The 10th district was the political base of southside Virginia in the Martinsville and Henry County areas. Speaker A.L. Philpott represented this district until his death in 1991. Most recently, House Democratic Leader Ward Armstrong represented the 10th district- which is why Republicans decided to eliminate it in the last redistricting. The seat was moved to run side by side with the 33rd district through western Loudoun County, Clarke County and into Frederick County. The GOP nominated Randy Minchew- who ran in the GOP caucus in the 2006 special election for Loudoun's primary State Senate seat that was won by Mark Herring. Back then Minchew was considered a moderate, but in this new district Minchew ran as a hard line conservative in order to narrowly win the GOP nomination. Once nominated he was easily elected in November to take this seat.
House District #10 (map here)
78.4% of the vote in Loudoun County
15.6% of the vote in Frederick County
6.0% of the vote in Clarke County
2012 Major Party Election Results
Mitt Romney 20,777 (51.9%)
Barack Obama 19,293 (48.1%)
George Allen 20,349 (50.8%)
Tim Kaine 19,727 (49.2%)
Frank Wolf 23,811 (61.8%)
Kristin Cabral 14,733 (38.2%)
NORTH CAROLINA- The state the Presidential results most closely match with. North Carolina had a margin of 2.1% for Romney, while the 10th Delegate District of Virginia had a margin of 3.7% for Romney.
The 10th district includes the same three magisterial districts in Loudoun as the neighboring 33rd district, but has the much more Democratic precincts than its neighbor. This is because the 10th runs much deeper into the Leesburg District- a stronger Democratic area in and around the Town of Leesburg. Barack Obama won the Loudoun precincts in this district by a 16,024-15,379 (51.0%) margin- or 8.1% more Democratic than this district's 33rd district neighbor. The split in the 10th district Loudoun precincts were striking- a 6,410-4,893 (56.7%) election day win for Obama in the Leesburg district precincts in this legislative district- while Mitt Romney won a 8,332-7,369 (53.1%) victory in the other Loudoun precincts in this legislative district.
Leesburg helped Obama get a small win in the Loudoun portion of this district, but there is no Leesburg to help Obama in this district's Clarke and Frederick County precincts. Romney won the Clarke County portion of this district by a 1,387-1,037 (57.2%) and then won a nearly 30 point victory in the Frederick County precincts here- 4,011-2,232 (64.2%).
Tim Kaine ran ahead of Barack Obama in all three localities- but ran further ahead in the more conservative rural counties. In Loudoun the victory for Kaine over George Allen was 16,247-15,087 (51.9%) or 0.9% above Obama. Clarke County went for Allen by a 1,351-1,107 (55.1%) vote, putting Kaine 2.1% above President Obama there. Finally Frederick County voted for Allen by a 3,911-2,373 (62.2%) count, or a 2.0% gain for Kaine over Obama's vote.
In the Congressional race here (also the 10th district), Frank Wolf continued his trend of running close to 10% above the top of his ticket. In these Loudoun precincts Wolf won by a 17,914-12,344 (59.2%) vote over Kristin Cabral or 10.2% above Romney. In Clarke County Wolf's victory was 1,558-753 (67.4%) also 10.2% above Romney. Finally in Frederick County, Wolf won by a 4,339-1,636 (72.6%) margin, or 8.4% above Romney.
For Randy Minchew this district is going to be an interesting battle to hold. On one hand, the district voted for all three Republicans this year- Romney/Allen/Wolf. On the other hand, 78% of the district's population is in Loudoun County which has been trending more blue in recent years- and is likely to continue doing so into the future. With this district's Loudoun precincts already voting Democratic by a narrow margin, and the GOP needing to rely on the precincts in Frederick County to keep this district red in 2012 a long term problem is presented for them. Let me put this in context- 51.0% for Obama is a 645 vote margin in the Loudoun precincts, while 64.2% for Romney is a 1,779 vote margin in the Frederick precincts. In other words, Obama would only have needed 53.5% of the vote in Loudoun to turn this district blue- while Republicans are already maxing their vote in Frederick. That makes this district a likely one to flip in national elections this decade from red to blue. The problem for Minchew here is he isn't the moderate guy that he was in 2006 that would easily have held this seat even as it went from narrowly GOP to narrowly Democratic. His voting record is one of the most conservative in the House- even on the social issues that have transformed this district from one that gave George W. Bush an almost 2-1 margin to one that is very close at the Presidential level. 2013 may be early, but mark this district on your calendar for some big political battles in the future, perhaps as early as 2015, but more likely for 2017 and 2019.
Previous Districts Covered
House District #1- Terry Kilgore (Utah)
House District #2- Mark Dudenhefer (Delaware)
House District #3- Will Morefield (Utah)
House District #4- Joe Johnson (Wyoming)
House District #5- Israel O'Quinn (Wyoming)
House District #6- Anne Crockett-Stark (Oklahoma)
House District #7- Nick Rush (Kansas)
House District #8- Greg Habeeb (Arkansas)
House District #9- Charles Poindexter (West Virginia)
House District #12- Joseph Yost (Virginia)
House District #13- Bob Marshall (New Mexico)
House District #14- Danny Marshall (North Carolina)
House District #16- Don Merricks (Mississippi)
House District #28- Bill Howell (Florida)
House District #32- Tag Greason (New Hampshire)
House District #33- Joe May (Alaska)
House District #50- Jackson Miller (Michigan)
House District #51- Rich Anderson (Ohio)
House District #52- Luke Torian (Hawaii)
House District #87- David Ramadan (Washington)