RICHMOND — Terry McAuliffe won Petersburg, the hometown of one of his top opponents, former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, who had accused him of neglecting the majority-Black city during his first term.
He won in Richmond, where state Sen. Jennifer McClellan had an advantage due to her strong local following.
He won in Nelson County, a hotbed of opposition to the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline project that earned McAuliffe the ire of activists who pressed unsuccessfully for him to block it during his first term.
He got almost 65% support in Fairfax County, the biggest prize in prosperous Northern Virginia. He did just as well or better in far Southwest Virginia, a region with some of the lowest per-capita incomes in the state.
He won everywhere. Literally.
By winning the most votes in all 133 of Virginia’s cities and counties, McAuliffe’s victory exceeded the most optimistic expectations of his own campaign, even with its cash advantages and built-in name recognition.
“If you’re a McAuliffe staffer, you might just be coming down from the high,” said Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.
Public polls had shown McAuliffe getting around 50% of the vote. Unofficial results showed him exceeding 62%, with almost as many raw votes as Gov. Ralph Northam got in his more competitive 2017 primary contest against former congressman Tom Perriello.
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