Ralph Northam defeats Ed Gillespie for VA Governor Race

ABC News projects Democrat Ralph Northam as the next Governor of Virginia
14:27 | 11/08/17

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Transcript for Ralph Northam defeats Ed Gillespie for VA Governor Race
We have we can make a call. After polls have closed we can project a winner based on the exit poll and our analysis. Of the vote so far ABC news projects that in the Virginia governor's race the democratic candidate northbound will win that race projected winner in Virginia. Route northbound that is that was expected will all be looking right now to see just how close. That was we're gonna go now to Tommy Thomas who his bare. At northern headquarters in Fairfax Virginia Tom that pretty happy brother behind in. Oh that's right there over the last five minutes people have been celebrating here they've been throwing confetti every time a different outlook called. Virginia or Ralph northern date 88 celebrate a jump up and down they've made those blue flags. But a big win for Democrats and they've win over for rob ornament it was funny you mention Luther strange I was covering that race that was down Alabama bred in the works. Luther strange big Lutheran Lutheran lost that primary race and now Ed Gillespie president George. Has lost you can hear some of the people behind me it is is what it's about 10151020. AM. Over there in Seoul South Korea to be a very rough warning for the president no doubt because it means a lot. About Ed Gillespie. Reported that global poll asking that you never actually. Without campaign for a nice it was sort of like double Dutch team that you know Ed Gillespie and raise some of his policies like. It make it illegal. Illegal immigration excuse me but what others think supporters stepped back and and obviously it worked for a near the big winner tonight. Just behind me about that very few lieutenant governor of Virginia Democrat Al norte area back to you. And Tom you mention the fact that the president was tweeting this morning was getting involved there at the eleventh hour wanna. Ring John Carlin did his conversation is well from Seoul and Jon Karl. You know it didn't brow with the north and was leading in the polls although Gillespie was gaining on him in the last few weeks. Is this a blow to the president isn't a blow to Republicans. It's certainly a blow to the president I mean we we've seen in a blow to Republicans they wanted to win they felt they had a chance if they had one Mary it would have been an upset victory for reasons. One as we were just discussing Virginia. Has started trending more democratic in recent years and also it's it's tough to beat going against. If for for for for the up for the party in power. These these off year elections can be very tough. This would have been a upset victory this is a state natural loss to Hillary Clinton. So to score a victory here with the president's approval ratings so low naturally so low in Virginia it would have been a surprise. That said they wanted to win here they felt they had a chance here and as we were just disgusting. The president was not a campaign Freddie Gillespie but even. On this trip. Justin just today he was he was rapid fire tweeting its support for the Republican candidate. And so much of this race has been looking for tea leaves about how the two parties are gonna play out they are their campaigns going forward heading into 2018 heading even. Into 22 when he Tom. In Virginia what are the lessons that Democrats can take away from this is this a sign that that anti trump momentum that they are. Is enough of that that that vote will come out in force. At a gravel adding a couple of issues with Tom audio there you know let me take that question back to you with if you if you heard the question there yeah what does it tell about the playbook going. What I did. As he gets out. I did very let me look at a from the Republican side in what one issue here is that Ed Gillespie in many ways is the ultimate. A scalpel Schmidt Republican figure of course the former head of the Republican Party a long time. Republican operative are going way back I mean I covered Ed Gillespie when he was a a senior staffer for the Republican majority leader in the house this guy is. You know ultimate establishment Republican who try to want to campaign. In many ways echoing themes of total troll. He was you know Sanctuary City suddenly became a top issue. A warning. As thirteen innings taking over in Virginia he sounded. Anyways hope you're tried to sound a lot like Donald Trump so. It what that you could say is that that is a difficult playbook especially in a purple state like Virginia to bolt. You know try to play you know apps are pretty then there's the traditional Republican figure. Somebody also trying to echo an anti establishment measure you know a platform but cultural that's a tough. A tough thing to do it tough needle to thread. I'm bringing Rick Klein you know Rick Klein Jon Karl or Rick into this conversation on what he's doing out all the FedEx guy. I doubt I know this guy now is this is dying to. Trump to trump supporters today Republican candidates that it's going to be tough to walk this fine line at Gillespie was trying to he can't. Try and shun trump on some issues and embraced trump is on on the other hand. This is a repudiation of trumpets and and a repudiation that attempts by Ed Gillespie to try to thread that meet them at LSU was not well cast and he isn't a pure trump. That's not where he comes from in the party but he's trying to. He's aligned itself with some of the tactics that Donald Thomas use of some of the issues they tried to make. Health care into wedges and tried it immigration into an issue like that they tried in a gang violence into a big issue. And voters in Virginia currently rejecting that any. And this seems like it's going to be a wave of kind of night now the difference between us way to last wave is that we only a couple of things on the ballot here not clear what it means going forward it'll be over Redd for that for sure. But the fact it did the Democrats won with such ease in Virginia up and down ballot. As well as New Jersey that's a major statement and I think Democrats are gonna say look. First call which sites they went again and secondly it means that voters are ready to come out to reject Donald Trump and what he represented politics. And I think we do have Tommy on his back with that Barrett at the northern headquarters in Fairfax Virginia. Tom similar question to you want to take away from Democrats here and I imagine that Rick was just saying. Don't forget the Democrats need winning again I would imagine is the sentiment there tonight. That would mean until we have the final numbers can really gleaned through which information I do agree with what Riggs investment and others. But I won't believe this knowing president providing cover to bring your and a half he could take this very personally. He watches the scores he likes how the game and any openings here is the poll numbers around with him he knows that the only southern state that Hillary and he demands of this Muslim name he campaigned aggressively as good without actually coming down here and here it would Ed Gillespie. Who knows maybe get that affected had a lucky we don't know what we do know from the exit polling is that at least 30% of voters came out here to show of support against president wrong. But why wait to see especially the bit to right around the border are Republicans don't raise from visit or they don't run from it. Or are they afraid it would Ed Gillespie did which it maybe. Apple may be alert baby dance with president trump would not get all in with him over happily did the would have loved watching this race is seen what would happen it was such a close race. Both parties were so much money it. And even people like president Barack Obama down and partner hash tags we love your means but need to shut up about it vote and Democrats at least today. Mary. They thought we all learned that now have our political guru extraordinaire Matt Dowd joining us from up in New York Matt you always give it to illustrate what's your takeaway I voted today Texas that I did my. Morning I'm way I mean I. Think this is it's it's less bad news I think that is more good news for the Democrats as they had to win these races. And had to win Virginia because it's the swing state it was up here bright and number that I think we need to pay a lot of attention to it and it tells a lot about tonight. But it's gonna tell us a lot about 28 team which is 86%. Of that about the people disapproved of Donald Trump 86% of people voted for the Democrat. And if that holds as we move forward that actually cause this victory for north and in this state. But if that holds it means a wave election is coming in 2018 it needs people are separating the Republican running. And there are approval of our disapproval of doubt trot it out traps disapproval phase what is today which is almost near sixty. Heading in an in mid term. It means that a lot of those people who don't like Al truck are gonna take it out of whoever the Republican has. On the ballot. And I'd just go back to Jon Karl before we lose you over there in Korea John we can ask you to peer into your Korean crystal ball. How do you think the president what's the Spain gonna be honest how are they gonna react to this today. Well I think what they able to do is is forces they'll point to to Virginia being a tough state for Republicans at the state. Odd it is now six. Two democratic senators. And outgoing democratic governor. Certainly not a surprise that the Democrats won again in this state that Donald Trump lost. So what they gable try to say don't try to read too much into this don't. They'll say they won't let them action Mathieu by name but they say don't believe mapped it out he says this is the beginning of a wave election we'll say this is Virginia Virginia reflects Virginia. Up what there's no question that. That this is a state. And it'll at a race that they thought here in the closing days that they had a chance to pull out of upset we win it is. Certainly a you know a defeat for the president is it defeat for Republicans. They it will just caution and say this is about Virginia not about the nation. Jon Karl Tonya on ads that down Rick Klein thank you for that impromptu. Roundtable discussed it and thank all of you for continuing to watch us. Send us your questions on FaceBook Twitter Yahoo! and YouTube carrier pigeon whatever you got let's go back Albert again mountain you're getting these questions I want answers and. I gotta worry a lot of thoughts lot of questions. Spirit who by the way a thank you wouldn't get within a couple of but then we're getting some reaction from those on Capitol Hill as well right that's right we're tracking what people on capital bush saying about the election and I was I was struck by a couple tweet from Weiss editor Brian shots Democrat from Hawaii. Once that once the results came in a Virginia for the governor the Democrat winning there. He is let out a few tweets don't let anyone talk you out of it there's nationwide movement to take our country back this is so fun. And a reference to Republicans I hope they keep running against football statues and MS thirteen while we focus on real people's lives to the Democrats feel real sense of momentum and those issues that were brawn in Virginia let's murdered Alley. Those issues could guide. The way we move into 2018 endorsing some of that as well as I find some of the questions were getting them off forgetting. Yet we're seeing a lot of just great excitement the fact that both of being Republicans lost tonight. A lot of voters who clearly are supportive of the democratic candidates are taking that as a sign of a repudiation of trump is on we've talked about that a lot tonight. And I think all of us would caution against reading too much into an the result of tonight as strong Carl was talking about it it is true that and it. Still Murphy was was expected to win this race. North and why is a little more a little different Murphy though an anomaly because of the Chris Christie question so whether or not this leads to a wave. Anti trump is in sentiment in other races. In it in next year's elections. That's not it it it it's it's never clear that that results of an off your set of elections like mess. Equal what's going to happen in the future are. All right cool folks sent us some more thoughts Alley bent over there. We're taking those use that has sag Election Day tweet us we're right here for you married back to you. All right thank you guys so let's go back now out to Virginia with see what's happening at the Ed Gillespie head quarters I imagine it's. Didn't dour mood there Shelley they are on an a vibe is there on the crowded venue is go over. This always hears the idea of the news has not yet been sharing your secondly I kind of want to whisper because they actually took down. The new speed that was over my shoulder a little while still. I don't want to be the bearer of bad news but I want to tell you guys because we haven't yet read the news here in this room. Here's the thing we did the when he came to this Virginia governor's race that could be. Sort of portend for what comes ahead in 2018 and eighty testing we saw with the less because look. Even with a the last the law what we thought was that he closed the gap when he attacked. Right and Republican may walk away from this saying okay we know just in Virginia alone there are 23 Republican held districts. Actually went for Hillary Clinton's when he sixteen they can target them of those now. Moving ahead and when he eighteen I'm looking at what resonated with the Sanctuary Cities with immigration wasn't in a protest was health care. This is sort of attacks run for them not picking go back Pratt between eighteen and target them at those districts. Morse is that needed the and they need to pay attention to its when he team right now at the Gaza headquarters though. He's still playing a feline is still and we'll look back and he hasn't quite gotten here yet. So before the news breaks they've buffed up of the fact the I see how this works. But you make a really good point there which is that this race so much of it is about reading those tea leaves as we've been discussing trying to figure out how to change the play of the Republican led at the democratic playbook heading into some of these mid term elections also the 22 when he presidential election. What's if you had to say what's your sense of some of the takeaways the Republicans can leave with tonight once they eat the debate break that it. Hit a we see it isn't screaming for all the talk about the millions of dollars pouring into this governor's race and the really divisive ad campaign that replaying. When LSU travels to Northern Virginia for example where he needed to be competitive in places like the exerts right that outer suburbs of the county in princely impounded he tweaked his message out there isn't understanding that you can't hit the scene notes. Over and over again but when it comes to Virginia but the odds were stacked against them for sure. Hillary Clinton won this state by five points in when he sixteen it has been trending blue over the last decade he Oxford definitely against the Republicans and yet. And yet they closed the gap in the final stages you have to imagine there's a lesson in there somewhere. Whether Republicans move in court to be interesting to see how it plays out. Into next spring and next summer in the lead up to anything.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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