This week we have been looking at districts in Prince William County. The northern part of the county has been homebase for the last couple of decades to the 13th and 50th districts. In this last redistricting, House Republicans took some of the population growth there and put it into marginal seats from other counties- like the 87th district that is mostly in Loudoun, and the 40th district that is mostly in Fairfax. They also took some very Republican precincts in northern and western Prince William and added them to the 51st district- a swing district based in the Occoquan area that was occupied by first term GOP Delegate Rich Anderson. With those new precincts, Anderson waltzed to a second term in 2011. Now we can finally see if the Republicans were able to put this swing district out of reach.
House District #51 (map here)
100% of the vote in Prince William County
2012 Major Party Election Results
Barack Obama 21,012 (51.3%)
Mitt Romney 19,914 (48.7%)
Tim Kaine 21,221 (51.9%)
George Allen 19,660 (48.1%)
Adam Cook/Gerry Connolly/Kristin Cabral 19,676 (50.4%)
Rob Wittman/Chris Perkins/Frank Wolf 19,325 (49.6%)
(Broken down below)
Rob Wittman 12,765 (55.0%)
Adam Cook 10,437 (45.0%)
Gerry Connolly 8,511 (61.5%)
Chris Perkins 5,336 (38.5%)
Frank Wolf 1,224 (62.7%)
Kristin Cabral 728 (37.3%)
OHIO- The state the Presidential results most closely match with. Ohio had a margin of 3.0% for Obama, while the 51st Delegate District of Virginia had a margin of 2.6% for Obama.
The portions of the new 51st district that were in the previous 51st are the precincts that overlap with the 11th Congressional district near the Occoquan River. That area has been trending Democratic for a decade- getting more blue every cycle, until 2009 when Bob McDonnell carried it in his statewide sweep. That was the same election that Rich Anderson was first elected to represent this area. In that portion of the district, Barack Obama dominated Mitt Romney by a 8,924-5,686 vote, or 61.1%. Tim Kaine beat George Allen by an almost identical 8,920-5,728 vote and Gerry Connolly crushed Chris Perkins with a similar 8,511-5,336 margin.
Most of the precincts now in the 51st that overlap with the 1st and 10th Congressional districts are the new ones added to make this district more GOP, and with that 20 point margin in the old areas, you can see why they needed to do so. Many of these new precincts are in the 1st Congressional, and are also new to Congressman Rob Wittman this year. Mitt Romney carried these precincts by a 13,123-11,164 margin. Tim Kaine picked up about a 1% crossover in this area of the district and held George Allen's margin down with a 12,844-11,340 vote. Wittman was able to hold the GOP vote and with some fall off voters for the Democratic candidate Adam Cook was able to win here by a 12,765-10,437 count.
There are also a couple of precincts that overlap with the 10th Congressional district here. Mitt Romney won those 1,105-924, while George Allen again lost a little bit of that margin with a 1,088-961 win. Frank Wolf led the GOP ticket here with a 1,224-728 win over Kristin Cabral.
While this district is very close in the national elections, it will be complex for a challenger to pick up. The district now runs from the more urban areas of Prince William near I-95 all the way into some of the "rural crescent" precincts where much growth is prohibited in the county plan. That means a challenger needs to have issues to match all the different areas of the district. However, while this isn't the exploding Democratic vote that the district used to have- it now has a similar result to the statewide election results in percentage. If Democrats win the Governorship in 2013 or 2017, their candidate will likely be carrying this district. The Republican incumbents in Northern Virginia who lost in the 2001 and 2005 Democratic Governor wins were the ones who were unable to win crossover votes. If Anderson develops a record that appeals to some Democrats he will likely have this seat for a long time- but if he doesn't win crossover votes it could flip as early as next year if the Democrats can get their act together in the statewide contests.