When Republican Jim Gilmore won his 1997 race against Democrat Don Beyer, he did so with 54% of Albemarle’s votes. But in 2001, when Democrat Mark Warner won his race against Republican Mark Earley, Albemarle had switched to supporting the Democrat by a 56% majority. The trend continued with Tuesday’s election, with Democratic Governor Elect Tim Kaine garnering a surprising 61% of the vote, significantly more than his 52% victory statewide.
Part of this can be attributed to population growth, though part of this can also be attributed to the leadership of the Albemarle Republican Party, which is one of the more far right in the state, something that has got to impact involvement.
Surprisingly, the results in Greene County didn’t change at all from 2001. I’d assumed that, with more Charlottesville and Albemarle residents moving to the surrounding counties (where property is affordable), we’d see a spike in support for Democratic candidates, but there was no such effect.
In today’s Daily Progress, Bob Gibson writes about this trend in Albemarle and in counties around the state.