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Old 11-12-2020, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, Commonwealth of Virginia
2,150 posts, read 1,558,189 times
Reputation: 2907

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This forum seems to be very politically contentious, particularly about Virginia's political future. I wanted to provide my gut take of the Virginia election results. This will be purely factual and non-partisan in lens, though I'll admit to being an Alexandria liberal for full transparency, so take that as you will.

1. Virginia continues to trend Democratic. It appears Virginia will be 6% more Democratic than the nation at large (Virginia will be 10% while the nation will be 4% Biden). That is a significant divergence.

In 2016, Virginia was +5% Clinton when Clinton won nationally by 2%. So Virginia was 3% more Democratic than the nation at large. Essentially, that Dem bias has doubled in 4 years.

In 2012, Virginia was the tipping point state. In 2008, it was 1% more Republican. In 2004, it was 6% more Republican. In 2000, it was 8% more Republican. You get the drill.

The state has continuously moved Democratic since the 1990s. At this point in time, Virginia is only a swing state when the GOP is winning by 7% nationally, a margin last achieved 32 years ago in 1988.

Virginia is now the 16th most Democratic state.

2. Virginia's Dem swing is not entirely Northern Virginia. Contrary to popular opinion, Virginia's Dem trend is not just Nova. Below are the Biden/Trump two-party vote shares by metropolitan statistical area (MSA). As you can see, every metro (even Bristol!) swung toward Biden.

The biggest swings were actually Winchester (+8% Biden margin), and Lynchburg, Roanoke, Staunton (+6% Biden margin). It's hard to overstate the metropolitan dominance here. Northern Virginia + Richmond + Virginia Beach is 6,052,857 of Virginia's 8,535,519, or 71%.

And, as you can see below, Northern Virginia is 66% Biden, Richmond is 57% Biden, and Hampton Roads is 58% Biden. Those are hefty margins. If each of those metros were states, Northern Virginia would be the most liberal in the nation (moreso than Massachusetts - 65% Biden - or California - 64% Biden). Richmond and Hampton Roads would each be the 14th most liberal (and just behind Southern New England).

With these metros becoming Dem bastions, the votes are simply not there for the rest of the state without gargantuan Republican margins. Instead, we see Dem inroads into the mid-sized metros. Charlottesville gets bluer than blue and the rest had smaller GOP margins.
  • Blacksburg MSA: 44% Biden, 56% Trump (42-58 Clinton) +4% margin for Biden
  • Charlottesville MSA: 64% Biden, 36% Trump (62-38 Clinton) +4% margin for Biden
  • Harrisonburg MSA: 40% Biden, 60% Trump (38-62 Clinton) +4% margin for Biden
  • Kingsport MSA (Virginia portion, aka Bristol): 23% Biden, 77% Trump (22-78 Clinton) +2% margin for Biden
  • Lynchburg MSA: 34% Biden, 66% Trump (31-69 Clinton) +6% margin for Biden
  • Richmond MSA: 57% Biden, 43% Trump (55-45 Clinton) +4% margin for Biden
  • Roanoke MSA: 42% Biden, 58% Trump (39-61 Clinton) +6% margin for Biden
  • Staunton/Waynesboro MSA: 35% Biden, 65% Trump (32-68 Clinton) +6% margin for Biden
  • Virginia Beach/Norfolk MSA (Virginia portion): 58% Biden, 42% Trump (55-45 Clinton) +6% margin for Biden
  • Washington MSA (Virginia portion, aka Northern Virginia): 66% Biden, 34% Trump (64-36 Clinton) +4% margin for Biden
  • Winchester MSA (Virginia portion): 40% Biden, 60% Trump (36-64 Clinton) +8% margin for Biden

** Votes are still being counted, so expect Dems to largely improve with some potential for erosion in Hampton Roads as military ballots are counted.

3. The suburban revolt is real for the GOP. Biden has won Stafford County (152,882 people) for the Democrats for the first time since 1976 (44 years ago!). Chesterfield County (352,802 people) went Biden by 6.3%. Chesterfield has not voted for a Democrat since Harry Truman in 1948! We just saw a 72-year GOP streak broken in a rapidly growing suburban county south of Richmond.

But that's not all. Hanover County, deeply red, gave 36% of the vote to Biden. That might seem terrible, but it's the best Dem performance since 1964 (56 years ago). Spotsylvania County was awfully close too, going from +16% Trump in 2016 to +7% Trump in 2020. If the GOP cannot staunch that bleeding, we'll see further declines in their political fortunes (they still have a lot of suburban GOP representation in the state legislature that could fall with the redistricting amendment)

4. The rurals are not as good as they could be. One of the reasons Pennsylvania is so close is because the GOP can churn out 70%+ of the vote in vast swathes of Central Pennsylvania. It's a death by 1,000 cuts situation. In Virginia, the rurals aren't as good. Appalachia is golden for the GOP, at 75-80% Republican, but is in absolute population decline and has maybe 5% of the population if you're generous.

Outside of that, Augusta and the Lynchburg suburbs deliver, but the rest of rural Virginia could be improved. Southside's black population gives the Dems a high baseline vote. Same for much of the Northern Neck. And then in Northern Piedmont and the Shenandoah Valley, you have liberal university towns and Nova exurban liberals who decrease the percentages. The GOP can't win if the Dems are getting 40% in Fauquier, 40% in Culpeper, 40% in Orange, 43% in Buckingham, 47% in Fluvanna. The rural vote isn't good enough.

5. Northern Virginia is determinative. Yes, Republicans are right! Virginia is only Democratic because of Northern Virginia.

Right now, Biden is winning Virginia by +450,609 votes, a formidable margin of 10.1%. It should grow another 0.2-0.4% once all ballots are counted (the outstanding ballots are overwhelmingly in blue areas). Northern Virginia, however, gave Biden +497,962 votes. In other words, remove Nova, and Virginia is a swing state that goes Trump by a mere 47,000 votes.

You wouldn't have to remove just Alexandria and Arlington though. You'd need to remove Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William as well.

Of course, now that Democrats have control in Richmond (the start of a decades-long dominance imo), there's no reason for them to even consider letting Nova go.

That said, the rest of Virginia is trending Democratic outside of Nova, so even a Trump win in 2020 would have become a Trump loss in 2024 due to demographic churn.

CONCLUSION:

Democrats have taken the driver's seat in Virginia with a double-digit Biden win, a historic triumph in the Old Dominion. No Democrat has won the state by double digits since Franklin Roosevelt's 1944 landslide.

If those trends continue, we'll have Democratic supermajorities by the end of the 2020s, as the 2020 redistricting and population growth alone will likely give the Democrats another 5 seats in the House of Delegates and 2-3 in the State Senate.

That said, the GOP coalition held up quite well outside of Virginia. The same trends that crushed Republicans in Virginia helped narrow North Carolina and deliver an upset Biden win in Georgia.

But the GOP coalition could flip Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan long-term, and Biden's close wins do nothing to erase the tenuous nature of the Dem coalition in those states.

I would imagine the GOP will simply cede Virginia to the Dems in the long-term, which will eventually see it becoming another Democratic blue wall stronghold while investing in the Rust Belt.

So Democrats should feel very good about Virginia long-term while Republicans should feel good that Virginia is lost, but isn't a must-win for them anyway. Either way, the Commonwealth will be in for a fascinating political decade ahead!
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:21 PM
 
90 posts, read 34,711 times
Reputation: 167
I don't disagree that VA is a blue state (in fact you could argue more blue than NY at this point) but...

A. Trump broke the system in both 2016 and 2020. Probably no candidate has been as polarizing in recent history.
B. As the left moves further and further left there will be infighting ala the GOP and the Tea Party.
C. This election resulted in a large number of people who voted Biden then Republicans down ticket. This tells me they dislike DJT but disagreed with the Democrats on policy. Besides Orange Man Bad the only policies the left had were the progressive ones. Remove Trump from the picture and does Biden win. Or another way to look at it...Did people actually vote FOR Joe Biden?
D. Mail in ballots spurred voting spikes everywhere, it is way too early to count on 150m votes per election moving forward.
E. The VA GOP is one of the worst run state parties I've seen, most people didn't even know who was running against Wexton. Their were no commercials that I saw for Gade compared with DNC TV spots and mailers every day. At some point that has to turn.
F. At some point the GOP will move away from the 2A and Abortion a bit. Both these issues are hurting them a lot with women.
G. Speaking of women, they hated Trump in 16 and 20. That hatred won't be a factor in 2024.
H. Progressives and minority voters are going to get very frustrated when they realize they were used for votes again and their policies go largely unfulfilled. At some point they will either leave (not vote) or push the party further left. Will this still play outside of Charlottesville and Fairfax?
I. The DNC and the media did a great job weaponizing COVID. Whatever you believe about the virus it was used for political gain very well. Most pundits agree that if not for the Virus the economy would be doing the same if not better than before and Trump would have won.

So in your VA analysis you need to consider, no Obama, no Hillary, no hatred of Trump, no virus, and probably a much more progressive platform in 2024. Does that push NOVA back to purple enough?


Oh and what happens when the GOP runs a female candidate in 24? Given the GOP House victories across the country you have to assume someone like Nikki Haley would be at the top of their list.
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Old 11-13-2020, 12:49 AM
 
Location: Alexandria, Commonwealth of Virginia
2,150 posts, read 1,558,189 times
Reputation: 2907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad1320 View Post
I don't disagree that VA is a blue state (in fact you could argue more blue than NY at this point) but...

A. Trump broke the system in both 2016 and 2020. Probably no candidate has been as polarizing in recent history.
B. As the left moves further and further left there will be infighting ala the GOP and the Tea Party.
C. This election resulted in a large number of people who voted Biden then Republicans down ticket. This tells me they dislike DJT but disagreed with the Democrats on policy. Besides Orange Man Bad the only policies the left had were the progressive ones. Remove Trump from the picture and does Biden win. Or another way to look at it...Did people actually vote FOR Joe Biden?
D. Mail in ballots spurred voting spikes everywhere, it is way too early to count on 150m votes per election moving forward.
E. The VA GOP is one of the worst run state parties I've seen, most people didn't even know who was running against Wexton. Their were no commercials that I saw for Gade compared with DNC TV spots and mailers every day. At some point that has to turn.
F. At some point the GOP will move away from the 2A and Abortion a bit. Both these issues are hurting them a lot with women.
G. Speaking of women, they hated Trump in 16 and 20. That hatred won't be a factor in 2024.
H. Progressives and minority voters are going to get very frustrated when they realize they were used for votes again and their policies go largely unfulfilled. At some point they will either leave (not vote) or push the party further left. Will this still play outside of Charlottesville and Fairfax?
I. The DNC and the media did a great job weaponizing COVID. Whatever you believe about the virus it was used for political gain very well. Most pundits agree that if not for the Virus the economy would be doing the same if not better than before and Trump would have won.

So in your VA analysis you need to consider, no Obama, no Hillary, no hatred of Trump, no virus, and probably a much more progressive platform in 2024. Does that push NOVA back to purple enough?


Oh and what happens when the GOP runs a female candidate in 24? Given the GOP House victories across the country you have to assume someone like Nikki Haley would be at the top of their list.
It's not a Trump-specific phenomenon. Tim Kaine won by 17% in 2018 and he's on the liberal end in the Senate. Mark Warner won by 12% against a generic Republican. The GOP lost a 66/34 House of Delegates majority in 4 years (now 55/45 Democratic) and lost the Senate (admittedly doing better than expected here due to moderate Republican incumbents). Redistricting and the end of the 2010 GOP gerrymander in the General Assembly will alone shift another 5 seats to the Democrats and 2-3 Senate seats.

Ralph Northam won by 9% against Ed Gillespie, who was considered more "pragmatic" and "moderate" among the GOP.

The problem for the GOP is that the median voter in Virginia these days is a social liberal/economic moderate. The Democrats have been very wise on that front and have governed pragmatically. You've seen no far-left hullabaloo in Richmond and the Nova caucus is not a bunch of AOC bomb-throwers (Lee Carter being the exception). Because of this, they've gained suburbanites who once called themselves moderate Republicans.

In doing so, the remaining Republicans are now further right, and nominate further right-wing candidates like Nick Freitas and E.W. Jackson. This pushes more moderate suburbanites to the Democrats, making the GOP even more radical. It's a death spiral for the GOP right now and until the Party can rein back control from the right-wing (the Appalachia/Liberty University conservatives), it will continue to crater.

And yes, the Virginia GOP Party is atrocious, while the Virginia Democratic Party is very competent, since they're full of Nova technocrats and analysts. That has definitely worsened the problem.

If the GOP couldn't win Virginia in 2014 when they were winning Loudoun County by 0.5% and the Democratic strongholds all had historically low turnout, I don't see how they can ever hope to reclaim power statewide.

Could the Party moderate and staunch the bleeding? Sure, but reading the Virginia right-wing sites, they seem to be following the national party line (Trump was the winner, all Dem votes are fraudulent, conspiracy theories and Pizzagate and QAnon nonsense). It looks like the GOP could actually nominate Amanda Chase for governor next year, another -15% bloodbath for the Republicans. Even if the stench of Trump disappears, the Virginia GOP is now gung-ho on Trumpism, an ideology that has awful appeal in Virginia. Virginia is not a socially conservative, economically populist state. It's the opposite.

I've been predicting the GOP will moderate for 20 years and each year is more crazy-ness. That may play well in Bedford County and Buchanan County. It's not going to help you win statewide when the median voter is now a socially liberal, economically moderate Loudoun County management analyst with a Master's Degree making $100k. I thought the GOP had wised up with Bob McDonnell, and he wound up being a criminal. Now the Republican bench is decimated, recycling Scott Taylor and Cory Stewart and hoping for a bad cycle for the Democrats that never seems to come.
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Old 11-13-2020, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Richmond, Virginia
84 posts, read 31,132 times
Reputation: 148
I'm guessing you weren't in Richmond during the massive MLK day gun rally this past January.

Have fun getting these people in line with your liberal policies. Do you want Virginia to be a civil war battleground again?
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:37 AM
 
1,199 posts, read 1,000,987 times
Reputation: 1742
“Just shut up man”.

The gun folks showed up....then left a few hours later. Then new gun legislation passes easily and it enjoys solid, unwavering support of Virginians. The 2 A crowd was supposed to turn VA red because the D’s had awakened them. What happened? The Ds margin of victory in a presidential election doubled here in VA (and nationally).

We aren’t afraid of y’all and there will be no civil war.
You guys couldn’t afford it. Nationally the counties that voted for Biden represent 70% of the national GDP. Here in Virginia, the Biden locations represent 78% of Virginian’s GDP. You guys will go broke in a week.
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Old 11-13-2020, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
29,333 posts, read 22,161,829 times
Reputation: 36321
Quote:
Originally Posted by manitopiaaa View Post
It's not a Trump-specific phenomenon. Tim Kaine won by 17% in 2018 and he's on the liberal end in the Senate. Mark Warner won by 12% against a generic Republican. The GOP lost a 66/34 House of Delegates majority in 4 years (now 55/45 Democratic) and lost the Senate (admittedly doing better than expected here due to moderate Republican incumbents). Redistricting and the end of the 2010 GOP gerrymander in the General Assembly will alone shift another 5 seats to the Democrats and 2-3 Senate seats.

Ralph Northam won by 9% against Ed Gillespie, who was considered more "pragmatic" and "moderate" among the GOP.

The problem for the GOP is that the median voter in Virginia these days is a social liberal/economic moderate. The Democrats have been very wise on that front and have governed pragmatically. You've seen no far-left hullabaloo in Richmond and the Nova caucus is not a bunch of AOC bomb-throwers (Lee Carter being the exception). Because of this, they've gained suburbanites who once called themselves moderate Republicans.

In doing so, the remaining Republicans are now further right, and nominate further right-wing candidates like Nick Freitas and E.W. Jackson. This pushes more moderate suburbanites to the Democrats, making the GOP even more radical. It's a death spiral for the GOP right now and until the Party can rein back control from the right-wing (the Appalachia/Liberty University conservatives), it will continue to crater.

And yes, the Virginia GOP Party is atrocious, while the Virginia Democratic Party is very competent, since they're full of Nova technocrats and analysts. That has definitely worsened the problem.

If the GOP couldn't win Virginia in 2014 when they were winning Loudoun County by 0.5% and the Democratic strongholds all had historically low turnout, I don't see how they can ever hope to reclaim power statewide.

Could the Party moderate and staunch the bleeding? Sure, but reading the Virginia right-wing sites, they seem to be following the national party line (Trump was the winner, all Dem votes are fraudulent, conspiracy theories and Pizzagate and QAnon nonsense). It looks like the GOP could actually nominate Amanda Chase for governor next year, another -15% bloodbath for the Republicans. Even if the stench of Trump disappears, the Virginia GOP is now gung-ho on Trumpism, an ideology that has awful appeal in Virginia. Virginia is not a socially conservative, economically populist state. It's the opposite.

I've been predicting the GOP will moderate for 20 years and each year is more crazy-ness. That may play well in Bedford County and Buchanan County. It's not going to help you win statewide when the median voter is now a socially liberal, economically moderate Loudoun County management analyst with a Master's Degree making $100k. I thought the GOP had wised up with Bob McDonnell, and he wound up being a criminal. Now the Republican bench is decimated, recycling Scott Taylor and Cory Stewart and hoping for a bad cycle for the Democrats that never seems to come.
I think this is largely correct.

I live on the TN/VA line. I've voted Republican in every Presidential election except for 2004 when I was 18 and voted for John Kerry. I'm pretty moderate to libertarian on social issues.

I voted for Biden. The Republican Party has just moved too far to the right into borderline insanity in some ways. I don't agree with a lot of the socially woke views of the far left, but if the choice is between a bunch of NoVA technocrats and Buchanan County Trumpsters, I know who I'm voting for.
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Old 11-13-2020, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Richmond, Virginia
84 posts, read 31,132 times
Reputation: 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by spencer114 View Post
“Just shut up man”.

The gun folks showed up....then left a few hours later. Then new gun legislation passes easily and it enjoys solid, unwavering support of Virginians. The 2 A crowd was supposed to turn VA red because the D’s had awakened them. What happened? The Ds margin of victory in a presidential election doubled here in VA (and nationally).

We aren’t afraid of y’all and there will be no civil war.
You guys couldn’t afford it. Nationally the counties that voted for Biden represent 70% of the national GDP. Here in Virginia, the Biden locations represent 78% of Virginian’s GDP. You guys will go broke in a week.
Spencer, I think it would do a lot of good for you to brush up on what happened and what didn't. The blue wave you folks were all talking about didn't happen.

Without Northern Virginia, Trump would have won the state
https://www.insidenova.com/headlines...f2f2c7b16.html

The pro-2A guys did show up, Spam Burger barely re-won her house seat. In RoVa we had a lot of votes for Joe Biden with Republican down ballots -- goes to show that not all votes for Biden equal unwavering support for liberal utopian fantasies.
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Old 11-13-2020, 01:29 PM
 
3,334 posts, read 2,861,510 times
Reputation: 2572
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jupiter1162 View Post
Spencer, I think it would do a lot of good for you to brush up on what happened and what didn't. The blue wave you folks were all talking about didn't happen.

Without Northern Virginia, Trump would have won the state
https://www.insidenova.com/headlines...f2f2c7b16.html

The pro-2A guys did show up, Spam Burger barely re-won her house seat. In RoVa we had a lot of votes for Joe Biden with Republican down ballots -- goes to show that not all votes for Biden equal unwavering support for liberal utopian fantasies.
The blue wave was just some polls showing a larger win for dems... as of now it looks like Biden flipped 5 states which is pretty good imo.

The blue wave continues in Virginia because dems were able to retain the house and senate.. what is your point? You said that the Richmond area is a solid red area and were proven to be incorrect.

And the arguement regarding "without Nova" is so irrelevant. Most states without their largest economic, education and population centers would go red. And what would a Virginia without Nova, Richmond, VA Beach, Charlottesville, Blacksburg, Harrisonburg look like?
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Old 11-13-2020, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Richmond, Virginia
84 posts, read 31,132 times
Reputation: 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebck120 View Post
The blue wave was just some polls showing a larger win for dems... as of now it looks like Biden flipped 5 states which is pretty good imo.

The blue wave continues in Virginia because dems were able to retain the house and senate.. what is your point? You said that the Richmond area is a solid red area and were proven to be incorrect.

And the arguement regarding "without Nova" is so irrelevant. Most states without their largest economic, education and population centers would go red. And what would a Virginia without Nova, Richmond, VA Beach, Charlottesville, Blacksburg, Harrisonburg look like?
This is not what I'm talking about. I said, specifically NoVa. That is different from other Virginia cities in that the main city of that region (NoVa) is not in Virginia. People move there to live in the metro of a non-Virginia city. This is not the case with any of the other aforementioned cities. The other cities are fine, even if they trend blue because they are true Virginia cities. Half of the population in NoVa even resent to live in the state of Virginia in the first place.

Should D.C. or any number of federal agencies move out of the area -- Northern Virginia would lose its appeal among its liberal, transient population. Perhaps the same can be said of the Hampton Roads area, but to a lesser degree.
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:14 PM
 
Location: SW Virginia
1,207 posts, read 669,046 times
Reputation: 1024
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jupiter1162 View Post
Without Northern Virginia, Trump would have won the state
https://www.insidenova.com/headlines...f2f2c7b16.html
Well stated.

Give the 4 Counties closest to DC to DC and we have very different politics.
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