% 47% 48% 3% 3%
Christopher Newport University October 9–13, 2017 642 ± 4.2% 48% 44% 3% 5%
Roanoke College October 8–13, 2017 607 ± 4.0% 50% 44% 2% 4%
Emerson College October 5–7, 2017 318 ± 5.5% 49% 44% 2% 5%
Christopher Newport University October 2–6, 2017 928 ± 4.3% 49% 42% 3% 6%
Washington Post/Schar School September 28 – October 2, 2017 720 LV ± 4.5% 53% 40% 4% 2%
1,000 RV ± 3.5% 48% 38% 5% 5%
Victoria Research (D) September 24–28, 2017 631 ± 4.2% 46% 44% 3%
Monmouth University September 21–25, 2017 499 ± 4.4% 49% 44% 2% <1% 4%
Public Policy Polling September 21–23, 2017 849 ± 3.8% 43% 40% 4% 13%
Roanoke College September 16–23, 2017 596 ± 4.0% 47% 43% 5% 5%
Christopher Newport University September 12–22, 2017 776 ± 3.7% 47% 41% 4% 8%
FOX News September 17–18, 2017 500 LV ± 4.5% 42% 41% 2% 2% 12%
507 RV ± 4.0% 42% 38% 2% 2% 13%
Quinnipiac University September 14–18, 2017 850 ± 4.2% 51% 41% 3% 5%
IMGE Insights (R) September 12–18, 2017 1,000 ± 3.8% 45% 41% 4% 10%
Suffolk University September 13–17, 2017 500 ± 4.4% 42% 42% 3% 12%
Mason-Dixon September 10–15, 2017 625 ± 4% 44% 43% 2% 11%
University of Mary Washington September 5–12, 2017 562 LV ± 5.2% 44% 39% 3% 1% 11%
867 RV ± 4.1% 40% 35% 5% 16%
Roanoke College August 12–19, 2017 599 ± 4.0% 43% 36% 4% 17%
Quinnipiac University August 3–8, 2017 1,082 ± 3.8% 44% 38% 4% 1% 11%
Virginia Commonwealth University July 17–25, 2017 538 LV ± 5.1% 42% 37% 6% 13%
707 RV ± 4.5% 39% 33% 8% 16%
Monmouth University July 20–23, 2017 502 ± 4.4% 44% 44% 3% <1% 9%
Quinnipiac University June 15–20, 2017 1,145 ± 3.8% 47% 39% 2% 9%
Harper Polling June 14–16, 2017 500 ± 4.4% 46% 46% 8%
Public Opinion Strategies (R) June 6–8, 2017 600 ± 4.0% 45% 46% 9%
Washington Post/Schar School May 9–14, 2017 1,602 ± 3.0% 49% 38% 9%
Quinnipiac University April 6–10, 2017 1,115 ± 2.9% 44% 33% 1% 19%
Christopher Newport University March 16–26, 2017 831 ± 3.7% 39% 40% 2% 19%
Gravis Marketing March 14–19, 2017 3,097 ± 1.6% 40% 42% 18%
Quinnipiac University February 10–15, 2017 989 ± 3.1% 41% 35% 3% 22%
Mason-Dixon January 5–10, 2017 625 ± 4.0% 41% 44% 15%
Public Opinion Strategies (R) December 11–13, 2016 500 ± 4.4% 43% 38% 17%
Quinnipiac University December 6–11, 2016 1,098 ± 3.0% 38% 34% 1% 26%
University of Mary Washington September 6–12, 2016 685 LV ± 4.4% 36% 43% 1% 16%
852 RV ± 3.9% 36% 41% 1% 18%
Public Policy Polling September 9–11, 2016 878 ± 3.3% 37% 37% 26%
Public Policy Polling June 13–15, 2016 1,032 ± 3.1% 36% 37% 28%
Gravis Marketing May 24, 2016 1,728 ± 2.0% 38% 40% 22%
University of Mary Washington November 4–9, 2015 656 LV ± 4.3% 32% 44% 1% 16%
814 RV ± 3.9% 33% 40% 1% 18%
Public Policy Polling July 13–15, 2015 1,170 ± 2.9% 30% 40% 32%

Fundraising

Campaign finance reports as of November 30, 2017
Candidate Amount raised
Ralph Northam $36,708,929
Ed Gillespie $29,344,226
Cliff Hyra $77,370
Source: Virginia Public Access Project [201]

Virginia election laws allow for unlimited campaign contributions in state and local elections.

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Northam's top five donors are the Democratic Governors Association's super PAC DGA Action; Michael Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety group; the Virginia League of Conservation Voters; Michael D. Bills; and the Laborers' International Union of North America. [202]

Gillespie's top five donors are the Republican Governors Association; A Stronger Virginia; Let's Grow Virginia; Marlene Ricketts; and Dwight Schar. [203]

Hyra's top five donors are Michael Chastain; Hyra himself; the Libertarian Party of Virginia; Paradise Indian Restaurant; and nine donors who have given the same amount. [204]

Results

Even though polls in the weeks before the election showed a highly competitive race, some even showing Gillespie ahead, Northam won by a larger margin than expected, about nine percent, and more than 200,000 votes. Gillespie was unable to come back from the large margins in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and Virginia Beach, and he conceded to Northam at 8:56 PM EST. [205]

Virginia gubernatorial election, 2017 [206]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Ralph Northam 1,409,175 53.90% +6.15%
Republican Ed Gillespie 1,175,731 44.97% −0.26%
Libertarian Cliff Hyra 27,987 1.07% −5.45%
Write-ins 1,389 0.05% −0.44%
Majority 233,444 8.93% +6.41%
Turnout 2,614,282
Democratic hold Swing

See also

References

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External links

Campaign websites (archived)