UPDATE (6:24pm EST) Flynn: Since we are about an hour away from the first election results, Breitbart Readers should take a look at the interesting crib-sheet from Virginia Public Access Project and its "Six Things to Watch" as returns come in, forwarded by Breitbart's Tony Lee. VPAP is one of those hair-shirted groups that frets about "money in politics," but these are some pretty astute goalposts.
According to VPAP, things are going well for Republicans if:
1. The Shenandoah Valley Amps the Turnout
The GOP statewide ticket has a favorite son -- Mark Obenshain -- from the ruby-red Shenandoah County. Republicans need to crank the turnout in the counties of Augusta, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Frederick.
Returns VPAP will track: The turnout in 20 precincts where McDonnell won 80% or better four years ago. Anything over 55% turnout would be a good thing for Republicans.
2. If Loudoun County Turns Red
No candidate since Mark Warner in 2001 has won a statewide election without carrying Loudoun County, an ex-urb behemoth with 210,000 registered voters. Loudoun has full-on politics this year – all House seats are contested and most are targeted. Democrats have a local guy – Mark Herring -- running on the statewide ticket. Loudoun is a real test of party ground game this year.
Returns VPAP will track: Seven precincts where McDonnell won 55% or better in 2009 and Obama won 52-55% in 2012. If these precincts go solidly red, Republicans might be able to breath easier.
3. Can the Center Hold in the Republican Party
This year’s election has exposed GOP fault lines between the country club establishment and the upstart Tea Partiers. Some high-profile Republicans – led by Lt. Governor Bill Bolling – have refused to endorse Cuccinelli or have outright defected to Terry McAuliffe.
Returns VPAP will track: Eight precincts in the near west end of Richmond and Henrico in the proximity of the Country Club of Virginia. Each of these precincts gave at least 2/3 of vote to McDonnell in 2009 and Romney in 2012. Cuccinelli is in good shape if he can draw 66% or better.
Things will be going well for Democrats, according to VPAP, if:
1. If Federal Workers Rise “Inside the Beltway”
Frank O’Leary, the elected treasurer in true-blue Arlington, reports that this year’s election will break all records in non-presidential absentee voter turnout. He speculated it was federal workers – angered by the federal Government shutdown last month.
Returns VPAP will track: County-wide turnout in Arlington. A turnout of 44% or more would put a smile on McAuliffe's face.
2. If Virginia Beach Glows Blue
The state’s largest city once was a reliable GOP stonghold. Jim Gilmore came out of Virgnia Beach with a 17,000-vote margin in 1997. The GOP margin was cut by half four years later and, in 2005, Democrat Tim Kaine carried Virginia Beach. The city returned to form four years ago to give hometown Republican Bob McDonnell a 27,000-vote margin.
Returns VPAP will Track: 8 precincts where Kaine did 52% or better in 2005 and McDonnell won by more than 60% four years later.
3. The Core-City African-American Vote Turns Out
Returns VPAP will Track: Twenty-eight precincts in Hampton, Norfolk, Petersburg, Portsmouth and Richmond that gave 95% or greater of the vote to Barack Obama in 2012. Democrats are looking for a turnout in these precincts of 36% or more.