The Fairfax Analysis
I continue to believe that Fairfax County (and suburban areas everywhere) are still very winnable by Republicans. The main problem that has plaqued the GOP in Fairfax is the fixation on social issues. While many people perceive NOVA to be "socially moderate", the main problem is their main issue: transportation. While many in Fairfax may be against abortion and gay marriage; they are more worried about transportation solutions and getting their tax money back from Richmond. I believe a winning strategy for NOVA Republicans is stressing our tax and spend stances (limit gov't by limiting spending, therefore taxes) and also innovative transportation solutions involving mass transit. Talking about being socially conservative is fine, but we still need to have a good balance with the other issues.
The biggest disadvantage we have had in the past is that Republicans spend too much time promoting and defending their social stances, while seemingly never talking about transportation or taxes (when was the last time Bob Marshall made the news b/c of a tax policy idea he had?). That is a grave mistake that we cannot continue to make in suburban areas. Even so, we cannot use the Kilgore strategy of taking no stances on social issues. In order to keep the activists involved, we must be steadfast in our beliefs, but make sure to balance it with promoting our other ideals.
We must learn to stress different things in different areas: economic development in Southwest and Southside, social issues in the Valley and Piedmont, transportation and taxes in the suburban areas, education in urban areas. Until we use this strategy, the GOP will continue to lose seats in the General Assembly as well as statewide races.