Though polls showed Terry McAuliffe’s lead against his Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli was shrinking in the waning days of the race, McAuliffe nonetheless eked out a win in Virginia’s bloody gubernatorial election.
McAuliffe vowed to lead Virginia as a “model of bipartisan cooperation,” and stressed throughout his victory speech tonight the necessity of reaching across the aisle and governing pragmatically. He drew a contrast between Washington’s infighting and stalemates and Virginia’s history of pragmatism in the governorships of Republicans and Democrats alike.
The former DNC fundraiser also thanked Republicans who crossed party lines to vote for him, calling them “powerful messengers for our mainstream campaign,” and urged the audience on multiple occasions to give a round of applause to his Republican supporters.
McAuliffe won by a much smaller margin than expected, despite his outspending Cuccinelli by about $15 milllion; in apparent contrast to McAuliffe’s conciliatory rhetoric, the final weeks of the race were marked by a wave of especially negative attack ads.