McAuliffe Ready to End Tradition in Virginia

This week’s Washington Post poll showing Terry McAuliffe with a 51-39 percent lead over Ken Cuccinelli for governor in Virginia is not just good news for the Democrats and bad for the Tea Party. It’s also about to end a streak that goes back to 1977.

In every Virginia gubernatorial election these past 36 years, the winner has been from the party opposite of the person residing in the White House.  Perhaps Virginians like to be contrary.  Perhaps they looked at the president and didn’t like what they saw.

Regardless, it’s been true for nine straight elections. (The last time someone of the same party as the president was elected governor was in  1973, whenMills Godwin won with Richard Nixon in the White House.)

But if the polls are correct, that will change on Tuesday.  Here’s the record:

Year Governor President elected the previous year
2009 Bob McDonnell (R) Barack Obama (D)
2005 Tim Kaine (D) George W. Bush (R)
2001 Mark Warner (D) George W. Bush (R)
1997 Jim Gilmore (R) Bill Clinton (D)
1993 George Allen (R) Bill Clinton (D)
1989 Doug Wilder (D) George H.W. Bush (R)
1985 Gerald Baliles (D) Ronald Reagan (R)
1981 Chuck Robb (D) Ronald Reagan (R)
1977 John Dalton (R) Jimmy Carter (D)

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