Terry McAuliffe will be sworn in as Virginia's governor on Saturday, capping a notable run for Democrats is one of the nation's most competitive states.
McAuliffe's election marks the first time since the 1970s that Democrats have followed a presidential win with a victory the next year's Virginia gubernatorial election. During the same four decades, Republicans were never able to follow a GOP presidential win with a victory in Virginia.
Although McAuliffe broke that trend, Republicans and Democrats alike expect the state to remain fiercely competitive.
The key to both parties fortunes lies in rapidly growing Northern Virginia, which has swung back and forth in recent decades. While McAuliffe and President Barack Obama won the region in the past two elections, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell won that block in 2009.