The 16th House district has been located in southside Virginia for decades- but with the elimination of the 10th district in the last redistricting this district took in the entire City of Martinsville for the first time. Despite that change, the 16th kept its geographic base in strongly Republican Pittsylvania County. The Delegate here- Don Merricks, has been in office since 2007, when he replaced then-Delegate Robert Hurt who moved up to the Virginia Senate. Hurt was then elected to Congress in 2010.
House District #16 (map here)
54.1% of the vote in Pittsylvania County
28.9% of the vote in Henry County
17.1% of the vote in Martinsville City
2012 Major Party Election Results
Mitt Romney 20,396 (56.4%)
Barack Obama 15,799 (43.6%)
George Allen 20,573 (56.4%)
Tim Kaine 15,881 (43.6%)
Robert Hurt/Morgan Griffith 20,778 (59.4%)
John Douglass/Anthony Flaccavento 14,204 (40.6%)
(Broken down below)
Robert Hurt 13,645 (63.0%)
John Douglass 8,027 (37.0%)
Morgan Griffith 7,133 (53.6%)
Anthony Flaccavento 6,187 (46.4%)
MISSISSIPPI- The state the Presidential results most closely match with. Mississippi had a margin of 11.6% for Romney, while the 16th Delegate District of Virginia had a margin of 12.7% for Romney.
In the Presidential election here, Mitt Romney's entire district margin came from his 12,093-7,471 (61.8%) win in the portions of Pittsylvania County in this district. The Henry County precincts also voted for Romney by a 5,991-4,373 (57.8%), but that 1,618 vote margin was almost exactly cancelled out by a 1,543 vote margin for Barack Obama in Martinsville- a 3,855-2,312 (62.5%) vote.
The Senate race between Tim Kaine and George Allen had almost identical numbers in this district in each locality. Pittsylvania voted for Allen 12,347-7,551 (62.1%), Henry voted for Allen 5,926-4,519 (56.7%) while Martinsville voted for Kaine 3,811-2,300 (62.4%).
In the precincts in the 9th Congressional district here, Morgan Griffith expanded the GOP margin a little bit with a 7,133-6,187 (53.6%) win over Anthony Flaccavento. All of Martinsville City is now in the 9th district, as well as most of the Henry County precincts in this district.
In the 5th district race, Robert Hurt had all of the strongly GOP Pittsylvania County precincts in this district as well as a few GOP leaning ones in Henry. His margin over John Douglass here was 13,645-8,027 (63.0%). Hurt picked up about a 2.5% crossover vote from the Presidential race in Pittsylvania among these voters that he has represented in the State House, State Senate and now Congress. Compared to other Virginia Congressman- not a really impressive crossover vote in his home area.
This district is slightly more Democratic than the neighboring 9th district- so some may wonder why former Democratic leader Ward Armstrong left his base in Martinsville to move into the 9th district to run- instead of running in this district in 2011. The reasoning is driven by local politics- Don Merricks the incumbent here already had parts of Henry County and Martinsville and was well known and liked around here- as well as having his GOP base in Pittsylvania County. Franklin County is in a slightly different orbit than this area- many Franklin County residents commute to Roanoke to work for example- and Armstrong was hoping that he could expose Poindexter to big losses in Henry and Patrick counties despite their GOP leans because of his lack of ties there. That left Merricks without an opponent in 2011. He'll continue to win re-election here without much problem until Democrats figure out a way to appeal in Pittsylvania County.
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 #28- Bill Howell (Florida)
House District #50- Jackson Miller (Michigan)
House District #51- Rich Anderson (Ohio)
House District #52- Luke Torian (Hawaii)