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.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

NOVA Extended Effects

Its no secret that northern Virginia has/is becoming an electoral problem for Republicans in Virginia. One interesting dynamic is how big of a factor NOVA really is in Virginia politics, and also what NOVA's definition truely is.
Statewide results were: Bush +262,217, Kaine +113,615, Webb +9329
We will look at these numbers later.

For our analysis we begin in the DC suburbs of Alexandria. Arlington, Falls Church, and Fairfax County/City. These locales delivered a huge vote margin to all dem statewide candidates in recent Virginia elections.
The results were: Kerry +91,535, Kaine +108,109, Webb +120,721
As you can see, dems have not made huge inroads here like many people probably thought. As you can see, Bush to Allen swung 270k votes, while Allen only around 30k of that was lost from Bush here. Most of this is largely due to this area being built out and not seeing massive population growth to shift numbers a great deal (although 30k votes is still a big swing).

Our next area is the "Fairfax Suburbs" of Loudoun and Prince William Counties as well as Manassas and Manassas Park. This is another area many have pointed to GOP weakness as the results from recent elections were: Bush +23,620, Kaine +3255, Webb +2881.
Here we see the same sort of pattern develop, with GOP weakness; but not overwhelming (25k votes here). As we leave traditional "NOVA", Allen has only lost around 55k of the 270k compared to Bush. One reason for this may be a large base of soft Rs that only turnout in presidential years, thereby keeping margins high then and falling off the rest of the time. We will have to wait until 2008 to see if thats the case or not.

The third part of NOVA are the exurbs. This area consists of Fauquier, Culpepper, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Shenandoah and Warren Counties. This is an area that we have not seen alot of discussion about, but they should be getting more attention.
Results here were: Bush +46,038, Kilgore +14,216, Allen +19,726
The GOP margins here fell by almost as much as the DC suburbs and the "Fairfax Suburbs". The main reason I suppose people aren't talking about this is that the GOP is still winning these locales, whereas they have now starting losing Fairfax, Loudoun and PWC.

Overall, the NOVA results were: Kerry +21,877, Kaine +97,148, Webb +103,876. What we see here is that in 2004, the margin in Fairfax County was 167% the overall margin. In 2005 and 2006 that number was only about 60% of the margin. This is a result of less offset in the historical GOP strongholds in the area.

What the GOP needs to realize here is that Fairfax County is not the only problem in Virginia. This analysis shows that NOVA is much bigger than we think. We have to develop campaign strategies to take control of this situation. If we do that, we can actually put ourself in a great situation, since these "Exurbs" are probably growing as fast, if not faster, than Loudoun and PWC; and also have much more room to grow.

Also as you will notice, NOVA is not the total loss in any races. Bush ran at +284,094 downstate from our 3-part NOVA. That number actually flipped to Tim Kaine, as he won downstate with +16,467 in 2005 and then Allen flipped it back to +94,547 downstate this past election. Next week we will take a look at the rest of the urban cresent, to show that the suburban population in general is creating problems, not just NOVAians.


  • At 12/15/2006 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good analysis. The GOP has always had problems in Peninsula/Hampton roads because of the huge black populations in Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, and growing populations in Virginia Beach and Cheasapeake. VB is still a federal Republican town that's competitive in state elections.

    It will be interesting to see what you come up with for this area as well as the emerging exurbs in Hampton Roads like York, James City/Wmsbg, Suffolk. Kaine was able to do well in these areas, and Webb didn't focus as much and was only able to get the Democratic base vote.

  • At 12/15/2006 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    THis is the most confusing damn post I've ever read.


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