Steve Helber / AP

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam beat former congressman Tom Perriello handily Tuesday night to become the Democratic nominee to replace Terry McAuliffe as Virginia's governor.

In a surprise twist, the closer race was on the Republican side as Ed Gillespie, the former RNC chairman and senior George W. Bush aide, only beat Corey Stewart by some 4,000 votes — a one point margin. Stewart served for a time as Donald Trump's campaign chairman in Virginia, and is perhaps best known for controversial comments like this:

Two days before the election he filmed a video praising a Confederate general as one of his personal heroes.

The Democratic race was viewed as something of a proxy war within the party, as Northam was backed by most of the big names in Virginia politics but Perriello received endorsements from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

As NBC News' Mark Murray points out, "Perriello tried to start out as the anti-Trump candidate. But Northam quickly neutralized that with 'narcissistic maniac,'" (a reference to a line about Trump in one of Northam's campaign ads).

One big thing: Turnout. Nearly 200,000 more Democrats voted than Republicans — it's clear which party is more energized.

Smart take, via the NYT"s Alex Burns: "Stewart's showing against Gillespie will probably weigh on the minds of mainstream GOPers thinking about that Senate race vs. Kaine in 2018"

Go deeper

Delta CEO: Trump administration should issue mask mandate for air travel

Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Delta CEO Ed Bastian on Friday told CNN that he believes the Trump administration should move to require the use of face masks during air travel amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

The big picture: Delta already requires passengers to wear masks during its flights, but Bastian says it can be difficult to enforce that directive if passengers refuse — and he's not sure if other airlines would be on board.

Trump's outdoor New Hampshire rally postponed due to weather

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump's outdoor campaign rally in Portsmouth, N.H., slated to take place on Saturday, was postponed on Friday due to weather from Tropical Storm Fay, a senior White House official confirmed to Axios.

The state of play: Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Air Force One that the event would take place in "a week or two" instead. The outdoor rally — which had encouraged the use of face masks — was scheduled after sparse attendance at Trump's indoor comeback to the campaign trail in Tulsa.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 12,333,740 — Total deaths: 556,110 — Total recoveries — 6,781,353Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 3,140,840 — Total deaths: 133,542 — Total recoveries: 969,111 — Total tested: 38,032,966Map.
  3. Public health: The U.S.' new default strategy: herd immunity
  4. ✈️ Travel: Delta CEO says Trump administration should issue mask mandate for air travelAirlines say air quality, cleanliness lower risk.
  5. Sports: Sen. Richard Blumenthal calls on colleges to cancel fall sports.