In central Virginia, a 2012 bellwether emerges
May 16th, 2012
11:19 AM ET
2 years ago

In central Virginia, a 2012 bellwether emerges

Richmond, Virginia (CNN) - Strategists for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney don't see eye to eye on much, but they do agree on this: It's tough to envision a path to the White House that doesn't include Virginia.

And as they look for ways to tip the balance in November, an unlikely bellwether is emerging in the heart of Virginia: Henrico County, a longtime conservative bastion that has mutated into a key barometer for political watchers in the commonwealth.

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Filed under: 2012 • Virginia
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    Yes yes, but Northern Virginia also used to be reliably conservative, and that's where most Virginians live. So rather than worry about the rural portions of the state, let's worry about where the more suburban parts. Romney must make inroads in Northern Virginia - if not, what happens in Henrico County.

    May 16, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    At the opening of their Henrico field office Saturday - it's the Obama campaign's 15th office in the state - organizers told a group of about 60 volunteers, most of them women, that the work ahead of them will be even more daunting than it was in 2008.
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    Must be all of the women Obama has helped keep unemployed over the last 3 years....

    May 16, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. GI Joe

    When states took federal funds intended to keep jobs and used it to fill in their budget shortfalls instead, it made a lot of people mad. Mostly republican states.

    May 16, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Mitt Romney was Bain Capitol's "Hatchet Man" to cut jobs for corporate profit and now he wants to use the "Hatchet" on the American people.

    May 16, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    How many times must I tell you people that Virginia is Obama country. Hampton Roads, Obama. Henrico County, Obama. NOVA, Obama. The rest of the state, who cares?!?!

    May 16, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  6. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    Must be all of the women Obama has helped keep unemployed over the last 3 years....
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    We've got one of the lowest unemployment rates in the union. And that's not due to any McDonnell policies. Keep trying to persuade yourself that you make sense.

    May 16, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  7. John, PA

    I’m guessing the voters in Virginia are well aware of their impact. In 2008; Obama was the first Democrat to win Virginia since 1964. In 2011 every Republican incumbent in the Virginia state House and Senate won; only the second time since the Civil War. This November the American voters will clean up Washington based on Obama and the Democrats record in Congress since 2007.

    May 16, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. Four and The Door

    Claudia, Houston, Tx
    Mitt Romney was Bain Capitol's "Hatchet Man" to cut jobs for corporate profit and now he wants to use the "Hatchet" on the American people.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________
    Bain Capital ( Capital is money. Capitol is a big city ) works with companies who's existing business plans are failing, so the starting point is where a company is headed for zero jobs. So straightening out those companies and giving them a workable business means they have saved a job for every employee going forward.

    Sorry to take away your biggest ammunition against Mitt Romney, but his Bain Capital experience has helped America in the past, will help him win the general election and will help America going forward. Bain Capital was a huge positive for what Mitt Romney is bringing to the job.

    May 16, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    GI Joe

    When states took federal funds intended to keep jobs and used it to fill in their budget shortfalls instead, it made a lot of people mad. Mostly republican states.
    --------------------
    Yup, that's what a lot of red states did with Stimulus money, balanced their budgets. The budget shortfalls were created by exuberant tax cuts for the 1% and corporations. Then the conservatives turned around and complained that "the Stimulus didn't work." Of course, it didn't work. They used tor their misguided supply economics, which we all know doesn't stimulate the economy and create jobs.

    May 16, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door wrote:

    ....Sorry to take away your biggest ammunition against Mitt Romney, but his Bain Capital experience has helped America in the past, will help him win the general election and will help America going forward. ......
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    I guess that really depends upon your definition of America; The People or The Capitalists.

    May 16, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "So straightening out those companies and giving them a workable business means they have saved a job for every employee going forward. "

    Don't you ever criticize Obama again for correctly pointing out that his policies have not only created jobs but SAVED them as well. The numbers don't lie, you do.

    May 16, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. Nate W. VA

    Henrico/ Richmond/ Fairfax area is almost a toss up at this point. However, I live in the Hampton Roads area (Chesapeake) where I believe is pretty left leaning for the most part. I myself am liberal but I try to be very balanced on my observations of political influence in areas. Both dems and repubs need to take into account the high popultation of the Hampton Roads section of VA. Though there are a good number of the rebel crowd (big trucks and rebel flags) that will almost always vote repub; the minorities (black, hispanic) and progressive leaning white population out way the right leaners by quite a signifacant margin. So it will be interesting to see this turnout. Regardless, campaigning should not skip over Hampton Roads if they wish to win over VA.

    May 16, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. julie

    I'm from VA and all of my friends, assoc's, co-workers no matter what color they are for Obama.....My peeps
    had enough of Repubs in this state

    Obama 2012 the only way forward

    May 16, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. Mikey

    @Four – "Bain Capital ( Capital is money. Capitol is a big city ) works with companies who's existing business plans are failing, so the starting point is where a company is headed for zero jobs."

    Apparently you don't understand the leveraged buy-out business. They are not consultants hired to help struggling businesses. They are opportunists who look for companies that can be acquired for a price lower than the value you can squeeze out. Those businesses could be a long way from failing. They might just fix the company, but that is not the norm. Usually, they sell off all the valuable parts, mine the remaining value, and leave the carcass to die. Sometimes they will raid the pension plan, leave it underfunded, and force the taxpayers to make up the difference via the pension guarantee fund, which Bain did. Also, they can use the bankruptcy courts to avoid obligations after they have raided the assets. It’s an ugly business that only cares about money, not the customers, employees, communities, taxpayers, or any other stakeholders. Romney turned Bain from a company that primarily helped start-up company to full fledged coropoate raiders, or as some call them, vulture capitalists.

    May 16, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS
    Must be all of the women Obama has helped keep unemployed over the last 3 years....
    -------------
    We've got one of the lowest unemployment rates in the union. And that's not due to any McDonnell policies. Keep trying to persuade yourself that you make sense.
    =======================================================================================
    OK, so the leftists are always in here claiming Romney's Mass. jobs creation was bad (even though the unemployment rate was below 5% most of his term, so it's total lies) thereby implying it was his fault and his policies. But if the unemployment rate of Virginia is low, it is NOT because of the Republican governor!

    Come on lefties.... GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER and start coordinating your lies better. It is just too darn easy when you're tripping all over your lies on a daily basis in here.

    May 16, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. Gurgyl

    Romney is Bain capital....

    May 16, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |