Election 2015: Balance of power up for grabs as polls wind down

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It’s Vote 2015, and democrats are trying to take back control of the senate as republicans try to maintain their slight majority.

Currently, Republicans have a 21-19 majority in the senate. Democrats are hoping to gain two seats, but just need one as lieutenant Governor Ralph Northan, a democrat, would break most ties in the senate.

Governor Terry McAuliffe has made taking control of the senate a top priority. Democrats, including the gun control group headed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomeberg, have spent millions of dollars on races in Richmond and northern Virginia. That includes the 10th Senate District being vacated by retiring republican Senator John Watkins.

Democrat Dan Gecker, republican Glen Sturtevant, independent Marleen Durfee and libertarian Carl Loser are hoping to replace him. Republicans, meanwhile, have also spent millions and believe they will retain control of the senate and tighten their grip on the house.

We asked one political analyst who would benefit most from a high voter turnout.

“You know, I think higher turnout probably will benefit the democrats,” Dr. Lauren Bell told 8News. “Many of the contested races are in the senate, so I think if the turnout is high, the democrats can expect to see better than expected results.”

8News will be at both the democratic and republican camps tonight as the results start to come in. When we find out who the big winners are, we’ll have reaction starting on 8News at 11.

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