Election 2021 Results (Final)

Ballot Races
Virginia Governor
Princess Blanding (LP):0.70%
Terry McAuliffe (D):48.64%
Glenn Youngkin (R):50.57%
Virginia Lt. Governor
Hala Ayala (D):49.18%
Winsome Sears (R):50.71%
Virginia Atty. General
Mark Herring (D):49.55%
Jason Miyares (R):50.36%
Virginia House, 87th
Greg Moulthrop (R):41.44%
Suhas Subramanyam (D):58.42%
Ballot Issues
Loudoun School Bonds
Loudoun Safety Bonds
Loudoun Transp. Bonds
  • November 2, 2021, 6:30 p.m.: Off on a Tangent live election coverage begins!
    • Polls in Virginia are scheduled to close at 7:00 p.m. Anybody already in line at that time is permitted to vote.
    • I’m providing live returns in each election I am following. I call winners using a proprietary method that incorporates actual published results, exit polling data, media calls, and more.
    • Live coverage continues until all of the races I’m following are called, or 1:00 a.m. ET, with additional updates in the following days (weeks?) as time permits.
  • 7:03 p.m.: The polls will be starting to close now. Anybody in line at 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote.
  • 7:08 p.m.: Looks like no major media outlets called the Virginia governor’s race as the polls closed, which is a good indication that it’s not a blowout for either side. No surprise; we weren’t expecting it to be. So we probably won’t have definitive results for a while. Official returns usually start rolling in to the state elections website after an hour or two.
  • 7:15 p.m.: I spoke too soon. Some returns are already being entered into the state’s system. They’ll be starting to show up in my results table very soon.
  • 7:36 p.m.: The exit polls are looking good for Glenn Youngkin (R). Most notably, they’re showing him several points ahead with suburban voters. We’ll see if that holds up; exit poll accuracy is hard to gauge.
  • 7:59 p.m.: Tangent call: the Loudoun County public safety bond referendum has passed.
  • 8:03 p.m.: Tangent call: the Loudoun County transportation bond referendum has passed.
  • 8:10 p.m.: Princess Blanding (Liberation), a third-party candidate in the Virginia gubernatorial race, is pulling less than 0.7% of the vote so far. In my pre-election analysis I pointed out that she was much more likely to pull from former Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) than from Youngkin (R), and the numbers seem to back this up—Youngkin is slightly outperforming the other Republicans in the statewide races. But, since Blanding is pulling such a small percentage of votes, it would have to be really close for that to make any difference.
  • 8:15 p.m.: Nathaniel Rakich, a senior elections analyst at FiveThirtyEight, says: “Democrats’ majority [in the Virginia House of Delegates] appears to be in danger.” Republicans are leading in numerous districts currently held by Democrats.
  • 8:17 p.m.: Tangent call: the Loudoun County school projects bond referendum has passed.
  • 8:32 p.m.: I’m not sure what this means (if anything), but as of right now the percentage of write-in votes for governor and attorney general are both running around 0.7%, but in the lieutenant governor race they’re running around 2.3%. I have no idea why the rate of write-ins would be more than three times higher in the lieutenant governor race.
  • 8:39 p.m.: Decision Desk HQ, an independent election analysis outlet, has called the Virginia gubernatorial race for Youngkin. Off on a Tangent is not yet prepared to make a call. This is the first major media call that I’m aware of in the Virginia race.
  • 8:53 p.m.: The weird write-in percentages I mentioned were probably bad data in the Virginia Department of Elections system, and it seems to have been corrected. The write-in numbers nose-dived with the last updates; they are now below 0.1% for each of the three statewide offices and they are pretty close to each other.
  • 9:20 p.m.: Tangent call: Delegate Suhas Subramanyam (D-VA 87th) has won reelection to the Virginia House of Delegates.
  • 9:55 p.m.: Youngkin continues to hold on to a lead of about seven percentage points, and it has been fairly stable for a while. But lots of absentee and early votes—which tend Democratic—have not yet been counted, and the unreported election-day precincts are mostly in Democratic leaning areas. It is almost certain that the vote spread will narrow. That is why I am not yet comfortable calling the race; it looks good for Youngkin but it is not a sure bet.
  • 10:32 p.m.: The statewide races are narrowing, as expected, as more of the absentee precincts, early voting precincts, and urban precincts are added into the mix. I am not yet able to make a call in any of the statewide races.
  • 10:54 p.m.: Fairfax County is the only jurisdiction that still has a large number of unreported election-day precincts—79 as of this writing. No other jurisdiction has more than 5. Fairfax County does have more precincts than any other jurisdiction in the state, but even breaking it down by percentage Fairfax is way behind everybody else. (Many jurisdictions do still have unreported central absentee and early-vote precincts.)
  • 11:05 p.m.: Fairfax County is submitting a lot of those outstanding precincts, finally. They’re down to about 50 unreported now. Progress.
  • 11:23 p.m.: CNalysis, an independent analysis website focused on state legislative races, has called all of the Virginia House of Delegates races and projects that it will be a 50/50 tie between Democrats and Republicans—a net gain of five seats for the Republicans. There is no tiebreaker in the house, so the parties would need to work out some kind of agreement on how to organize, and no legislation would be able to pass on a party-line vote.
  • November 3, 2021, 12:05 a.m.: In New Jersey, the only other state having a gubernatorial election this year, the race is surprisingly close. It was generally expected to be a cakewalk for incumbent Governor Philip Murphy (D), but former General Assembly Member Jack Ciattarelli (R-NJ 16th) currently has a very narrow lead.
  • 12:23 a.m.: Youngkin is holding his lead, although it has narrowed significantly as Fairfax County gets its election-day precincts in and many localities submit their absentee and early-voting numbers. About 95% of the expected votes are in and it seems increasingly likely that the Republican candidates will sweep the three statewide offices, but it’s not solid enough to make a call. And I’m not sure if it will be before I sign off at 1:00 a.m.
  • 12:38 a.m.: Tangent call: Glenn Youngkin (R) has been elected Governor of Virginia.
  • 1:08 a.m.: Live reporting here on Off on a Tangent will be wrapping up for the night. Coverage will continue (as time permits) tomorrow until all remaining races are called. A few notes before I sign off:
    • It is very likely that the Republican candidates will win the remaining two statewide offices: former Delegate Winsome Sears (R-VA 90th) for lieutenant governor and Delegate Jason Miyares (R-VA 82nd) for attorney general. Because both races are running closer than the governor’s race, the numbers don’t quite support a formal call yet. I will reevaluate in the morning.
    • The most likely outcome for the Virginia House of Delegates is a 50/50 tie, which would be a net gain of five seats for the Republicans. However it is still possible that it shifts slightly one way or the other.
    • All-in-all, it has been a good night for Virginia Republicans. See you tomorrow!
  • 9:48 a.m.: Tangent call: Former Delegate Winsome Sears (R-VA 90th) has been elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.
  • 9:56 a.m.: The Republicans won an additional seat in the Virginia House of Delegates from what was reported last night, so it now looks like they will take a 51/49 majority.
  • 12:41 p.m.: Some talk about precincts and reporting:
    • For 2021, there have been changes to how absentee and early votes are reported in Virginia. Each of Virginia’s 133 localities (95 counties and 38 cities) now have three Central Absentee Precincts (CAP):
      • Absentee (AB): For absentee ballots received on or before election day
      • Early-Voting (EV): For early in-person votes
      • Post-Election (PE): For absentee ballots received after election day but before the deadline
    • The absentee and early-voting precincts can be reported on election day; most localities have already reported them.
    • Many of the post-election precincts will take more time. Absentee ballots postmarked on or before election day will be counted if they are received before noon on the Friday following the election.
    • Excluding post-election precincts, there are only three localities with unreported precincts:
      • Accomack County (Tangier Precinct)
      • Covington City (Early-Voting CAP)
      • New Kent County (Absentee CAP)
  • 2:26 p.m.: Tangent call: Delegate Jason Miyares (R-VA 82nd) has been elected Attorney General of Virginia.
  • 3:07 p.m.: Since all of the Tangent followed races have been called, live coverage will be concluding now. But the vote counts will continue to update and I’ll add to this post as things happen until the final results are certified.
    • My last call—Miyares for state attorney general—is ahead of most of the press. But Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) would have to win well over 70% of the remaining ballots to win. That would be practically impossible except through significant counting errors or fraud.
    • The Virginia House of Delegates still looks like it’s going to settle at a 51/49 majority for the Republican Party, but there remains a small chance of that changing.
    • The Virginia State Board of Elections will meet on November 15 to certify the results. As soon as the final, certified results are updated on the state elections website I will finalize the results table with the certified values.
  • November 4, 2021, 11:17 a.m.: An update on the Virginia House of Delegates:
    • I did a deeper dive on the results and the media calls this morning. Right now, it’s standing at 50 for Republicans, 47 for Democrats, and 3 too close to call. The three districts that are too close to call are the 21st, 85th, and 91st.
    • The Democratic candidate has a narrow lead in the 21st, and the Republican candidates have narrow leads in the 85th and 91st. If these leads hold it will put the final tally at 52/48 for the Republicans.
    • It is very likely that the Democratic lead will hold in the 21st, and the Republican lead will hold in the 91st. That would put the Republicans at a 51/48 majority with only one district—the 85th—too close to call.
    • My next update will discuss what’s happening in the 85th District. . . .
  • 11:38 a.m.: And now, about the 85th District:
    • The 85th District is in Virginia Beach. Incumbent Delegate Alex Askew (D-VA 85th) was challenged by Karen Greenhalgh (R).
    • In the official Virginia Department of Elections results, Greenhalgh holds a lead of 202 votes with only the post-election absentee precinct still unreported. But the Associated Press tally claims all precincts reported, has higher vote counts, and puts Askew ahead by 94 votes.
    • Even if the A.P. somehow has access to early data from the post-election absentee precinct, the numbers don’t seem right. That precinct will only include ballots postmarked on or before election day, but received after election day (up ’til the deadline of noon on Friday). That should be a relatively small fraction of the total absentee votes.
    • The main absentee precinct for the 85th, which includes all absentee ballots received on or before election day, has 3,137 votes (which do tilt heavily Democratic—by about a 2:1 margin). But the discrepancy between the official results and the A.P. tally is 2,608, which is a lot more than I would expect in that post-election absentee precinct.
    • My guess: Somebody entered wrong information somewhere. It seems more likely that the error is on the A.P.’s side, although errors have occasionally crept in to the official results too (those are usually caught and corrected during the canvassing and review process). Until it settles out one way or another, I’m not comfortable predicting how this one will turn out.
  • 1:58 p.m.: Excluding post-election precincts, two localities still have unreported precincts: Accomack County (Tangier Precinct) and New Kent County (Absentee CAP). It’s possible that New Kent just has their two absentee precincts mixed up though; their Post-Election CAP has already been submitted.
  • 5:14 p.m.: Update on the 85th District:
    • It appears that the Associated Press numbers were in error, as I suspected. They have been updated and now match the official Virginia Department of Elections numbers and number of precincts reported.
    • With that clarified, I think the Republican lead there will probably hold, so the most likely House of Delegates count will be 52/48 for the Republicans. But we won’t know that for sure until the 85th and the other ‘too close to call’ districts—21st and 91st—are called.
  • November 5, 2021, 9:53 a.m.: No changes yet in those last three House of Delegates districts. The due-date for absentee ballots is noon today, so I expect the post-election absentee precincts to start coming in some time this afternoon.
  • 8:22 p.m.: A quick Friday evening update:
    • All the laggard election-day precincts have been reported, and many localities have submitted their post-election absentee precincts. We’re getting pretty close to our final numbers now.
    • All precincts are reported in the three not-yet-called house districts. The Democratic candidate is still ahead in the 21st, and the Republican candidates are still ahead in the 85th and 91st.
    • I would now characterize it as very likely that the final balance of power in the Virginia House of Delegates will be a 52/48 majority for the Republican Party.
  • November 7, 2021, 2:33 p.m.: There are only fifteen outstanding precincts left, all of which are post-election absentee precincts. In the remaining un-called House of Delegates races—the 21st, 85th, and 91st—all precincts are reported and the results are stable. I’m pretty confident that the final count will be a 52/48 Republican majority.
  • November 10, 2021, 12:05 p.m.: A few small updates:
    • We’re down to the last straggler precinct in Virginia: the post-election absentee precinct in Henry County.
    • The races in the 21st, 85th, and 91st districts are very close, but I expect the results in all three to stand (barring fraud during the recount process).
    • I remain confident that the final balance of power in the House of Delegates will be a 52/48 Republican majority.
    • Final results are expected to be certified on Monday, November 15.
  • November 12, 2021, 11:54 a.m.: A couple brief updates:
    • Henry County has finally reported its laggard precinct. The state is now at 100% of precincts reported.
    • The 21st District is called as a Democratic win. The 85th and 91st are still too close to call but the Republican candidates are holding their slim leads, and I still expect them to hold for a final tally of 52/48 for the Republicans in the House of Delegates.
  • November 15, 2021, 8:33 p.m.: Today was certification day!
    • The Virginia State Board of Elections met today and certified the election results. The House of Delegates was certified with a 52/48 Republican majority.
    • Two House races—the 85th and 91st—are close enough that the losing candidates, both Democrats, can request a recount. Neither has yet done so.
    • Certified results have been updated on the state elections website, and are reflected in the results here. I will be finalizing our coverage (barring any changes due to recounts) soon.
  • November 16, 2021, 9:15 a.m.: The certified results are in and I am marking this post “final.” If there are recounts, and if they change the numbers, I’ll make another update and note it here. Otherwise, this concludes our election 2021 coverage. Thank you for tuning in!
  • November 18, 2021, 1:21 p.m.: The losing candidates in the 85th and 91st districts—both Democrats—have requested recounts, as is their right under state law. Barring fraud, these recounts are extremely unlikely to change the outcomes, however I will continue to track their progress.
  • December 3, 2021, 5:20 p.m.: The 85th District recount has been completed and the Republican candidate remains the winner. The 91st District recount is expected to be completed next week.
  • January 2, 2022, 11:12 p.m.: The 91st District recount was completed on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, and the Republican candidate remained the winner. The final count in the Virginia House of Delegates is, as expected, a 52/48 Republican majority.

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.