It was late Tuesday night, before many Republicans at their Richmond election night party realized the Senate race wasn't going their way, but political analyst Bob Holsworth knew it much earlier when he saw the results coming in from Chesterfield County.
"What happened is there were a couple of places where George Allen and the Republicans and Mitt Romney really needed to run up big numbers last night, where they simply didn't do it," Holsworth said.
In an interview Wednesday, Holsworth said the election results reflect a continuing demographic shift in Virginia and a continuing problem for Republicans, especially in suburban counties that are becoming more diverse.
"The Republicans have yet to figure out a way to appeal to the growing African-American community and the Latino community and they need to do so," Holsworth told us, "if they're going to be competitive, particularly in high-turnout elections."
On the morning after the election, Governor Bob McDonnell noted Republicans did enjoy success in Virginia's Congressional races, and added to the numer of Republican Governships across the country, but he said the party must do a better job of reaching out.
"What we've got to do is find ways to appeal even that much better to those folks before the elections start," he said, "and tell 'em why our message is better."
Holsworth said Virginia Democrats must now shoulder "the presidential curse." Since 1976, every time the nation has elected a Democratic President, Holsworth told us, Virginia has elected a Republican Governor the next year.