Nov. 5, 2013: Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and his wife Dorothy depart after voting at Spring Hill Elementary School in McLean, Virginia .reuters
Democrat Terry McAuliffe is projected to win the Virginia gubernatorial race, defeating Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli in a surprisingly close victory.
Fox News projected McAuliffe as the winner Tuesday night.
The closely watched raced pitted a Tea Party-backed Republican and an establishment Democrat locked in an expensive, ideological battle whose outcome is expected to set a course for the 2014 and 2016 elections -- in large part forcing the GOP to consider whether a strong conservative candidate is the party’s best pick to win a national election.
Cuccinelli, trailing late by single digits, tried unsuccessfully to use voter dissatisfaction with ObamaCare to stage a come-from-behind victory over the better-funded McAuliffe, who was able to flood TV and radio airwaves with negative ads from practically start to finish.
Cuccinelli is the state attorney general who helped lead the legal charge against the health care law. McAuliffe is a Clinton family confidant and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.