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11/16/2017 Virginia Governors Race: GovBrain Trend Analysis Has Candidates in Dead Heat

Brent M. Eastwood
Founder @GovBrain
Nov 1 3 min read

Virginia Democrat Ralph Northam on the left and Republican Ed Gillespie on the right. (Photo:
RVA Mag)

Virginia Governors Race: GovBrain Trend

Analysis Has Candidates in Dead Heat
Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie are essentially
tied, according to GovBrains Trend Meter analysis of the the Virginia
gubernatorial contest. The candidates have traded the lead since
GovBrain began covering the race on October 14. Northam has spent
11 days in the lead on the Trend Meter, while Gillespie has led for ve
days. The candidates are neck and neck on the Trend Meter now, but
GovBrain gives Northam the edge since he has trended higher for more
days. The election will be held on November 7.

GovBrain uses a patent-pending Trend Meter inside its machine

learning and arti cial intelligence system. The GovBrain system
searches data from nearly 800 government, regulatory, and legislative
sources along with political, nancial, and technology news sites from
around the world. The GovBrain trend meter is self-contained and does
not incorporate analysis of social media, Google and Wikipedia
searches, YouTube interactions, or polling data its predictive signal is
unique. To use the trend meter to begin tracking an election, one simply 1/4
11/16/2017 Virginia Governors Race: GovBrain Trend Analysis Has Candidates in Dead Heat

types the name of the candidate, clicks enter, and watches the results
over time.

You can see how Gillespie started out ahead on the Trend Meter, but he
gave up the lead to Northam on October 21. Northam had his largest
lead on October 23, but then Gillespie began chipping away at the
de cit and caught up to Northam on October 31.

Northam is Virginias lieutenant governor and Gillespie is the former

chair of the Republican National Committee. Both are normally low-
key personalities in style and substance, but they have engaged in
trench warfare on the airwaves. Gillespie has tried to accuse Northam
of being too soft on the transnational criminal gang MS-13. A Democrat
group supporting Northam released a controversial ad that featured a
truck with a confederate ag and Gillespie bumper sticker chasing a
group of minority kids.

Money from outside groups has ooded into the state as the race is
seen as a testing ground for U.S. Senate elections and other statewide
contests around the country that are slated for 2018. Vice President
Mike Pence has campaigned for Gillespie and Trump often tweets his
support for the Republican ticket. Former President Barack Obama
appeared at a Richmond rally for Northam in October.

Support for the candidates depends on geography. Democrats are

strong in the densely-populated counties in Northern Virginia that are 2/4
11/16/2017 Virginia Governors Race: GovBrain Trend Analysis Has Candidates in Dead Heat

close to Washington, DC. Gillespie gets his conservative support from

the more rural southwestern regions of the commonwealth.

Northam is a soft-spoken, moderate pediatric neurologist who seems

like a safe choice in a state that Hillary Clinton won. Gillespie is known
for being a tough underdog who nishes well. He barely lost to heavily-
favored U.S. Senator Mark Warner in 2014.

Polling results for the race have been scattered. Northam has led by 17
points in some surveys while Gillespie has been up by 8. Average
polling data compiled by RealClear Politics as of November 1 has
Northam winning by 3.6 percent.

Gillespie has showed resiliency on the GovBrain Trend Meter. Northam

has just not been able to put him away. Despite large pockets of
conservatives, Virginia is a blue state with a sitting Democrat governor.
President Trump has low approval ratings, so this should have been a
much easier race for Northam. A close loss would be a heartbreaker for
Gillespie, who came within a point of beating Senator Mark Warner. It
will all come down to voter turnout which will be lower in this o -year
election. That means whoever energizes the base the most and attracts
undecided independents in the last 72 hours will win.

The race on the Trend Meter is extremely close, but GovBrain gives the
advantage to Ralph Northam, since he has trended higher for more
days. But Gillespie is a strong closer and he could still win in an upset
that would worry a lot of national Democrats.

GovBrain uses machine learning and arti cial intelligence to predict

geopolitical events. The Washington, DC rm has predicted elections
successfully in Japan, UK, Iran, South Korea, and France. 3/4