The year after a presidential election, there’s typically few electoral contests on the calendar as politicians focus on getting some work done so they’ll have something to brag about to voters during the next election.
The few races that do occur tend to be heavily scrutinized as pundits look for something to chew over in the slow period before next year’s congressional midterms.
Today, Democrats in Virginia go to the polls to pick a candidate for the governor’s mansion, as incumbent Tim Kaine is constitutionally limited to one term. On the Republican side, Robert McDonnell faces no opposition for his party’s nomination.
Virginia, formerly solid red, is now a swing state that has elected successive Democratic governors and backed Democrat Barack Obama in last year’s presidential race.
All eyes are on Terry McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee chairman who headed Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential bid last year.