Election 2013 Results (Final)

Ballot Races
Virginia Governor
Ken Cuccinelli (R):45.22%
Terry McAuliffe (D):47.74%
Robert Sarvis (L):6.52%
Virginia Lt. Governor
E. W. Jackson (R):44.52%
Ralph Northam (D):55.10%
Virginia Atty. General
Mark Herring (D):49.88%
Mark Obenshain (R):49.87%
Virginia House, 87th
John Bell (D):49.34%
David Ramadan (R):50.26%
Ballot Issues
Loudoun Park Bonds
Loudoun Transp Bonds
Loudoun Fire Bonds
Loudoun School Bonds

Election Live Blog and Ongoing Reports

  • Off on a Tangent’s live election night coverage begins at 6:00 p.m. on November 5, 2013, and will continue until all of our covered races are called, or until 1:00 a.m. if races remain un-called. In that case, coverage will continue as time permits.
  • 11/05/2013, 6:38 p.m.: Our election coverage is now getting underway. Stay tuned!
  • 7:00 p.m.: The polls are closing in Virginia, although anybody in line a 7:00 p.m. will be allowed to cast their ballot, so results will take some time to begin trickling in.
  • 7:11 p.m.: The Virginia State Board of Election says forty precincts have reported results, but the results are still zero. Error!
  • 7:14 p.m.: The results are now beginning to come in. It is still too early for Off on a Tangent to project any winners.
  • 7:25 p.m.: Note that rural counties tend to report early, while more populous counties report later. This is why the Republican candidates often seem to be far ahead in the early reporting.
  • 7:41 p.m.: Results still trickling in at a snail’s pace as late voters finish filing through across the Commonwealth. In the 8-9 p.m. hour, I expect the pace to pick up.
  • 7:49 p.m.: Goochland County goes 100 percent for McAuliffe, according to the SBE results. Error!
  • 8:00 p.m.: Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) has been reelected, according to CNN and others.
  • 8:03 p.m.: The Goochland County results have been fixed.
  • 8:15 p.m.: The general contours of the Virginia races are matching my expectations, but it is still too early to make any official calls.
  • 8:40 p.m.: The Virginia race is likely closer than polls indicated in the lead-up, consistent with my expectations as expressed yesterday.
  • 8:53 p.m.: The Virginia SBE web site is having a ‘’ moment, which is slowing (but not stopping) my reporting.
  • 9:02 p.m.: Bill De Blasio (D) has been elected Mayor of New York City according to CNN and other outlets.
  • 9:10 p.m.: With about 80 percent of precincts reporting, the race for Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia remains too close to call.
  • 9:22 p.m.: I am hoping to be able to start calling the local bond issues soon, but I cannot yet extrapolate a reliable county-wide result in Loudoun County. So far, there are no votes reported from the Ashburn district, and very few from the Broad Run and Sterling districts. The other five districts are well represented, but I can’t make a call until I have a good sample from all across the county.
  • 9:30 p.m.: Ralph Northam (D) has been elected Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, defeating E.W. Jackson (R) — Off on a Tangent call.
  • 9:32 p.m.: The Loudoun County Fire & Rescue Bond Referendum has passed — Off on a Tangent call.
  • 9:38 p.m.: With over 90 percent of precincts reporting, the the race for Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia is still too close to call. At the moment, Cuccinelli (R) and McAuliffe (D) are within one percentage point of one another.
  • 9:54 p.m.: All Loudoun County Bond Referendums have passed — Off on a Tangent call.
  • 9:54 p.m.: CNN has called the governor’s race for McAuliffe (D). Off on a Tangent is not yet prepared to make a call.
  • 10:05 p.m.: Although McAuliffe (D) has likely won, it is too early to make an official call. I believe the networks are jumping the gun here. Too many results are outstanding to make a confident projection.
  • 10:36 p.m.: I’ve done a quick precinct-by-precinct analysis of outstanding Virginia gubernatorial results, and they are roughly evenly split (three ways) between precincts in strongly Republican counties, precincts in strongly Democratic counties, and precincts that are indeterminate. In addition, at least twenty of the precincts showing as reported have recorded no votes . . . which indicates that we are still working with some badly incomplete or erroneous data. With the candidates only about one percentage point apart, and no clear bias for one candidate or the other in the un-reported precincts, it is premature to make a call at this time (despite what you’re seeing on the news).
  • 11:10 p.m.: The SBE errata seems to be corrected now. I am now working on re-analyzing where the race stands with correct results (and new precinct reports). Standby.
  • 11:13 p.m.: Terry McAuliffe (D) has been narrowly elected Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, defeating Ken Cuccinelli (R) — Off on a Tangent call.
  • 11:18 p.m.: I still believe that major media outlets called the Virginia gubernatorial race prematurely, relying on erroneous and incomplete results. At the time the media made the calls, it was still possible for the remaining un-reported precincts to shift or significantly narrow the outcome. Off on a Tangent refrained from making a call until it was certain that the remaining precincts (and reporting irregularities) would not be enough to change the outcome.
  • 11:27 p.m.: There are still two races left to call in Off on a Tangent’s election night coverage. With over 99 percent of Virginia precincts reporting, Mark Herring (D) and Mark Obenshain (R) are separated by only half of one percent in the attorney general race. Obenshain is maintaining a razor-slim lead. With 96 percent of 87th District precincts reporting, John Bell (D) and David Ramadan (R) are also within one percent of each other, currently separated by less than two hundred votes. Ramadan is also hanging on to a razor-thin lead. Both races remain too close to call.
  • 11/06/2013, 12:03 a.m.: Mark Obenshain (R) has been elected by a razor-thin margin to be the next Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia, defeating Mark Herring (D). This results in a split ticket, with Democratic candidates elected governor and lieutenant governor, and a Republican as attorney general — Off on a Tangent call.
  • 12:15 a.m.: David Ramadan (R) has been reelected by a razor-thin margin to the 87th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, defeating John Bell (D) — Off on a Tangent call.
  • 12:17 a.m.: Off on a Tangent has now made two calls ahead of the local (and national) media, calling the attorney general and 87th District delegate race. Although both races are extremely close, and the exact margins may change, there are not enough remaining ballots outstanding to change the outcomes.
  • 12:20 a.m.: All of the Off on a Tangent followed races have been called, so I am going to sign-off from our live coverage. I will continue to update the numbers as time permits in the coming days until the percentages are finalized. Thank you all for tuning in!
  • 9:10 a.m.: I have to rescind my call in the Virginia attorney general race (the first time I have had to rescind a call since I started live election coverage in 2004). Last night, Obenshain’s (R) lead over Herring (D) was large enough that it was impossible for Herring to make up the difference from the outstanding votes/precincts. Even if the outstanding precincts had gone overwhelmingly for Herring, which was unlikely since more than half of them were in rural counties that lean strongly Republican, it would not have been enough. Based on the SBE numbers as they stood last night, I was completely confident in my call. This morning, however, the Virginia State Board of Elections is reporting Herring with a slight lead. It appears that the SBE reported wildly inaccurate numbers at some point, although it is unclear whether the numbers last night were wrong, or the numbers this morning are. Pending some clarity, I am moving the race back to ‘too close to call.’
  • 12:00 p.m.: Obenshain (R) has pulled into a very slim lead over Herring (D) again, and the SBE is now reporting that 100 percent of precincts have reported results. Although I now suspect my original call was correct, I am holding-off on making the call as I no longer trust the accuracy of the SBE results.
  • 10:40 p.m.: Once again, we can project that Mark Obenshain (R) has been elected Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia, defeating Mark Herring (D) by a razor-thin margin. Although provisional ballots remain to be adjudicated and counted, it is virtually impossible that they will change the outcome (except, perhaps, through fraud). I apologize for the back-and-forth on this race, which was driven by erroneous results data posted earlier today by the State Board of Elections — Off on a Tangent call.
  • 11/07/2013, 12:23 p.m.: Here’s a partial rationale for my Obenshain call, since some may wonder why I’m out ahead of the media on this one. Let’s assume that each county in Virginia has a number of provisional ballots equal to 0.19 percent of the vote (which is an over-estimate; the real number is likely more like 0.16 or 0.17 percent). And let’s assume that they are all accepted by county election officials (which won’t happen, as there are specific conditions for accepting and rejecting provisional ballots). And let’s assume that the provisional ballots in each county go for Herring by a whopping 10 percent greater margin than the rest of the ballots in that particular county did (also a huge over-estimate in Herring’s favor). Even with all of that, Obenshain still leads by about 275 votes. Excluding the slim possibilities of major counting errors, or election fraud during the recount(s), there’s no way for Herring to pull this out.
  • 11/11/2013, 11:45 a.m.: The attorney general’s race is turning out to be a real mess. When I made the call for Obenshain (R) (the second time), there were rumors that Fairfax County (which went overwhelmingly for Herring [D]) had not yet counted ‘thousands’ of votes from one or more precincts. County officials categorically denied these rumors, which was a partial basis for my assumption that the totals would not change significantly and that provisional ballots (and small counting errors) were the only variables still in play. Then, on Friday, Fairfax County officials ‘found’ over 3,000 absentee ballots that had not been counted properly . . . unsurprisingly from the most Democratic-leaning part of the county. Some things never change. Re-running my analysis with the now more-narrow results shows a possibility that provisional ballots will turn the race, though it is still unlikely. I am not rescinding my call at this time, but I am continuing to watch the developments. I also call on Fairfax County to stop with the shenanigans, count the votes properly, and report the votes properly.
  • 11/13/2013, 1:20 p.m.: Herring (D) has declared himself the victor in the race for attorney general. The State Board of Elections now shows him with a 164 vote lead over Obenshain (R). Local canvassing is complete, but the SBE still needs to do their own review, and we still have a recount ahead of us. Considering how bizarre and inaccurate the numbers have been coming out of Fairfax County and Richmond City (both strong Democratic Party enclaves), I’m moving the race back to ‘too close to call’ . . . again. I am fearful that we might end up with a ‘stolen election’ situation akin to that in the Washington gubernatorial election of 2004.
  • 11/18/2013, 5:07 p.m.: Given that we will not have any progress in the attorney general race for many weeks, I am ending our official Off on a Tangent ongoing coverage. Occasional updates will continue on our main site.
  • 12/18/2013, 4:45 p.m.: Obenshain (R) has conceded defeat following a recount that increased Herring’s (D) official margin to over eight hundred votes. Off on a Tangent no longer has confidence in the integrity of the official results due a number of irregularities, especially in Fairfax County where thousands of ballots appear to have been handled or processed incorrectly. We cannot project with any confidence that Herring actually won, let alone by what margin, although it is a moot point following Obenshain’s concession.
  • This concludes Off on a Tangent’s 2013 election coverage.

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.