It was a gamble, but polling suggested it might be working.
It's no surprise that Ralph Northam defeated Ed Gillespie. Final polls had Northam in a neck-and-neck race, after Gillespie appeared to close a substantial gap by adopting Donald Trump's style and rhetoric for his own ends. The 26-year-old recent graduate is a web designer.
In Virginia, Northam's victory is another sign of the state's shift toward a more liberal electorate. The electors were meant to be a deliberative body of intelligent, well-informed men who would be immune to corruption. And Democrats captuted an Atlanta-based state Senate district long held by a Republican, breaking the GOP super-majority in the chamber.
Maine will now join more than 30 other states with the expansion after close to 60% voted in favor.
Gillespie, who once pushed the GOP hard to embrace a big-tent philosophy, went hard the other direction in this election - running dark Trump-like ads accusing Northam of being soft on gangs and tying him to a child pornographer in a closing ad. Trump never campaigned for Gillespie in the state but tweeted repeatedly to tout his campaign and recorded a last-minute robocall for Gillespie.
What happened after those primaries, though, was anyone's guess. "The economy is good".
"Congratulations to Governor-elect Northam, Lieutenant Governor-elect Fairfax, and Attorney General-elect Herring, who will all be strong leaders for progressive values in Virginia". In fact, Gillespie cited the identical street gang, MS-13, that Trump is fond of invoking.
People exercising their democratic rights extended not just to picking representatives but to voting directly on measures that impact their lives.
We've seen this before. When that happened, Trump deleted some of his tweets of endorsement. Apparently, to no avail.
Trump lent limited pre-election support to Gillespie with robocalls and tweets.
"No one saw this coming", he said. Maine's Republican governor had vetoed five attempts to expand the program. So far, 10 states and the District of Columbia have joined, representing 165 electoral votes. Trump is deeply unpopular, tangled by scandal and investigation. Embrace his endorsement and his politics, and see a loss and words of criticism. But even deep-red states would benefit from the infusion of attention and cash from campaigns seeking to rustle up every vote they can find. Trump's toxic agenda continues to harm our communities nationwide, but today we showed that it can be stopped.
With Christie's approval at 15 percent in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, Guadagno took to telling voters that she wasn't so closely in step with him.
"It was kind of an anti-Trump vote", Mallory said. This was not a competitive race four weeks ago. Gone was the staid, traditional Republican who nearly upset Mark Warner in 2014 through careful appeal to conservative suburbanites. And now he watched the "Trump-Stewart talking points" lead nowhere. That's a flawed theory.
Andrea Jenkins became the first openly transgender person of color to be elected to office in the United States by winning a city council seat in Minneapolis.
What's more, Trump made his feelings clear.
Democrats were gleeful at Northam's victory party. Democrats said they had record levels of enthusiasm heading into the race in Virginia, a swing-state and the only Southern state that Trump lost last year. Pam Northam worked as an educator for years before becoming an education advocate and speaking on behalf of children and STEAM career options. Instead, he decided to try to spin the loss to his advantage. "Thank you, President Trump", Connolly said.
"There will be a lot of Republicans who are concerned" about how such a development might translate into losses in 2018's congressional mid-term elections, McDonald said.