I am a New Jersey man, in VA. Like Sting sings about being an Englishman in New York, 10-years in Virginia and I still feel a little like a fish out of water.
Why so? After all, New Jersey bifercates into North Jersey and South Jersey, analogous to NoVA and southwestern Virginia. In both cases the northern conclave is more populous.
One difference might be empowerment of concerned citizens. Is New Jersey the land of public involvement? For me it was. By now everyone has seen the videos of Gov. Chris Christie speaking his mind forcefully at a public meeting. The point is, that is a common occurence in Jersey. At a another point in time, that was me in front of the room, (undoubtedly less effectively than Christie) giving my views on trash imports or some other issue of the day.
VA seems like you need to be 4th generation Virginian to qualify for elected offices, and to get to igher ofices the feeling you must start and ground floor and work your way up from the bottom. Hwne I talk to my state senator about the recent day issues, i hear about how the Civil war impacts current thiking.