As we continue our look at the 2012 election results it's time to start taking a peak into Prince William County. As we noted a few months ago, Prince William has the longest active streak of any locality in Virginia in voting for the winners of statewide elections. Having voted once again for both statewide winners in 2012 (Barack Obama and Tim Kaine), Prince William has now voted for the winner in twelve straight statewide elections.
Northern Prince William has been the GOP base in the county and has been exploding with population growth. In the last decade most of northern Prince William was in the 13th Delegate district- represented by Delegate Bob Marshall. By the time for redistricting, the 13th was more than twice the population of a House district, so the lines in Prince William needed to change. Marshall has been an irritant to Speaker Bill Howell- so rather than just split his district, Howell added in Democratic leaning Manassas Park to Marshall's district and gave away some of his strongest GOP precincts. Marshall won a 60-40 victory under the new lines in 2011, but now we get our first good view of what the new district really looks like.
House District #13 (map here)
86.5% of the vote in Prince William County
13.5% of the vote in Manassas Park City
2012 Major Party Election Results
Barack Obama 18,809 (55.7%)
Mitt Romney 14,892 (44.3%)
Tim Kaine 18,701 (55.5%)
George Allen 15,014 (44.5%)
Adam Cook/Kristin Cabral 16,319 (50.3%)
Rob Wittman/Frank Wolf 16,105 (49.7%)
(Broken down below)
Adam Cook 7,713 (57.2%)
Rob Wittman 5,776 (42.8%)
Frank Wolf 10,329 (54.6%)
Kristin Cabral 8,596 (45.4%)
NEW MEXICO- The state the Presidential most closely match with. New Mexico had a margin of 10.6% for Obama, while the 13th Delegate District of Virginia had a margin of 11.3% for Obama.
This area is quickly changing. For example look at the City of Manassas Park. In 2008, Barack Obama won by a 60-40 margin here, in 2012 he won by a 63-37 margin. That increased percentage is driven by additional Democratic voters, not crossover. George Allen was able to win a tiny bit of crossover in Manassas Park, losing to Tim Kaine by a 62-38 count, and Frank Wolf who had won here by 1 point in 2008 saw the City fall to Kristin Cabral in his race by 7 points.
The Prince William County portions of the 13th district are now split between the 10th district and the 1st district. In the 1st district portion of the district the electorate has become solidly Democratic. Barack Obama and Tim Kaine won by almost identical margins here (8,355-5,745 and 8,313-5,749). These precincts were all new to Congressman Rob Wittman and he wasn't able to do much better, losing here by a 7,713-5,776 count to challenger Adam Cook.
Even in the more reliable GOP precincts, Republicans are losing ground. In the Prince William 10th district precincts that overlap with this Delegate district, Democrats were able to break even with the GOP- winning them by a 7,575-7,538 count in the Presidential race and a 7,559-7,513 count in the U.S. Senate race. Frank Wolf is still strong in these precincts, winning about 1,000 crossover votes to prevail by a 8,276-6,232 margin.
Exclude Wolf for a moment- who has 32 years of constituent services to increase his numbers- and the the news is really bad for the GOP. Not only are the Democrats making major gains in this area, but there is very little crossover vote in these suburbs. As noted above, the electorate here is now 1% more Democratic than the state of New Mexico- and is only 1% less Democratic than Oregon. It's hard to imagine how Republicans can win in a Presidential year again statewide with these kinds of trends developing in what had been one of their few GOP areas of strength in Northern Virginia.
Now the question for 2013 is- can Democrats get these younger voters to return to the polls and give them this seat in the General Assembly?
Previous Districts Covered
House District #1