The “Real Virginia” Has Spoken!

What an incredible year and what an incredible night.  Fairfax County has helped to make history by helping turn the U.S. Senate blue in 2006, turning the first southern legislative chamber blue since Reconstruction in 2007, and now turning Virginia blue for only the second time in the 60 years since Harry Truman’s last race. We have two Democratic U.S. Senators for the first time since 1970 and we have redeemed the 11th Congressional District for the first time since 1994.

Early this year, we took steps to professionalize our County Committee and donors responded by giving us the resources we needed to step up and get the message out.  The hard work of all of our officers, executive director, interns, volunteers, and the extended cooperation and coordination that took place between the six campaigns operating in Fairfax County this cycle was extraordinary.

For most of my life, certain parts of this Commonwealth liked to refer to Northern Virginia as a different state.  This year, people even stooped to calling us “Fake Virginia,” or not “The Real Virginia.”  For years, Fairfax County has provided the jobs, economic growth, and tax revenue that has powered the budget for the entire state – now we also provide the votes.  One would think after what “Fake Virginia” did to Jerry Kilgore and George Allen who virtually ignored Fairfax County during their campaigns, John McCain and Sarah Palin would have have learned a lesson.

At 11:45 p.m. in November, 2006, Fairfax County’s absentee results put Jim Webb over the top and delivered the entire United States Senate to the Democratic Party, and at 9:45 p.m. last night, Fox News saw what was coming with 50% of Fairfax County still out and called Virginia for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Our county is the most well-educated, diverse, wealthy, well-informed, and the largest jurisdiction in this great Commonwealth.  Barack Obama and Joe Biden won a 73,638 vote margin out of our County and 18% of our votes (absentees and provisionals) are still being counted. Once they are in, Fairfax will probably have provided something close to a 100,000 vote margin in a race where Barack Obama and Joe Biden carried the Commonwealth by 155,238 votes.  This will likely be more than triple the 33,691vote margin Fairfax County gave to John Kerry in 2004 once all the dust has cleared.

How much bigger was our turnout?  In 2004, Fairfax County turned out at 73.8%.  In 2008, we hit 78.8%.  In 2004, we cast 53,488 absentee votes.  In 2008, we cast 107,145.  This year’s Fairfax County Absentee Precinct had more votes than the total votes in all but 6 of 137 jurisdictions in Virginia – Arlington County, Chesterfield County, Henrico County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, and Virginia Beach.

How important is Northern Virginia?  If you subtract the 8th, 10th, and 11th Congressional Districts’ results from the statewide totals, John McCain and Sarah Palin won Virginia.  So whats’ the bottom line?

It means that the Real Virginia has spoken.

We have now proven in three straight statewide elections that the path to statewide office, and some might even say to winning the Presidency, passes right through Fairfax County.  The last four years have shown  that statewide candidates who ignore Fairfax County, do so at their own peril.

Take time and enjoy your success.  We are restoring hope and have just taken a big step to make our country that shining city on the hill that the rest of the world looks to as an example.