Old Rating: Leans Democratic
New Rating: Slight-Lean Democratic
The 34th District which is centered in McLean and Great Falls was represented since the Ice Age by Vince Callahan before he retired in 2007. In a close battle, Margi Vanderhye won a 51-49 victory over Dave Hunt here to capture Vince's open seat.
But this is not yet Democratic territory. The 34th District was one of the few in Northern Virginia to give Barack Obama a smaller share of the vote than Jim Webb. The reason is demographics- this district includes some of the richest people in the United States. High income precincts across Northern Virginia were where Obama performed the worst versus recent election results (it's as simple as they knew what he was proposing policy-wise and didn't want to pay for it)
These same demographics of high income white voters are also what has been moving the quickest to Bob McDonnell in his campaign against Creigh Deeds for Governor. Creigh's natural strengths do not seem to be translating to the type of demographics that live in McLean and Great Falls. The up-ballot influence is going to drive this election- and changes the calculation for this district.
At this point, Margi remains the favorite for re-election slightly because of her incumbency but with less than 100 days to go Barbara Comstock has caught a lucky break from shifts in the statewide electorate and is now within an eyelash of making this a "Toss Up".
More coming here soon...