Terry McAuliffe refuses to concede Virginia race after downer Election Night message

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Terry McAuliffe refuses to concede Virginia race after downer Election Night message

Terry McAuliffe declined to concede defeat in the Virginia gubernatorial race Tuesday night, despite trailing Republican Glenn Youngkin by more than 100,000 votes with most precincts reported.

“We still got a lot of votes to count, we got about 18 percent of the vote out, so we’re gonna continue to count the votes because every single Virginian deserves to have their vote counted,” McAuliffe told cheering supporters in the suburban outpost of Tysons Corner, Va. at around 10:20 p.m.

Hours earlier, the former Virginia governor had tamped down expectations for his supporters in a brief, sober message.

CNN correspondent Jeff Zeleny tweeted as the votes were being counted that McAuliffe, who had opted to watch the returns at home rather than at his Election Night party — told his backers: “When the results of this election come in — win or lose — we can rest assured that we did everything we can to create the future that we want.”

The borderline-consoling message raised eyebrows on social media.

“McAuliffe finally makes a smart campaign decision by avoiding his donors on election night,” tweeted former Mike Pence campaign spokesman Jon Thompson.

“Really not what you do if you think you’re going to win,” tweeted liberal attorney Ethan Bearman.

McAuliffe reassured voters "not everything is counted" as the race with opponent Glenn Youngkin is close.
McAuliffe reassured voters “not everything is counted” as the race with opponent Glenn Youngkin is close.
AP

“[T]he ‘watching from home’ bit is brutal,” chimed in Republican operative Logan Dobson.

As results poured in showing Youngkin taking a clear lead in the commonwealth, the McAuliffe campaign kept a low profile. At one point during NBC News’ coverage, “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd noted, “we’ve had a few McAuliffe surrogates that we expected to be on our air that suddenly are not available.”

McAuliffe had a tumultuous relationship with the media during his campaign. On Oct. 19, he cut short a sitdown with WJLA-TV and upbraided the reporter by saying: “You should have asked better questions early on.”

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