House District #28 (map here)
86.4% of the vote in Stafford County
13.6% of the vote in Fredericksburg City
2012 Major Party Election Results
Barack Obama 18,426 (50.0%)
Mitt Romney 18,391 (50.0%)
Tim Kaine 18,839 (51.0%)
George Allen 18,089 (49.0%)
Rob Wittman 18,995 (53.4%)
Adam Cook 16,580 (46.6%)
The 28th district voted for Obama and Kaine, so is it ripe for a Democratic takeover? Not really. The first thing you need to know about this district is the campus of Mary Washington University is included in the Fredericksburg precincts. Students obviously vote in much larger numbers in Presidential elections- making this a red district closer to North Carolina results than Florida results when the campus is taken out. But the 28th is still very competitive for a district in this area when you consider that it doesn't go into neighboring blue counties like Prince William. Here's why:
In the Stafford portion of this district Mitt Romney won on election day by a 14,989-13,041 margin, which is about 53.5% of the vote. Of the three districts in Stafford, that means this district took in the most Democrats in the county- the Stafford portion of the neighboring 2nd district gave Romney 55.1%, and the Stafford portion of the 88th district gave Romney 58.1%. On election day itself, the county gave Romney a 28,797-23,661 margin or almost exactly 55.0% of the vote. But in absentee ballots, the county only gave Romney 51.1%, a 3,632-3,469 margin. With absentees running 3.9% more Democratic than election day, that pushed the absentees in Howell's district to 50.4% of the vote, or a 1,907-1,887 win for Obama. Overall that made the total in the Stafford portion of the 28th 16,876-14,948. That absentee swing plays big in a district that only voted for Obama by a 35 vote margin.
Meanwhile in the City of Fredericksburg which is now also split, Howell once again took the more Democratic precincts. Citywide on election day went 6,325-3,580 for Obama, but Howell's area was 3,091-1,337 while Cole's area was a much closer 3,234-2,243. That's 69.8% blue in Howell's precincts, while Cole's are 59.0% blue. Throw in the absentee count and Democrats pick up 387 votes in this district to the GOP's 178 votes- a 209 vote margin that plays the decisive role in tipping this district overall into the Obama column. Including absentees that gives Obama a 3,478-1,515 win in the 28th district portion of Fredericksburg.
Downballot, Tim Kaine outperformed Barack Obama by 0.9% in the Stafford precincts in the 28th, and 1.1% in the Fredericksburg precincts. That tightened the GOP margin to 16,638-15,315 in Stafford, while expanding the Democratic win in Fredericksburg to 3,524-1,451. Overall that gives Kaine a 51-49 win here with a 18,839-18,089 margin.
The biggest vote getter in the 28th district was Congressman Rob Wittman in his win over Adam Cook. Wittman expanded the GOP margin in Stafford to a 17,337-13,516 victory, while cutting the Democratic margin in Fredericksburg to 3,064-1,658. Overall that gave him a nearly 7 point win in this area with a 18,995-16,580 vote.
The 28th district would be a very competitive open seat at this point. Can it be competitive with the Speaker still in it- and his unlimited warchest? It would take the perfect candidate to unseat him, but the numbers alone say it could be done just with Obama/Kaine voters if Democrats could get them out and hold them in a general election. However, that is easier said than done with the margins this tight- which Wittman leading the vote count downballot from an Obama/Kaine win shows.
Previous Districts Covered
House District #1- Terry Kilgore (Utah)
House District #2- Mark Dudenhefer (Delaware)
House District #13- Bob Marshall (New Mexico)
House District #50- Jackson Miller (Michigan)
House District #51- Rich Anderson (Ohio)
House District #52- Luke Torian (Hawaii)