Battleground States: Virginia
by findingDulcinea Staff
Virginia has voted red since 1964, but state polls are close this year with influential local leaders strengthening support for the Democratic Party. Virginia is only one of several battleground states in which local races may influence the outcome of national contests.
Due to shifting demographics and popular local Democratic politicians in Virginia, the traditionally safe state for Republicans in presidential elections is in play for the first time in years. Although Barack Obama soundly defeated Hillary Clinton in Virginia’s Democratic primary contest, to win the state in the general election he will have to appeal to a broader base of support.
The Virginia Democratic trio consists of Gov. Tim Kaine, former Governor and senatorial candidate Mark Warner and Sen. Jim Webb. This “Virginia trio” has ridden an unprecedented wave of electoral success for the Democratic Party, and all three remain popular within the state. Each has also been mentioned as a possible vice-presidential candidate. The political infrastructure they have built will be a key resource for the Obama campaign.
Polls show Virginia to be a dead heat. Signifying its importance, Barack Obama made Virginia his first stop after becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee. Obama can win the state if he is able to funnel the recent Democratic momentum into an organized campaign. John McCain can keep the state red if he is able to put together the traditional Republican Virginia coalition of military, rural and suburban votes.