Doug Thompson


Mark Herring says Virginia voters have spoken: Have they?

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Recounts in close elections can sometimes change what the voters say.

Democrat Mark Herring is claiming victory in the seesaw race for Virginia Attorney General that currently gives him a 163-vote margin over Republican Mark Obenshain after local officials “finalized” their numbers and turned in the results before the deadline for doing so at midnight Tuesday.

Previously uncounted returns from Fairfax County increased Herring’s slight lead from 117 to 163.  Obenshain picked up 103 votes.

The Virginia State Board of Elections now has until Nov. 25 to review everything and sign off on the final numbers, which are not expected to change by any significant margin and should remain pretty much the same.

If Herring’s 163-vote margin stands or any changes do not give Obenshain enough votes for finish ahead,  the Democrat will be declared the winner but Obenshain can demand a recount because the margin of victory would be less than one percent of the vote.

The last time Virginians faced a recount in a statewide race was 2005 when Creigh Deeds came up 323 votes short of Bob McDonnell in the election for attorney general.  The recount, however, didn’t help Deeds.  McDonnell, now governor, picked up 37 votes and won by 360 votes.  Deeds went on to lose again to McDonnell in the 2009 governors’s race — by a larger margin where a recount was neither requested or necessary.

Herring is saying “the voters of Virginia have spoken.”

Perhaps, but recounts in close elections can sometimes change what the voters say.

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4 Responses to Mark Herring says Virginia voters have spoken: Have they?

  1. Rico November 13, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Thanks to the folks in Northern Virginia, who rely on big government for their livelihoods and vote for expansive government at any chance, Virginia is going to the dogs. What a shame. Taxes are going up, wages are staying the same, quality of living is going down. I’m considering other options at this point.

  2. Danny Adams November 13, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Like most everywhere in the state, a lot of the red counties in Virginia, which made up most of the state, had unimpressive voter turnouts. If all the eligible voters in those counties had turned out it seems likely that Northern Virginia’s numbers wouldn’t have put the Democrats over the top. Instead the Republicans’ leads in those counties was often only in the hundreds or less than two thousand. Here in Franklin County, one of the largest of the low density population areas, Cuccinelli’s landslide 61% win only translated to a 5,000 vote lead. So if Republicans are so het up about NoVA, as they have been this past week, maybe they ought to convince their fellow Republicans to do something about it next time instead of sour-graping after every Democratic win.

  3. Will Norton November 14, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I really have a hard time with the Chicken Little conservatives who think major policy changes will happen with Democrats ruling the executive branch in Virginia. The legislature is overwhelmingly Republican and will put a damper on any outside the mainstream legislation. I am a big fan of divided governmnet because it slows down the overreaching by both sides. Obenshain brought up legislation to criminalize the failure to report miscarriages to the authorities within 24 hours. I know conservatives try to spin this as simply a poorly worded bill, but pleading incompetence doesn’t really make me better about the possibility of him as Attorney General. I hope Herring manages to hold on to his lead.

  4. Anne Armistead November 15, 2013 at 10:01 am

    It’s amazing how a small minority actually think they are a majority thanks to gerrymandered districting and the bias of corporate media. Folks really need to learn how to research and think for themselves!