ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A Republican friend of mine is a suburban businessman who dutifully votes in every election, always straight party. His best friend is a rabbi, a respected member of the community and a progressive liberal.
On Tuesday the rabbi stood in line to vote for a new governor at 6:50 a.m. in the pouring rain. The Republican? He made his way to the polls eventually, five minutes before they closed.
While both Virginians cast votes (and didn’t want their names used in this article), the rabbi’s enthusiasm represents the problem Republicans are facing right now. Many Democrats are energized to vote against Donald Trump — and on the first Election Day since the president was inaugurated, they voted in droves.
Despite all the polls that showed the two candidates for Virginia governor were neck and neck, Ralph Northam clobbered his Republican opponent Ed Gillespie by 300,000 votes. Northam also won 600,000 more votes than his party’s gubernatorial candidate in 2009.