November 5, 2008
"It's a little surprising but it's the, the "R" was a scarlet letter this year and it didn't work for Republicans up and down the ballot," said Cordel Faulk of the UVa Center for Politics.
Making it a historic night for Democrats in Virginia. The party picking up house seats, and for the first time since 1970, gaining control of the state's two senate seats , and of course carrying the state in the presidential race for the first time in over forty years..
"It's just a wave election and it took out a number of Republicans that should have been safe but they just couldn't survive in an election like this in an environment as bad as it was for Republicans," said Faulk.
Faulk says part of the success can be attributed to two successful governors in Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.
"People looked around and they thought, well you know what, they ran Virginia well, maybe we'll give them a chance in Washington, added to the fact that they didn't think Washington was being run very well," said Faulk.
But with control comes high expectations.
"Democrats have the keys to the aircraft carrier now and they have to sail it in the right direction," said Faulk.
Saying voters will expect to see results, despite all the problems they will inherit.
"George Bush's problems become Barack Obama's and the Democrats' problems wholesale the day after the inauguration," said Faulk.
And should they fail, things will change for Democrats as they have for Republicans.
"Things can change pretty quickly, in January of 2001, Republicans had the office of governor, they had both senate seats, U.S. senate seats, they had both houses of the general assembly and they had most of the seats in congress," said Faulk.
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