Bob McDonnell won the 2009 Virginia Gubernatorial Election by one of the largest margins of victory the Commonwealth has seen in years, beating his opponent Creigh Deeds by a remarkable 17.36%. McDonnell’s victory becomes even more impressive when compared to the 2006 Senatorial Election, where Sen. Jim Webb won by a mere 0.39%. Comparing each candidate’s margin of victory by county reveals a striking change in the political landscape of Virginia. The following maps displays margin of victory of each candidate by county.
McDonnell beat his opponent Creigh Deeds by a margin of 10% or higher in 102 of Virginia’s 134 counties. He won 87 of those counties by a margin of 20% or higher. McDonnell even won the notoriously liberal Fairfax County, albeit by a slim margin of 1.63%.
In 2006, Sen. Jim Webb only won 26 counties by a margin of 10% or higher. Webb lost in 93 counties and won in 41, but managed to secure the big Northern Virginia counties such as Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William, and Loudon.
Despite the heightened media attention this gubernatorial race received, the 2009 election saw a lower voter turnout than in previous years. On Election Day, 40% of registered voters showed up at the polls. In the 2006 Senatorial race, 53% of registered voters participated in the election.
Click here to see the historical statewide election results from 1997 to 2009.