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.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Redrawing the 2nd

The next in our redistricting posts is the 2nd congressional district in Tidewater. This seat has traditionally been GOP but is now showing signs of weakness. The 2nd is expected to be the closest race this year in Virginia, but some of that is due to geographical factors. Even so, some people point to a Kilgore loss in Va Beach as a signal of a shift in political leanings for the area.

Currently Va Beach comprizes 65% of the district. The other 35% is made up of the eastern shore and the more GOP areas of Norfolk and Hampton. In the new district, Va Beach will only comprise of 62%. The eastern shore isnt seeing much growth, so the district will have to extend further into Norfolk or Hampton city. The key here is that the new precincts are overwhelmingly democratic. For every 4 new voters draw into the district, 3 will likely be democrats. With the threat of changing political winds in the Beach combined with this large gain in dem voters, the 2nd district could become very competitive in the future (even though a new district would possibily favor the Norfolk resident Drake more).

Another problem is that a high number of voters here are military. Military voters have been reliably GOP for a long time, so no demographic shifts here can help boost the GOP base.

The only way to stem this would be to push Poquoson and York County from the 1st and into the 2nd to strengthen the GOP base (the 1st is still largely conservative and seems to be gaining GOPs with the recent political turns of Caroline County). This is highly unlikely except in total GOP control of the process, and even then may be met with some concerns. Even so, it may be what is necessary to keep the 2nd in GOP hands.


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  • At 4/18/2006 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hokie, I doubt the 2nd will go into York, but will likely pick up more of the Hampton area of the 1st. It will become more Democratic. You can't take more of Norfolk because the 2nd has most of the white precincts and the rest are heavily black.

  • At 4/25/2006 6:30 PM, Blogger Vivian J. Paige said…

    Anonymous - that's not quite right. There are 55 precincts in Norfolk and only about 15 of them are "heavily black" to use your phrase. The problem will be making it contiguous and that is hard with the white precincts being on the outer edges of the city.

  • At 4/26/2006 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I meant to say 50% black. There's no way Republicans or even a split assembly will draw more of Norfolk into the 2nd.


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