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 328.

    Tea Party/Republicans will continue to lose national elections unless they change their extreme/non-inclusive ways. Demographic change is against them. They can no longer rely only on rural white voters. They need to start wooing, not insulting a growing diverse & educated voters in urban & suburban America. Most voters are pragmatic and will vote for candidates who put them before party ideology.

  • Comment number 327.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 326.

    @309 Myself

    Seriously and with respect if your going to rate negatively then please provide a reason....

    Thank you


    ON my point 309:

    Dems and Reps spent jointly $5 Billion USD or £3 Billion Pounds on the last election, 1/2 went to the Media, the media made loads of $$$$, over the non-election years the media give it back through donations

    See Next on the C of E and PM issue.

  • rate this

    Comment number 325.

    I thought it was both amusing and a bit scary that under the picture at the top of the story the Beeb noted "Anger at the less moderate arm of the Republican party over the shutdown has affected their results" - and whilst it may be accurate to call the Tea Party the less moderate arm of the Republicans, I think calling them the more extreme right wing arm is more realistic.

  • rate this

    Comment number 324.

    315. BluesBerry

    Ah nothing like BluesBerry comments, giving us all a hot cup of pessimism and anti-Americanism in the morning.

  • Comment number 323.

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

  • Comment number 322.

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

  • Comment number 321.

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

  • Comment number 320.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 319.

    Where are the voter turnout results? That would be especially more telling in Virginia where usually Republicans vote en masse during these mid-midterm elections and where a McAuliffe victory would be even more telling as well. Still, the fact that Cuccinelli did so well is quite disturbing and proves that the US has a long way to go still to purge the stupidity that is the tea party.

  • rate this

    Comment number 318.

    GOP needs to cut the religious crap and concentrate on fiscal conservatism. Similarly here - if only UKIP could drop its backward stance on gay marriage.

  • rate this

    Comment number 317.

    Who cares....really. The USA ignores all international laws/trade agreements anyway.

  • rate this

    Comment number 316.

    59. Listener, "Well as a UK BBC license payer I have no idea about much of this so am struggling to comment. The many issues I have an opinion about today aren't chosen for discussion on HYS."

    The BBC, while being a fine news source, is the government. They prefer to distract you with international news. That way you won't think about what they don't want you to think about.

  • rate this

    Comment number 315.

    Is there something wrong with persons who vote Democrat? Emerging details of health care legislation are demonstrating PRO-CORPORATE Obama admin. e.g. Obama’s pledge, “If you like your health plan, you can keep it.” is being exposed as a fraudulent lie. Millions continue to receive cancellation letters. It was Republicans who warned, who asked for a delay.
    Democratic voting dumbfound me!

  • rate this

    Comment number 314.

    And still the media drama continues. Until real change happens and this poltical disgrace has been rid from both ends, nothing good will come. Bent on self-destruction, this can only end bloody. I am embarrassed by our system. It is not to be copied, it is to be condemned.

  • rate this

    Comment number 313.

    Yes, this is obviously a message from the more sensible part of America to the looney few.

    Now can we have a comments section, on the fact that military shipbuilding in England is about to disappear forever?

  • rate this

    Comment number 312.

    @306. Spoonmehead

    an implosion could create a gravitational pull like a black hole vortex, or like the first atomic bomb trigger, the implosion forces a gigantic release of energy, in a bad way.

    US engineered or sponsored such social implosions in various unfriendly countries, resulting in decades of civilian suffering.

  • Comment number 311.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 310.

    You'd have thought they'd learned their lesson about indulging in party politics. The States, much like the rest of the industrialised world, needs to look into new forms of government as the "vote for whichever group of nutters you dislike the least" method clearly isn't working for the 99%.

  • rate this

    Comment number 309.


    Dems control Hollywood/NYC media

    Reps most of the News

    31.2% of Pop either Dem/Rep

    2/3 Pop unrepresented & unable to elect a President


    We have a Monarch, ok

    We Have a PM ok

    Both are C of E,

    The C of E controls our Media

    It Leaves Just over 1/3 of total UK population in control of Downing street, with the rest of us, unable to elect a PM.

    that is so Wrong!


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