2008 Virginia Is for Lovers
posted by October 9 at 18:18 PMon
The average of eight polls indicates Obama is now leading McCain by 5.1 percent in Virginia. Considered in spring a solid red state, and then in summer a toss-up state, Virginia’s electorate now leans blue, pushing Obama’s numbers on the electoral map over the 270 votes required to win. Those supposedly crucial swing states, Ohio and Florida, may not even matter.
I have a hard time swallowing the idea that Virginia could turn for Obama, but Virginia is for lovers, and swallowing is one way of saying I love you. Polls only say so much, particularly considering the wild card of voters getting pushed off the rolls, but the apparent trend in Virginia isn’t just a polling anomaly:
For the last 10 presidential elections, Republicans have been able to bank on Virginia delivering its 13 electoral votes to the GOP. President Bush won Virginia by 8 percentage points in both 2000 and 2004, and President Bill Clinton was never able to capture the state when he ran in 1992 and 1996.
But the explosive growth of Northern Virginia in the last decade has changed the state’s electorate. Drawn by government jobs in nearby Washington and high-tech jobs in the Dulles corridor, the growing population in Northern Virginia is more liberal than the mostly rural southern portion of the state, which has remained reliably Republican.