Loudoun County has become a popular stop on the campaign trail this year. The major party candidates for president been , while those running for U.S. Senate have been here several times.
Many eyes are on Virginia because:
- As a traditionally Republican state in recent presidential elections, Virginia voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and remains a swing state in 2012, within the grasp of either candidate.
- The possibility of a George Allen winning his old seat back in the Senate could help give the GOP a majority in both houses; if each party has 50 senators, whomever wins the presidency controls that house because the vice president would break any party-line tie votes
As Beth Myers—who headed up search for a running mate, resulting in the selection of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (WI)— put it , “Virginia is the swingiest of swing states.”
Loudoun serves as a legitimate microcosm of Virginia, having voted in line with the rest of the state since at least 1984, according to the Virginia State Board of Election’s online records.
And as one of the fastest-growing counties in the state and country during the past dozen years or so, Loudoun epitomizes the state’s shift from mostly agricultural to a hybrid with a huge high-tech engine.
"We won last time in Loudoun County, and if we win again, we win Virginia,” President Barack Obama said . “And if we win Virginia, we win the election."
During a recent in Leesburg, Allen agreed.
“It’s a pretty good assessment,” Allen said. “This is a really important county. It’s a bellwether.”
The flaw with the theory that so goes Loudoun, so goes the nation, however, may be that Virginia does not always reflect the nation. Since 1952, the state has voted for two Democrats: Lyndon B. Johnson and Barack Obama. Virginia did not vote for Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton.
Another area that distinguishes Loudoun from the state and the nation is voter registration. A recent announcement from the Loudoun Registrar's Office showed that more than 200,000 people—or 86 percent of the voting age population—are registered in Loudoun. That's significantly higher than those registered statewide (60.4 percent) and nationwide (59.8 percent).
Was the last election a fluke? Or is Virginia changing? How important do you think Loudoun is this year? Let us know in the comments below.
Verify your registration, get voter registration forms and more on the county’s website.