Friday, July 4, 2008

Targeted States: Virginia

Virginia has voted for the Republican candidate in every presidential election except 1964, when Lyndon B. Johnson won, since 1952. The state voted for George W. Bush over both Al Gore Jr. and John Kerry by a little over eight percent of the vote.

However, the state is in play for Barack Obama in 2008 according to most pundits. During the primary, we saw a significantly large number of Democrats voting as compared to Republicans.

Voter turnout during 2008 Virginia Primary

973,931 (D)
475,484 (R)
1,449,415 (Total)

Virginia has a Democratic governor, Tim Kaine, and its first Democratic senator since 2001 in Jim Webb who beat incumbent George Allen in 2007. Webb's campaign platform included opposition to the Iraq War.

The Virginia State House of Delegates is ruled by Republicans while Democrats dominate the State Senate.

McCain has a slight lead according the RealClearPolitics average of recent polls, but Obama has won three of the four most recenty surveys.

Virginia: McCain vs. Obama

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMcCain (R)Obama (D)Spread
RCP Average05/12 - 06/22--45.044.3McCain +0.7
SurveyUSA06/20 - 06/22630 LV4749Obama +2.0
PPP (D)06/14 - 06/16893 LV4547Obama +2.0
Rasmussen06/12 - 06/12500 LV4445Obama +1.0
VCU05/12 - 05/18852 RV4436McCain +8.0

See All Virginia: McCain vs. Obama Polling Data

Both Tim Kaine and Jim Webb have been suggested as possible running mates for Barack Obama, and both will be very helpful in helping him contest the state of Virginia.

Obama might also benefit from the fact that evangelicals, a powerful force in Virginia, are far from excited about John McCain, who has sparred with evangelicals in the past.

Virginia has a large African American population, and, for a southern state, a surprising large number of people who oppose the Iraq War. Large turnout among both groups could decide this state.

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