Will Loudoun Vote Reflect Nation in November?

While the county has trended with the state, the two have not always agreed with the country on presidential elections.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

See more state election results, including Loudoun County, on the Virginia State Board of Elections’ website.

Catherine S. Read August 15, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I don't believe Loudoun is a microcosm of either Virginia or the nation. As your article points out, the percentage of registered eligible voters is much higher there than elsewhere. Secondly, the demographic make-up is not similar to either of the other pools of voters. Loudoun County has the highest per capita income of any county in the nation. Many in "rural" Loudoun tend to be very wealthy, as are those who live in the gated brand new suburban communities and in the active adult communities in the county. The fact that the school board, board of supervisors and the entire state legislative delegation (with the exception of Senator Mark Herring) are all Republican (or independent) is also not typical or reflective of the rest of the state or nation. I think voters there are driven by the belief that the Republican party and its candidates are the party of asset protection. It's counter intuitive to believe that the economy does better under Democratic administrations, but if you look at the data - it does. Loudoun is growing quickly in population and there are services like schools and transportation that require investment in order to meet the surging demand. That need for money to build infrastructure flies in the face of the belief in certain quarters that it should not come from taxes. A better bellwether for how Loudoun will vote is the recent drama over the Silver Line Metro to Dulles. It was approved - but barely.
Tony Barney August 15, 2012 at 02:19 PM
If we take a look back at the 2008 election. The Sterling District was first to go entirely blue for Obama, then followed quickly by the rest of Loudoun County going for Obama, and then Virginia went to Obama which lead to Obama ultimately winning the Presidency.
CC Mojo August 15, 2012 at 03:23 PM
I'm not surprised at Loudoun's spot on the map in this election, at all. While I don't know if "microcosm" is the best descriptor, we probably do reflect a fairly accurate picture of the whole of the US, if you ignore those pesky electoral colleges and the like. In terms of Virginia changing, there's definitely a push from the more progressive-thinking residents toward personal freedoms, while the conservatives seem to think that they can control the lives and bodies of others. As the population ages, it stands to reason that the changes in stance on many, many issues will change, and (dare I say) become more liberal. Most of that does seem to come from Northern Virginia, which I believe was last reported to hold one-third of the population of Virginia overall.
Dave August 15, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Part of the reason behind the apparent 'skewing' of data to one party (or the other) is the abundant gerrymandering of districts that goes on - with the majority party in the state/county, etc doing everything that they can do to manipulate political boundaries to dilute the other party - which in turn, has made for less competitive (and fair) districts... in turn, making the primaries more important at the expense of the general elections, putting party extremists on both sides into power, and killing off most incentives to negotiate/compromise on just about any issue. That's a whole other column topic though...
TaterSalad August 30, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Where are the jobs Mr. President? You have had 4 years and it has gotten worse for us! http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/08/30/US-jobless-claims-hold-steady
VA_in_VA September 07, 2012 at 08:16 PM
No, again things are NOT worse! 4 years ago 750,000 lost jobs a month, now 30 months straight of private sector job growth. If Republican governors had accepted the offered stimulus $$$ and not cut teachers, police and firefighters we would be back and above the numbers before the recession. Don't make up lies to protect you from facts.
Colter95 November 03, 2012 at 06:20 PM
I saw Obama yesterday claiming the new job numbers are proof that his policies are working and that we are in an economic recovery... Fact is, that is not the truth, or even close to the truth... First, the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9% and the year-to-date monthly average of 157,000 payroll jobs is barely enough to keep up with population growth -- much less make up for the 8 million jobs lost during the Great Recession. Second, the so-called real unemployment rate (U6) remains elevated at 14.6%, albeit down from 14.7% the prior month. Similarly, the labor participation rate is at 63.8%, up from its multi-decade low but still incredibly weak. Third, average hourly earnings fell a penny in October and average hours worked fell to 34.4 from 34.5 in September. Stagnant wages means "we're not generating income," Reinhart says. "That's a problem in terms of the durability of an economic expansion, which is usually fueled by consumption. To get consumption you've got to generate income." Also, just look at your checkbook. We are paying a lot more for everything now than we did in 2008. The price of gas has doubled. At the same time, wages have gone down, and that's if you're lucky to have a job. In 2008, 25 banks went out of business. In 2012, 48 banks have gone out of business. Almost double the amount. Does that sound like recovery to you? Don't believe the Obama lies!! Romney/Ryan 2012
Colter95 November 03, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Please don't let Obama sweep Benghazi under the rug... Lets not forget those four who were left to be slaughtered in Benghazi... Do not reward Obama for this epic failure… Every voter needs to read this excellent article... Very well worth your time... http://spectator.org/archives/2012/11/01/benghazi-obamas-core-deceit/ These are pretty good as well: http://www.gazette.com/opinion/romney-146793-obama-benghazi.html http://frontpagemag.com/2012/dgreenfield/benghazigate-obamas-many-lies-about-libya/ http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/50657 http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/10/25/CBS-Busts-Obama--and-Itself-Hidden-60-Minutes-Clip-Proves-White-House-Lied-About-Benghazi Romney/Ryan 2012


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