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High Voter Turnout Highlights Midterm Election

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There were high voter turnouts across central Virginia on Election Day. There were high voter turnouts across central Virginia on Election Day.
By noon, some localities already reported more than 50 percent of registered voters coming out. By noon, some localities already reported more than 50 percent of registered voters coming out.
Denver Riggleman (R) and Leslie Cockburn (D) garnered the region's attention. Denver Riggleman (R) and Leslie Cockburn (D) garnered the region's attention.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The city of Charlottesville had one of the largest voter turnouts in Virginia on Election Day, and political analysts say credit goes to President Trump.

Albemarle County had the highest turnout in the NBC29 viewing area with a 68 percent turnout. Charlottesville had a 61 percent turnout, nearly doubling its 33 percent turnout for the 2014 midterm elections. Charlottesville's 28 percent increase  from 2014 is the highest in Virginia.

Fluvanna and Nelson counties also had high turnouts, with more than 65 percent of registered voters casting ballots.

The Center for Politics at the University of Virginia says Charlottesville’s voter turnout nearly doubled in comparison to the amount of people who came out for the 2014 midterm elections. 

An expert from the center said there were a few specific factors that drove the large percentage of people heading to the polls. In the 5th District, the abundance of campaign ads and close competition among candidates Leslie Cockburn (D) and Denver Riggleman (R) drove higher voter turnout.

Kyle Kondik is the managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the UVA Center for Politics and he says many people used the election to voice their opinions about the current president.

“I think Trump is just driving all of this,” Kondik said. “There are people just coming out of the woodwork to support him and his candidates and others to oppose him and support candidates who oppose the president and we saw that in the kind of mixed results across the country.”

Kondik predicts that for the 2020 presidential election, Virginia could drive more young people to the polls and become more of a blue state.

“I think that you would go into the 2020 presidential election thinking that whoever the Democratic nominee is would have a leg up in Virginia, unless the president dramatically approves his approval both in Virginia and nationally,” Kondik said.

Kondik added that there’s always been a divide in urban and rural political views, but now it’s becoming more apparent. 

Results from local precincts steadily rolled in after 7 p.m. on Tuesday. However, results from Charlottesville did not become public until nearly 10 p.m. and were not complete until almost an hour later.  We reached out to the Charlottesville Registrar’s Office to find out what the delay was, but the office has not responded.

See full 2018 Midterm Election Results here.