Cold, wet weather in North Virginia has sparked some chatter about the conditions could tip the Virginia governor's race in Republican Ed Gillespie's favor.
Polls leading up to Tuesday's Virginia governor's race have been close, but the latest surveys have shown have shown Democrat Ralph Northam with a slight advantage. However, as the polls opened, so did the skies amid chilly conditions in the D.C.-Metropolitan region, including Northern Virginia, a strong Democratic bastion.
Some people have noted that in bad weather has played a role in elections past, citing prior studies which claim bad election day weather favors Republicans, as Democrats are more infrequent voters and rain or snow, could be the deciding factor in convincing them to skip casting a vote.
Lots of rain across Virginia for #ElectionDay2017 . Rain traditionally favors Republicans, studies have… https://t.co/h3nUW80jCb (USA Today) pic.twitter.com/eCM1UvfDn0— Channel 3 Weather (@wkycweather) November 7, 2017
Bad weather in Virginia potentially swinging the Governorship reflects so poorly on the state of civic engagement in our country.— John Zachary (@JohnZachary1) November 7, 2017
While some expressed concern about the poor weather conditions, others cautioned tempered any paranoia around it, saying that the weather is only one variable of many.
For reference: weather around Virginia alongside voter participation in recent gubernatorial elections.It's a limited set and turnout depends on plenty of variables (I'm no political scientist!), but devastating flooding widely credited with the drop in 1985. pic.twitter.com/RJwpeokO7C— John Boyer (@boyerweather) November 7, 2017
Still, some Twitter users aware of the rain and the possible impact it might have on turnout, urged Virginians not to be daunted by a little rain because the result of the election is far-reaching.
Virginia, in particular, has been a case-study as the gubernatorial election always takes place in an odd-number, off-year, meaning no presidential contest which typically boosts turnout.
In any off-off year election, weather is a huge factor in the result. Rain in #Virginia today. #Northam & #Gillespie turnout may see impact. pic.twitter.com/6q4b6L6NcB— Tom Fitzgerald (@FitzFox5DC) November 7, 2017
The polls close at 7 p.m. Eastern time.