That’s how many years it’s been since the same political party won the presidential election and the Virginia governorship in consecutive years.
Virginia and New Jersey are the only states that elect a governor in the year following a presidential election. In each of the nine pairs of elections from 1976-77 to 2008-09, the White House’s party lost the Virginia gubernatorial election.
That pattern may not hold this Nov. 5, when Democrat Terry McAuliffe may be elected governor one year after Virginia voted to re-elect President Barack Obama. McAuliffe leads Republican Ken Cuccinelli in polls.
Both candidates are viewed more unfavorably than favorably, though Cuccinelli’s ratings are worse than McAuliffe’s, according to polls.
“The major-party candidates have earned the citizenry’s derision,” the Richmond Times-Dispatch said in an Oct. 20 editorial that declined to endorse a candidate for governor.
In 1973, Republican Mills E. Godwin Jr. was elected governor one year after President Richard Nixon was re-elected.