November 6, 2012
Republican George Allen has conceded the U.S. Senate race in Virginia to Democrat Tim Kaine. The announcement came less than 30 minutes after CBS News projected a victory for Kaine.
With 93% of precincts currently reporting, Kaine has 1,661,135 votes (51.4%) to Allen's 1,562,473 votes (48.4%), a difference of nearly 100,000 votes out of the more than 3 million ballots cast. Kaine's win gives Democrats 50 seats and puts them on the precipice of retaining control of the Senate.
Kaine's win comes after Democrats won two Senate seats held by Republicans. Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly won a seat the GOP had held for decades in Indiana, beating back a challenge from tea party favorite Richard Mourdock. Elizabeth Warren won a Senate seat held by GOP Sen. Scott Brown. Republicans also lost a seat to independent Angus King in Maine, a former Democratic governor whom GOP supporters had targeted.
The two former governors were vying for the seat that retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb is vacating. Allen held the seat from 2001 to 2007, but lost it to Webb in an unfocused, gaffe-strewn re-election campaign.
As of Oct. 17, Allen had raised and spent about $12.5 million to Kaine's $17.4 million, which led Senate races in spending. But outside spending totals were nearly $53 million, with Allen benefiting from about 60 percent of it.
Kaine, Obama's handpicked former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, claimed he's better suited to work with Republicans in a gridlocked Congress than Allen, whom he depicted as a bare-knuckled partisan who once implored Republicans to knock Democrats' "soft teeth down their whiny throats."
Allen has attacked Kaine for supporting an 11th-hour compromise in August 2011 that prescribes $1.2 trillion in deep, across-the-board spending cuts, half of it to defense, without a deficit-reduction agreement that has so far eluded Congress. Allen ignores the fact that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, Speaker John Boehner and even Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, were among many Republicans who supported it.