Higher enthusiasm and polariation were the key features of yesterday's governor election in Virginia, suggesting that US President Donald Trump has energised voters on all sides.
Academic studies have found that wall-to-wall negative television advertisements can discourage votes and keep them home.
Turnout, however, was the highest in 20 years for a governor race, 5 percentage points and 10 percentage points higher than the last two.
And voters in the urban and rural regions of the state broke more heavily to the Democrats or Republicans than they had in the prior elections.
Looking at the state in six regions shows every one of them split by party more forcefully than four years ago, when Democrat Terry McAuliffe defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli by 2.5 percentage points.
The three relatively urban regions - northern Virginia, Central Virginia around Richmond and the Hampton Roads - each gave Governor-elect Ralph Northam bigger vote margins than McAuliffe earned over Cuccinelli. On the flip side, Republican Ed Gillespie scored bigger wins in the three more-rural regions, Shenandoah Valley, Southside and Southwest Virginia.
Northern Virginia was bombarded by Gillespie television ads about MS-13 gang violence and child pornography, but the area gave Northam a vote advantage of more than 260,000 votes, expanding the region's dominance over the rest of the state. It was more than twice the size of McAuliffe's margin there.
Central Virginia voted surprisingly Democratic, giving Northam a margin almost four times as big as McAuliffe's.
Gillespie's success compared to Cuccinelli in Shenandoah, Southside and Southwest Virginia, showed that he turned out voters in the Republican areas.
Early returns indicate a significantly higher turnout for this year's governor election than seen in the last four. The last governor elected with a higher voter turnout was Republican Jim Gilmore in 1997.
Compared to recent races, turnout was higher in all six regions, a sign of widespread interest and enthusiasm.
Once again, however, Northam gained the advantage.
The highest turnouts were in in Central Virginia and northern Virginia, areas he won handily. Shenandoah Valley had the next highest turnout, but the relatively small area could not come close to offsetting the higher turnouts in bigger areas.
Northam's vote margin in Hampton Roads was more than 4000 votes bigger than Democrat Hillary Clinton's last year, a surprise since so many more people vote in presidential elections. Northam's military background and hometown on the Eastern Shore may have provided extra momentum in that region.
Northam's margin in Central Virginia around Richmond was similarly more than 4000 votes bigger than Clinton's there.
His margin in northern Virginia did not top Clinton's, but it was bigger than President Barack Obama won it by in either of his winning campaigns.
Gillespie was not able to mount anywhere close to Trump's margins in the Republican areas. Gillespie outperformed Cuccinelli, but did not draw the sheer vote advantage that Trump generated.