Once a thriving area of Virginia, the Danville/Martinsville area in southside Virginia has hit hard times recently. Large job losses and economic distress have given this area volatile politics.
But even with the troubles creating stagnant population growth, the community distress has created higher levels of citizen activism to save the area. That can be seen in increased Presidential turnout everywhere except Martinsville City, which came in almost identical to four year earlier.
As defined here, the voter growth in these localities is as follows:
Republican 631 (71%)
Democratic 257 (29%)
Republican 1,488 (61%)
Democratic 953 (39%)
Republican 606 (66%)
Democratic 318 (34%)
Republican 1913 (57%)
Democratic 1440 (43%)
Republican -28 (-2%)
Democratic 1,215 (102%)
It's also worth noting, this is an area Mark Warner adopted in their toughest days, and they gave him numbers that Democrats hadn't seen in decades when he ran for Governor. As you can see Tim Kaine couldn't come close to touching them this year, dropping 7,332 in this region.
Jerry Kilgore was able to gain over Mark Earley, but only by 1,143 votes. Considering Warner's performance here in pulling Republican voters, that number is almost meaningless, especially when stacked against the 7,000+ votes Tim left out there that voted in 2001.
With neither 2005 Gubernatorial candidate doing well here, turnout dropped over 6,000 votes from the 01 election. With the new voters in the Presidential election coming in at almost even (52-48%) in this region it is very surprising that neither side attempted to tap this area in greater numbers.
Overall, these counties had the following results:
George W. Bush 56,838 (58.4%)
John Kerry 40,389 (41.6%)
George W. Bush 52,250 (59.1%)
Al Gore 36,218 (40.9%)
Jerry Kilgore 31,553 (52.7%)
Tim Kaine 28,274 (47.3%)
Mark Warner 35,606 (53.9%)
Mark Earley 30,410 (46.1%)
Blogging genius Kenton Ngo did the graphic for this story above, that illustrates what is going on for those of you who prefer graphics to numbers.
Thanks Kenton! Click on the map to enlarge it.