By Jim EllisMay 12, 2021 — Glenn Youngkin officially captured the Virginia Republican gubernatorial nomination earlier this week on the second day of ranked choice vote counting.
Early in the sixth tabulation round the other remaining participant from the original field of seven, businessman Pete Snyder, conceded the nomination when state Sen. Amanda Chase’s (R-Midlothian) second choice votes began to be dispersed. Chase was eliminated from further competition after the fifth round, finishing third overall.
Youngkin led in all the voting rounds, and even as early as the end of round two little evidence surfaced to suggest anything would occur through the ranking process to deny him winning the gubernatorial nomination.
The international investment executive, who, like Snyder, spent several million dollars to advertise around the state on electronic media for a closed convention with a universe of 53,000-plus delegates, will very likely face former governor and ex-Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe once the traditional Democratic primary concludes on June 8.
Understanding the voting trends from the past several elections, McAuliffe, assuming he is nominated in the party primary where he has consistently appeared as the prohibitive favorite, will begin the general election campaign with a major advantage.
Though more than 53,000 people had registered as delegates, the actual turnout was considerably less. Due to the manner in which votes are being reported and the weighting formula governing the ballots, the raw number of people attending the drive-thru formatted convention is not obvious. Only 12,557 weighted votes were reported.
Using a ranked choice voting system where individuals tiered their gubernatorial choices from 1-7, the participants’ tallies were then weighted by unit. According to the official party statement, each unit has a fixed number of delegate votes. The formula to determine each candidate’s weighted vote is the number of ballots received divided by the total ballots cast and then multiplied by the number of assigned delegate votes to the particular unit.