Sunday, November 10, 2013

Virginia Attorney General Barn Burner & hilarious hashtags

Lost a bit in the brouhaha over the narrow victory for Terry McAuliffe in Tuesday's Virginia gubernatorial election is the incredibly close race in the state's attorney general race -- an office the Democrats haven't controlled in several decades.

Republican Mark Obenshain ran out to a lead of 60,000 votes early on Democrat Mark Herring then watched the lead dwindle to nearly nothing as the later-reporting Democratic areas of northern Virginia and urban Virginia weighed in.

Currently, Obenshain leads Herring by 55 votes (out of more than 2.2 million cast) according to the Virgina State Board of Elections. However, the Cook Political Report's Dave Wasserman has identified several discrepancies in Richmond precinct canvassing totals that will flip that margin in favor of Herring by 82 votes. Seriously, this guy knows more about ballot-counting jujitsu than... well, he knows a lot. You should follow him.

All absentee ballots are in. Most provisional ballots have been reported, except in a few small rural counties (which will favor Obenshain) and 494 in Fairfax, (which will likely favor Herring). The question is how many of those ballots will actually count, considering a recent rule clarification by the state elections board that will make it somewhat more difficult for voters to get their ballots to count.

This one is headed for a recount, folks, as a single tallying error could easily flip the race (and several already have).

If nothing else, the race has given us one of the most unintentionally funny Twitter hashtags in a long time. Considering the obsessive focus of the current Virginia AG, Ken Cuccinelli, on reproductive issues, however, the #VAAG tag seems quite fitting.

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