Democrats win key New York City and Virginia polls


Anger at the less moderate arm of the Republican party over the shutdown has affected their results

Democrats have won key elections in New York City and the state of Virginia, in the first major round of polls since President Obama's re-election in 2012.

With almost all votes counted, Bill de Blasio will succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg to become the first Democrat leading New York City in two decades.

In Virginia, Terry McAuliffe beat Republican Ken Cuccinelli in a very close race for the governor's seat.

Republican Chris Christie was easily re-elected governor of New Jersey.

Who is Bill de Blasio?

Bill de Blasio, New York mayor-elect (6 November)
  • Born 1961, original name Warren Wilhelm Jr, nicknamed Bill; his parents divorced and he took his mother's surname, de Blasio
  • 1989: Works for New York's first black mayor, David Dinkins, first on his election campaign and then as a staff member
  • 1994: Marries Chirlane McCray, an African-American writer and political activist who had previously identified as a lesbian; the couple have two children, Chiara and Dante
  • 2000: Runs Hillary Clinton's successful campaign for US Senate seat
  • 2001: Elected to New York City Council, representing a liberal part of Brooklyn
  • 2010: Voted in as New York City public advocate, second-highest elected office in the city
  • September 2013: Wins Democratic primary vote to become mayoral candidate

Tuesday's races are seen as an early test of both parties' strengths ahead of next year's congressional mid-term elections.

'Progressive path'

With 99% of votes counted in New York, Mr de Blasio secured 73% of the vote, convincingly defeating his Republican rival Joe Lhota, who polled 24%.

In his victory speech, Mr de Blasio said the poll showed that America's largest city had chosen "a progressive path", and he promised to make fighting income inequality his top priority.

He is the city's first Democratic mayor since 1993.

He ran Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign, and is seen as one of the most liberal politicians to run for mayor in decades.

Mr Lhota admitted defeat, saying the race had been a good fight and a fight worth having.

He ran the city's public transport authority under Mayor Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent, and also worked in the administration of Rudolph Giuliani.

Last year, Mr Lhota was lauded for quickly getting the vast subway system running again after a huge storm, Sandy, flooded swathes of the city.

Left to right: Joseph Lhota, Bill de Blasio, Chris Christie, Barbara Buono, Ken Cuccinelli, Terry McAuliffe
  • New York City Mayor

Joseph Lhota (Republican): 24% - Bill de Blasio (Democrat): 73%

  • New Jersey Governor

Chris Christie (Republican): 60.5% - Barbara Buono (Democrat): 38%

  • Virginia Governor

Ken Cuccinelli (Republican): 45.5% - Terry McAuliffe (Democrat): 48%

Close race

In Virginia, Mr McAuliffe won an extremely tight race, defeating Mr Cuccinelli.

Start Quote

For the Republican party this night is not only the tale of two elections, but of two possible paths. I am at the rally of the defeated candidate in Virginia, watching the victorious Republican in New Jersey on the big screen in the hotel ball room. ”

End Quote

With results in from 99.7% of precincts, Mr McAuliffe polled 47% to his opponent's 45%.

Mr McAuliffe is a businessman and veteran Democratic party fundraiser. He has close ties to former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, serving as chairman of her 2008 presidential campaign.

Mr Cuccinelli, the Virginia attorney general, has angled for the support of the hardcore conservative Tea Party movement of Republicans.

Mr McAuliffe, who has raised much more money, has sought to link Mr Cuccinelli to last month's partial shutdown of the federal government, which was brought about by Republicans in Washington DC.

Virginia, long a Republican stronghold, has seen a demographic shift in recent years. Mr Obama, a Democrat, won the state in the last two presidential elections.

Christie's triumph

In New Jersey, Mr Christie was declared the unofficial winner by the US media just minutes after the polls closed.

Chris Christie: "Thank you New Jersey for making me the luckiest guy in the world"

"Thank you, New Jersey, for making me the luckiest guy in the world," he told supporters after his victory.

Mr Christie won 60.5% of the vote, against 38% for Ms Buono, with 99% of precincts reporting.

Analysts say Mr Christie's popularity with voters in Democratic-leaning New Jersey makes him a contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, because it could enable him to claim broad political appeal.

Mr Christie was already a popular figure when Superstorm Sandy devastated the state's coastline a year ago. His response to the storm attracted national attention.

While many in New Jersey support Mrs Buono's positions, she has had difficulty raising money, even from Democrats, because of her relatively low profile.

The results of Tuesday's polls could prove an early measure of the parties' support ahead of the midterm elections of 2014, which will decide the make-up of the House of Representatives, one-third of the Senate, and the governorships in more than half the states.

In Washington, Mr Obama's Democratic party controls the Senate, while the Republicans hold sway in the House of Representatives. Now in his second term, Mr Obama will vacate the presidency in 2017.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 308.

    The writting is on the wall for the Tea Party but they still feel they are right and as in true US style they are now implying their rights have been affected. An election that did not get their own guy in to support the filthy rich in the US must be a hard blow when they hoped to make even more money out of a system that is geared up for the rich.

  • rate this

    Comment number 307.

    @304 Plus all the articles on the "recovery" and on immigration related topics always opened for HYS.

  • rate this

    Comment number 306.

    Let's just leave the US to implode by itself...

  • rate this

    Comment number 305.

    for the BBC re Sally the Rothbardian....please don't delete all this lady's (?) comments...let us judge for ourselves how idiotic some of them are....

    For Sally: try to restrict yourself so that your verbal diatribes don't totally fill up the forum

  • rate this

    Comment number 304.

    292 BOBBO.. BBC 'left' bias?! Er...No. Yesterday there was a global protest in 400 cities across the globe including this nations capital, yet you'd barely know it was happening at all if you relied on the piffling BBC coverage on TV and here. See also the 50,000 strong anti-Tory march in Manchester in September. If there is a bias, it's certainly not towards the left these days!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 303.

    23. Shabutie ....Absolutely, got it in one!

  • Comment number 302.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 301.

    This is none of our business, let the yanks decide for themselves.

    After all, most of them are paranoid gun totting religious nutters, hell bent on inflicting their own destruction on the rest of the world.

  • rate this

    Comment number 300.

    "the Democrats like Tories/Labour are committed to dismantling all European racial and cultural identities."
    I don't know when you people going to realise this.Western world is far superior to Eastern world only because of its True cosmopolitan nature.That is various races working together. If UK/USA had single race and single culture then it will be like another Saudi Arabia/Yemen.

  • rate this

    Comment number 299.

    292. Bobbo
    Another instance of unbiased BBC news presentation. Your headline screams out the NYC.....
    As long as you read the whole article (kind of the purpose if you want to get the full picture) you get all the information you need. The headline is only a call to action. Those most vociferous anti-BBC are usually those who don't read past a headline (stems from reading tabloids?).

  • rate this

    Comment number 298.

    You can't compare the Republicans and Democrats to the Tories and Labour. The US parties are too close together on many issues and often promote working together. In Britain, our politicians are close together on many issues but never promote working together.

  • rate this

    Comment number 297.

    Again, gross generalisations don't do your points any favours"

    OK, the number of Republicans that support ALL of those is probably small. However, the fact that there are large numbers who support at least any 2 of those is pretty concerning in a modern, technologically advanced, developed state purporting to be a liberal secular democracy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 296.

    How well would "The Real Ale Party" do?

    Would it be allowed to compete against the manufacturers of the drink that is so "refined" that it has neglible flavour?

  • rate this

    Comment number 295.

    Good to see the Democrats win in NYC and Virginia, long may it continue ! The Republicans brought the US into a state of ridicule all over the globe with their ludicrous tactics last month, now they are paying the price. As for the Tea Party, well they belong in a bygone day and have zero relevance to the modern world.

  • rate this

    Comment number 294.

    Democrats... Republicans... Tories... Labour...

    They all answer to the same masters.

  • rate this

    Comment number 293.

    289. Alaric the Visigoth
    Why, was there ever an event in which colonials threw chests of coffee into the sea in response to coffee taxes?
    There was the Opium Wars...

  • rate this

    Comment number 292.

    Another instance of unbiased BBC news presentation. Your headline screams out the NYC and Va Democrat victories but buries NJ GOP win in the text. BBC may say Christie victory was no surprise but neither was DiBlasio's. BBC news - the leftist equivalent of Fox News, except that taxpayers do not pay for Fox (yes the license fee is a form of tax).

  • rate this

    Comment number 291.

    170. countryboy
    1 HOUR AGO
    conservatism all over the globe is disappearing fast thank you very much . problem is the democrats are more right wing than our own hated torys "

    Just as most continental conservatives are not quite as right wing as our Labour.
    As were our own Tories before Mrs. T. Party let the corporates take them over.

  • rate this

    Comment number 290.

    There is so little to separate Democrats & Republicans that it is very likely voters voted by habit - not by individual policy or anything terribly intellectual that candidates said. At this moment, there is only one alternative party: the Tea Party, which at times can make a great deal of sense. In fact, if you look at Obamacare, you have to wonder how any Democrat could get elected.

  • rate this

    Comment number 289.

    " CURTAINS 2012
    Is there a Coffee Party?"

    Why, was there ever an event in which colonials threw chests of coffee into the sea in response to coffee taxes?


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