The Day of the Virginia Nominating Convention Has Finally Arrived

Posted: May 08, 2021 5:00 PM
The Day of the Virginia Nominating Convention Has Finally Arrived

Source: AP Photo/Clement Britt

After months of anticipation, the day has finally arrived. Today, the Republican Party of Virginia held its convention to pick its nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. Voters had until 4pm on Saturday to get in line to vote.

With the nomination process taking place through a convention, delegates signed up to vote through candidates--though they are not bound to them--or through local Republican Party county organizations. 

The Arlington GOP signed up more than 700 delegates alone, and the 8th district, which includes Alexandria and Falls Church, in addition to Arlington, signed up about 1,500 delegates. The voting process today was said to have run well in the 8th. 

Throughout the commonwealth, a record amount of about 54,000 delegates signed up.

Delegates chose their nominees through rank choice voting, which the RPV has explained in a video tutorial how that works.

It's a process of elimination of sorts. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the weighted vote during the first round, the candidate with the least amount of first choice voters is eliminated. Those voters who chose that eliminated candidate for their first vote then have their votes redistributed. This continues until a candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote.

Campaign emails and text messages had asked voters to consider putting down that candidate for their second choice, then, if they are already committed to a first choice candidate. Last week, Laura Vozzella touched upon this for the Washington Post, writing "At Virginia’s GOP convention, being second choice in governor’s race is a good Plan B."

As I wrote last month, Glenn Youngkin and Pete Snyder were in a good position for governor, particularly on fundraising numbers. That remained the same heading into May 8. Youngkin and Snyder have both had help from national figures when it comes to their impressive lists of endorsements, as well as on the campaign trail.

During his "Conservative Outlaw Tour" stops in the final week, Snyder was joined by figures such as former Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is herself running for governor, in Arkansas. 

Lenz Morris, spokesperson for the Pete Snyder campaign, told Townhall on Saturday "We're confident!"

Youngkin was flanked by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on his "Win with Glenn" tour stops. The senator had endorsed Youngkin on Sunday. Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-OK) endorsed Youngkin on Tuesday.

One such poll, from the Traflalgar Group, which has earned widespread media attention, found Youngkin with 37.7 percent of the poll among first ballot choice votes.

The Youngkin campaign provided Townhall with a video of Glenn and Suzanne Youngkin speaking to the press on Saturday morning after they cast their ballots in Annandale, very much exuding confidence and optimism about the race.

As was also the case last month, the lieutenant governor's race looks to be between Tim Hugo, Glenn Davis, and Winsome Sears. Hugo and Sears formerly served in the Virginia House of Delegates. Davis has since 2014. 

What hasn't changed and what is perhaps the strongest point of agreement between various analyses, is that Jason Miyares, a delegate and former assistant commonwealth attorney, is surely to be the nominee for attorney general. "Now, the only race I am near 100% confident in is the Attorney General race," Joe Szymanski wrote in his Friday preview for Elections Daily.

Former delegate Chris Saxman, who is the executive director of Virginia FREE, a non-partisan, pro-business non-profit organization, has been following the race closely. On Saturday, as voting was coming to an end, he spoke to Townhall about the numbers.

"Henrico hit 61% with 1,408 ballots," he shared, noting that "early estimates are 29,000 votes statewide." Saxman noted that Youngkin projected 30,000 and the numbers modeled that. He also offered that "If Snyder wins, Chase runs as an Independent. If Chase wins, Riggleman runs as an Independent." 

Saxman also offered a take we can all agree on, that "mainly people are happy the robo calls and texting and emails will stop soon."

Various campaign staffers and observers say they expect results to be known on Wednesday. The RPV website indicates that there will be live streams of the counting process and a tabulation of the results. 

Correction: This updated piece clarifies a quote from Chris Saxman about Glenn Youngkin, which previously quoted Saxman as saying "Youngkin needed 30,000."