Keys to the Election - Roanoke Metro
Since at least 1996, every statewide candidate that won the Roanoke metro area went on to win the election.
Here are the results for the metro area and (statewide):
'05 Gov: Kilgore - 47.4%, Kaine - 52.6%; (46-51.7)
'05 LG: Bolling - 53%, Byrne - 47%; (50.5-49.3)
'05 AG: McDonnell - 51.2%, Deeds - 48.8%; (50-50)
'04 Pres: Bush - 58.1%, Kerry - 41.9%; (53.7-45.4)
'01 Gov: Earley - 46.5%, Warner - 53.5%; (47-52.1)
'01 LG: Katzen - 49.3%, Kaine - 50.7%; (48-50.4)
'00 Pres: Bush - 54.8%, Gore - 45.2%; (52.5-44.4)
'00 Sen: Allen - 53.3%, Robb - 46.7%; (52.2-47.7)
'97 Gov: Gilmore - 57.6%, Beyer - 42.4%; (55.8-42.6)
'97 LG: Hager - 50.1%, Payne - 49.9%; (50.2-45.1)
'97 AG: Earley - 59.2%, Dolan - 40.8%; (57.5-42.4)
'96 Pres: Dole - 50.6%, Clinton - 49.4%; (51.1-48.9)
'96 Sen: John Warner - 50.7%, M Warner - 49.3%; (52.6-47.4)
As you can see, the Roanoke results are typically close to statewide results, and is important to any statewide candidate who must carry this area to win.
The other important thing to remember about this area is that in big GOP wins like 2004, Salem city basically offset Roanoke city leaving Roanoke county to start offsetting NOVA losses. Conversely, in 2005 Kilgore had to go into Botetourt and Bedford to offset the Roanoke losses. Those votes will make a big difference when we see how far the NOVA offset stretches.
This area is very important to keep in mind for the election this year b/c Allen should do well here due to his rural appeal; but Webb' consultant Mudcat Saunders, who lives next door in Franklin county and engineered Warner's strength in this area, could even the playing field. If NOVA is as weak as it appears for the GOP, Allen will need to get a big win from this area to win. The more votes he can send from here to NOVA, the better he will be.