The Missed Story – From Tuesday’s Election

Virginia is perennially considered a red state by TV’s talking heads and the print world’s political pundits. Virginia is considered a conservative bastion and the home of fundamentalist Christians as shown by being custodian of the two holy places of Pat Robertson’s 700 Club and the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. Last Tuesday’s primary would expect these authoritarian Virginians to march lock step to the polls and vote solidly Republican – but they didn’t.

Where the voter had the option to choose a Republican or a Democratic ballot, only 34% chose a Republican ballot as opposed to 66% who chose a Democratic ballot.

And in my county of Chesterfield, which has been a bastion of Republican ole boy politics up until the last board of supervisor’s election, the breakdown was 38% choosing the Republican ballot and 62% choosing the Democratic ballot.

Virginians were going Democratic versus Republican – two to one!

This is a seismic shift, a pole reversal, an underreported story that bodes the possibility that Virginia is truly turning from red to at least purple, and suggests real opportunities in November for Democrats in Virginia, if they can get their act together, to make further inroads in local and state offices.


Alter of Freedom said…
The real story will be if the next election cycle in State politics goes with the same ferver but I am inclined to think there was just more motivation behind this time around with the Obama/Clinton matchup. I know quite a few folks, Republicans, who voted in the Democrat primary and the fact that Huckabee for example only ot 220 votes in all of Chesterfield and 140 came from the Bellewood area tells you that most of the evangelicals stayed home. If you look oput in SW Va you will see in the 5th CD that turnout was heavier by those supporting Huckabee in greater overall voting numbers thanks to those folks out there and of course those around Chesapeake home to the Pat Robertson supporters.
When you factor in the population growth that will be demonstrated by the next census for NVA I think you will find that Virginia no longer will represent the bastion of evangelical Christian numbers as in the past. NVA politics is trending in a very different direction and there will be no way for anyone in the futre to carry VA in a Presidential race or Governor for that matter without carrying that region no matter if turnout is 50% elsewhere.
I have said this before but Chesterfield and other localities will take a big step backward in tersm of state support in funding as more and more Republicans are defeated in state races. The power has shift to NVA as can be seen in transportation funding as politicians, Governors especially, will seek the favor of that region in its policies.
It was striking to see that 90% of those who voted Republican chose McCain in Chesterfield. I can tell you that many who had supported George Allen, remember he carried Chesterfield against Webb, stayed home this Primary. I can tell though they will not stay home in the Fall regardless whether Clinton/Obama is nominated. Historically Virginia turnout in Primaries is low but with someone has inspiring as Obama it makes since that 60% of those voting voted on that side.

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