On the ground in Northern Virginia

One problem with the Washington Post poll showing President Obama 8 points ahead of Mitt Romney in Virginia is that Obama carried Virginia by only 6.3 percent in 2008. It’s very difficult to believe that Obama will as well in Virginia this year as he did in those heady days of Obamamania. In this regard a reader writes:

While my study of Virginia is hardly scientific, I think it is instructive about bad polling data in the commonwealth. I live in Fairfax County, in a Republican area of the jurisdiction. I commute through what could be called a purple area, with pockets of red and blue all over, and my son’s school is in a purple area that tends to be a bluer shade of purple.

In 2008, our neighborhood and those along my commute were littered with Obama lawn signs. Now, I have seen a total of two Obama signs in our neighborhood, on my commute, and on the route to my son’s school, combined. Too many Romney signs to count. Again, this is hardly scientific, but to win Virginia, Obama needs large margins in the northern part of the state. He’ll get them in Arlington and Alexandria, no doubt, but Fairfax is likely to be 50-50 at worst (for Romney) or even go to Romney by a small margin as it did for Bob McDonnell in 2009. Without 57-60% in Fairfax, Obama’s ability to hold Virginia is almost obliterated.

I have seen precisely zero Tim Kaine signs, where there were many (Mark) Warner signs in 2008. Plenty of Allen signs all over. Given this unscientific study, I think things are actually much better in VA for the GOP than polls indicate, but I avoid the leftist areas like the plague.

Still, I doubt Obama will perform as well anywhere in the state as he did in 2008, including the deep blue areas, which is very bad for his chances in the Old Dominion.

A further example of Romney’s strength in Fairfax is Virginia’s 2011 state legislative elections. They were essentially a wash, but 800,000 more votes fell into the GOP column statewide. The Democrats did an excellent job of gerrymandering so they won all the 51-49 districts and lost all the 80-20 districts. None of that matters. . . statewide, where Republicans would hold a decisive edge based on 2009 and 2011 numbers. My own district for the General Assembly remained blue because we were gerrymandered into the rump portion of a district that includes part of Arlington County, but the Fairfax precincts went for the rather conservative Republican by an average of about 53-47. Again, Obama must win Fairfax handily to hold the state, and my observations and gut say he’ll be lucky to win Fairfax 51-49, if he wins it at all. That likely won’t give him the necessary votes to win the state.