The 87th district was in the City of Norfolk since the creation of single member districts until last year during redistricting when it was moved to Northern Virginia. This was the home district of Thelma Drake before she was elected to Congress, and then narrowly elected Paula Miller in a special election to replace Drake. Miller won the district by wide margins after that three times, and when south Hampton Roads needed to lose a legislative seat due in this redistricting her seat was the obvious one for the GOP to eliminate for two reasons. First, they stood little chance of beating Miller- and secondly if the GOP didn't eliminate this district they would have to eliminate one of their own districts since every other district held in south Hampton Roads by a Democrat is a majority-minority district protected by the Voting Rights Act. The precincts in this new district are now made up to the south by precincts that were in the quickly growing 13th district, while the precincts in the north come mostly from the 32nd and 86th districts before redistricting. With the seat open in 2011, David Ramadan first won a very negative primary campaign run against him, before defeating Mike Kondratick by 51 votes in the general election.
House District #87 (map here)
87.0% of the vote in Loudoun County
13.0% of the vote in Prince William County
2012 Major Party Election Results
Barack Obama 21,266 (57.0%)
Mitt Romney 16,031 (43.0%)
Tim Kaine 21,293 (57.0%)
George Allen 16,069 (43.0%)
Frank Wolf 18,943 (52.7%)
Kristin Cabral 16,969 (47.3%)
The new 87th district doesn't have a clear political identity as the redistricting took it around many different political boundaries. This district has precincts in five of the six eastern Loudoun magisterial districts as well as crossing the border for a couple of precincts in northern Prince William County. With an all GOP House delegation in Loudoun that got their first choice of precincts in the redistricting process the new 87th became the most Democratic in Loudoun. On election day Barack Obama won the Loudoun precincts here 16,655-11,252 (59.7%), or about 7.6% more Democratic than the county as a whole. Knowing that the Loudoun precincts were on the blue side, Republicans drew in some GOP leaning voters in Prince William County into this district- but they only make up 13% of the electorate, so their vote of 2,949-1,895 (60.9%) for Mitt Romney doesn't make up the margin that Obama won in Loudoun.
Tim Kaine ran about 0.4% behind President Obama on election day in these Loudoun precincts, winning 59.3% of the vote with a 16,541-11,371 margin. In the more GOP leaning Prince William precincts, Kaine ran about 1.3% ahead of Obama, losing to George Allen by a 2,891-1,957 (59.6%) vote. Overall once absentee ballots are included Kaine won this district by a 21,193-16,069 vote- almost identical to the Obama's 21,266-16,031 vote margin here.
On election day in the Loudoun precincts, Kristin Cabral and Frank Wolf fought to a virtual dead heat- with Wolf winning 13,564-13,282 (50.5%). That was a 10.2% crossover for Wolf from the top of the ticket in Loudoun. In the Prince William precincts Wolf's crossover dropped to 6.7%, but that still meant a big 3,180-1,527 (67.6%) margin to tip the district in his favor.
The 87th will be on the top of everyone's watch list in 2013. Loudoun Republicans dominated the 2011 elections, winning a 9-0 majority on the county board and almost unseating Mark Herring against a nobody for the State Senate. David Ramadan lost his Loudoun precincts even with that GOP wave on his ticket- and barely got across the finish line by 51 votes because of his margin in the Prince William precincts. With higher turnout in 2013, this district will be a critical battleground in the Governor's race, and based on the results this year you could expect the Democrats to carry this district for Governor with anything less than an 8 point statewide Cuccinelli victory. Assuming that Terry McAuliffe can avoid getting blown out statewide, this district should have very favorable headwinds for a Democratic challenger this year. That means to survive Ramadan will need to win crossover votes instead of running as one of the lowest voting Republicans on the ticket as he did in 2011.
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 #50- Jackson Miller (Michigan)
House District #51- Rich Anderson (Ohio)
House District #52- Luke Torian (Hawaii)