On the ground in Northern Virginia, Part Two

The observations by a Power Line reader on the ground in Northern Virginia find support from other readers. First, my friend Bill Otis writes:

Lake Barcroft [in the Falls Church area] is a Dem area, and it showed in 2008, with Obama signs everywhere. Now, there are many fewer Obama signs and many more Republican signs. I would say the Romney signs outnumber Obama signs by at least 2-1.

I just flat do not believe the WaPo poll, and, as you know, I am not given to optimism. This had been a Republican state in Presidential elections for almost 40 years. There was a total Republican wipeout in both 2009 and 2010. The economy around here is not as bad as elsewhere in the country (since we get a lot of inside-the-Beltway federal dollars), but there are also a disproportionate number of people who are going to get hit with Obama’s higher taxes starting in less than four months, and they know it. . . .

And a reader from Prince William County, a little further south, tells me:

Your On The Ground in Northern Virginia reader is correct. I live in Prince William County, which is adjacent to Fairfax County. In 2008 Obama-Biden posters and decals literally carpeted the entire county. Today they are few and far between. This is odd because there are several official Obama-Biden campaign offices close by with plenty of posters and decals displayed.

Even more interesting are nearby areas that were super-solid Democrat in 2008 that now display noticeably more Romney-Ryan posters and decals than there are for Obama-Biden. These areas include the full length of Fairfax County Parkway, Prince William County Parkway, Route 7 extending from Leesburg, Virginia through to the Washington, DC line and many of the very wealthy staunch Democrat places like Middleburg, Virginia and the surrounding horse farm countryside. . . .[T]here are more and more Romney posters and decals popping up everyday. What’s more is that the (two small) Republican Party campaign offices cannot keep up with the demand for Romney-Ryan posters and decals. Romney’s logistics simply cannot meet the demand.

In 2008, within 10-15 seconds you could engage a very lively political conversation no matter where you were at. I haven’t spoken with any small business owner or manager in over a year that isn’t holding on for dear life and praying that Obama isn’t reelected. Their businesses have been savaged economically. They know that what is left will be crushed if Obama wins a second term.

On the second day of Romney-Ryan’s campaign the line of ticket-holding people waiting to pass through security to see them at the Harris Pavilion in Olde Town Manassas, Virginia wrapped around the buildings of 3 city blocks. The wait time was over 3 hours in ninety+ degree weather. There were young, old, crippled people, WWII and younger war
veterans and every race you can think of. . . .

These reports got me thinking about my neck of the woods, ultra-liberal Bethesda, Maryland. Like our Northern Virginia correspondents, I see many fewer Obama yard signs and decals this time around. Yet, I know that Obama will carry the neighborhoods near me overwhelmingly.

But I don’t see appreciably more signs for Romney this year than I did for McCain; as in 2008, such signs are few and far between. The fact that folks in Northern Virginia do see concrete evidence of enthusiasm for Romney is a very encouraging sign. It doesn’t mean that Romney will carry Virginia; he may not. But the notion that Obama will win the Commonwealth handily seems far-fetched, whatever that Washington Post poll says.