Democrat Kaine Wins in Virginia. Having seen in Virginia only a few days, I have to say that I was shocked by the lack of enthusiam of Republicans for Kilgore. It was not, despite what some are saying, a backlash against Republicans in general, but apparently against the Virginia Republicans.

Virginians elected Democrat Timothy M. Kaine yesterday as the state’s next governor, choosing him to continue the centrist legacy of popular Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) and rejecting the Republican candidate for the state’s top job a second time in four years.

Kaine, 47, emerged ahead of his Republican rival, former attorney general Jerry W. Kilgore, 44, who had worked for months to convince voters that Kaine was too liberal for the conservative state. Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr. (R-Winchester), who ran as an independent, trailed far behind the major-party candidates.

Apparently, the Virginia Republicans supported a tax increase that a lot of grassroots types were upset about. They also felt like Kilgore aligned himself with weak Republicans.

Not sure how accurate that is, but that has been the prevailing sentiment of people I have talked to up here.

Also, I think it makes George Allen’s victories more striking that Virginia has elected Democrats back to back and still elected Allen. Also, I think it is telling that the GOP did better down ballot than up ballot, which does suggest that the vote had more to do with the candidate and less to do with a message to the President.