WATCH: Here's How a Virginia Republican Won an Election That Ended in An Exact Tie

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Posted: Jan 04, 2018 4:15 PM
WATCH: Here's How a Virginia Republican Won an Election That Ended in An Exact Tie

Two links for you, right out of the gate.  First, my analysis of Virginia's fall elections, which spelled potential trouble ahead for 2018 GOP candidates who will rely on moderate suburban constituencies to win re-election.  When I published that piece, control of the Commonwealth's House of Delegates hung in the balance -- a stunning result unto itself, as Republicans were expected to retain control of the chamber even if Democrats had a good night.  Weeks later, the long process of finalizing every legislative contest's results has finally come to an end (probably), for reasons explained in my second link: Cortney's piece from this morning.  The battle for Virginia's 94th district resulted in an exact tie, with each major party candidate receiving precisely 11,608 votes.  Under the law, the winner of a tied election is determined by the equivalent of a coin flip.  Here's how that went down today, via the Free Beacon:

The drawing for the winner of the House of Delegates race in the Virginia's 94th district has gone to the Republican Del. David Yancey. His name was drawn out of a glass bowl. "Today we have witnessed an unprecedented event," Virginia State Board of Elections Vice Chair Clara Belle Wheeler declared after the vote. The last time a drawing was done in Virginia was back in 1971. However, today's vote was even more significant because it will also determine the speaker of the house and committee assignments. "This has never been done before," Wheeler added.

If that result stands (the loser may request another recount, as is his prerogative), Republicans will hold a razor-thin 51-49 majority in Virginia's lower house, a margin that cratered from a comfortable 66-34 prior to November. The apparent victor, Mr. Yancey, won this district four years ago (during the last gubernatorial election) by just two percentage points, then carried it by double digits in 2015.  May this example remind every Republican voter of the fragility of majorities, and once again underscore the importance of every single vote.