Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Lynchburg Politics

NLS has a great post up on his continuing anaylsis of voter growth throughout Virginia. This week he has Lynchburg as his region for study. Much like the Roanoke area, the Lynchburg area is seeing a massive GOP shift in federal elections but that has not transferred over into state elections. The most recent evidence of this is the victory of Shannon Valentine in the 23rd, a district that has long been held by the GOP.
This anaylsis seems to prove what is an increasingly national trend, rural areas are turning decidely Republican. As we have seen in both Roanoke and Lynchburg, the cities themselves have seen moderate GOP voter growth; but the outer lying counties have had a GOP explosion.
We may need this to counter the seemingly eroding GOP margins in NOVA and Hampton Roads. What we should take from this and the Roanoke area is that the GOP's biggest concern should be solidifying the base in these areas and converting federal election success into state politics as well. These areas will be key in defending our majorities in the General Assembly as well as winning statewide races.

On another note, according to Census projections; Lynchburg City has actually lost a few hundred people since 2000. At the current rate, the 23rd HOD seat would go from consisting of 93% Lynchburg-7% Amherst County to 81% Lynchburg-19% Amherst/Bedford County. This extra 10,000 in population in a heavily Republican area should help to strengthen the GOP margin here and make it easier to oust Valentine and then defend the seat.

UPDATE: My numbers on the 23rd are that Lynchburg City has 65k residents (the same as in 2000). Based on current projections, HOD seats will rise from 70k residents/seat now to 80k in 2010. Since Lynchburg City isn't growing, there will be an additional 10k residents that will have to be drawn into the district (assuming the City isnt busted up or anything like that).


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