Despite winning the governor’s race by a 17-percentage point blowout, Virginia Republicans insisted Wednesday that they had gained no broad mandate and would make their top priority the pragmatic platform that drove voters to the polls…

“I just want to let everybody in Virginia know that I intend to govern the same way I campaigned,” [McDonnell] said. “I tried to tell people in a detailed way what we intend to do, and now that it’s time to govern, I want to go about the business of getting results and accomplishing those goals.”…

“Remember for years commentators were saying Republicans have to stop thinking they can win statewide elections on so-called divisive social issues, and they ought to be more kitchen table-oriented like the Democrats? Well, we almost switched places this time, didn’t we?” said Frank Donatelli, chairman of GOPAC, a group that helps elect Republicans nationwide and sent money and resources to Virginia Republicans this year…

Former Republican U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich said the Virginia GOP could provide a model for Republicans who want to defeat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and her Democratic colleagues in next year’s midterm elections and Obama two years later. “Bob McDonnell might be the archetype of the campaign for 2010 and 2012,” Gingrich said.