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, December 19, 2006

Richmond Metro Effects

Last week we explored how the election results have trended in the past 3 years in NOVA. We saw that the GOP margin of loss rose from 21,877 in '04 to 103,876 in'06.

Now we will take a look at the Richmond metro area. This is a historically GOP stronghold that has been seemingly holding its ground over the past few years. Even so, we see the same problems developing here as in NOVA.

We begin in the majority African-American locales in the area of Charles City County as well as Petersburg and Richmond Cities.
The results were: Kerry +38,875, Kaine +32,986, Webb +29,078
This is interesting since you would expect Webb to outperform here due to Allen's problems; but Kaine is a very popular figure in this area and anyone would have a hard time running ahead of him (Kerry did only b/c turnout is so much higher is presidential elections). So far the GOP has effectively gained around 9800 votes as a result of lower dem margins.

Next is the Richmond suburbs of Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover Counties as well as Colonial Heights and Hopewell.
The results were: Bush +71,553; Kilgore +12,024; Allen +36,779
The Kilgore number being so low can be explained by his overall suburban weakness coupled with Kaine's popularity in the Richmond area. While Allen did swing the GOP margin back pretty substantially; he still ran behind Bush by almost 35,000 votes. Thats a bigger dropoff than the "Fairfax Suburbs" I talked about in the last post (and the areas are of comparable size). This illustrates my point about NOVA not being the only problem.

The third area is the "exurbs" of Richmond. They include Powhatan, Goochland, Amelia, Prince George and Dinwidde Counties.
The results were: Bush +15,254; Kilgore +6464; Allen +10,973
Obviously this area is much smaller than the NOVA exurbs but the GOP fared a little better here as the vote only fell off by 4300 votes vs. 25,000 in NOVA exurbs. Even so, most of that is a result of this area being more longer-term residents that aren't changing dynamics as fast.

The combined results for the Richmond Metro area were:
Bush +47,932; Kaine +14,498; Allen +18,674.
As you can see, the GOP is having weakness here just like in NOVA. Obviously the size of the vote drop isn't as large; but the area isn't as big either. The scariest number for the GOP right now is that we lost greater NOVA by 22k in '04 and won greater Richmond by 48k; thereby sending 26,000 votes to Tidewater to begin offsetting there. Fast forward to 2006 and the GOP sends a deficit of 85,000 into Tidewater. This 100,000 vote swing, as we will see in the next post, just keeps getting worse as we go down the "urban cresent".

Like I said in the last post, Fairfax County isn't the only problem for the GOP right now.


  • At 12/20/2006 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Interesting analysis. If regular statewide Dems not named Tim Kaine or Mark Warner start winning Henrico, then the GOP has got some problems. Webb barely lost Henrico.

    Henrico is like the ultimate bellweather county. It has rich and poor, black and white, urban, suburban and the far western and eastern ends become exurban. Luckily for the GOP redistricting and incumbency allows them to split the county but maintain their huge advantages in the Assembly coming out of Henrico.

  • At 12/20/2006 9:27 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    You are correct 4:24. Henrico actually voted for the winner in every statewide election since at least 1996 until Webb lost it this year.


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