Good maps by VPAP, but they got the headline (“One State, Two Elections”) sort of backwards. In fact, we just had an election – a SINGLE election, not “two elections” – with some people voting early and some people voting on Election Day. And, guess what? That’s right, that’s no different conceptually than in previous elections, when some people voted early and some people voted on Election Day. The big difference this time? Mostly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with new laws passed by the Democratic-controlled General Assembly to make early voting easier/more convenient, a *ton* more Virginians voted early than usual. But regardless, it was still ONE election, not “two elections,” as VPAP’s headline claims.
So let’s go to the maps:
- The first map, below, shows the Election Day voting patterns, which basically makes it look like we live in “Red Virginia,” not “Blue Virginia.” Heck, even deep-“blue” jurisdictions went “red” on Election Day itself – Loudoun County (55.3% Trump), Albemarle County (55.2% Trump), Henrico County (50.1% Trump), Prince William County (49.1% Trump-48.4% Biden), Montgomery County (68.0% Trump), Suffolk (56.7% Trump), etc. So is Virginia a “red” state? Sure, when the majority of the state’s votes haven’t been tallied yet!
- Now check out the second map, below, which shows what things looked like in the massive pool of votes cast *before* Election Day…either by mail or in-person. Now, things turn super-“blue”: Fairfax County (78.3% Biden); Loudoun County (70.0% Biden); Prince William County (68.8% Biden), Albemarle County (77.4% Biden), Henrico County (74.0% Biden), Suffolk (67.9% Biden), Virginia Beach (62.2% Biden), Montgomery County (64.7% Biden), etc.
Bottom line: We had ONE election, with people voting at different times, but in many ways we had two electorates…a deep-blue, Democratic-heavy electorate that voted predominantly early, and a deep-red, Republican-leaning electorate that voted much more on Election Day.