If you were to believe the Internet, Virginia is now a deep blue state because it’s been overrrun by Democrats and immigrants.

That’s Fake News.  Virginia is still a nominally Republican state, it’s just that independents and even Republicans hate the Republican Party under Trump.

In 2009 Bob McDonnell won statewide in Virginia by 17.3%. In 2018 Corey Stewart lost statewide by 15.8%.

That’s a shift of 33.1% – but the electorate over that time is only 5% more Democrat, only about 4% less white and only 3% more Hispanic?

How do you lose 33.1% support if your opponent only grows, at most, by 5%

Republicans are losing Virginia because independents — and Republicans — find the Republican Party repulsive.

If you break the 2009 and 2018 elections down into their component parts (candidate share by party ID) independents and Republicans who no longer support the GOP under Trump account for a -18.4% shift, enough votes to wipe out the GOP’s +17.3 2009 advantage.

>>>> Virginia’s only grown around 5% more Democrat since 2009. If Republicans had simply held on to independents and their own party, Corey Stewart would have won Virginia by 6.1%.

Republicans lost because independents and even Republicans no longer support the Trump-era GOP.

In 2009 96% Republicans voted for McDonnell.
In 2018 only 88% of Republicans voted for Stewart.
In 2009 66% of independents voted for McDonnell.
In 2018 only 31% of independents voted for Stewart.

Look at the numbers.

2009, share of vote by party ID and candidate supported

35.5% – Republicans voting for the Republican 
19.8% – Independents voting for the Republican 
2.3% – Democrats voting for the Republican 
>>> 57.6% – TOTAL SHARE FOR REPUBLICAN

30.7% – Democrats voting for the Democrat
9.9% – Independents voting for the Democrat
1.5% – Republicans voting for the Democrat
>>> 42.1% – TOTAL SHARE FOR THE DEMOCRAT

2018 share of vote by party ID and candidate supported

27.3% – Republicans voting for the Republican 
9.6% – Independents voting for the Republican 
1.5% – Democrats voting for the Republican 
>>> 38.4% – TOTAL SHARE FOR REPUBLICAN

36.5% – Democrats voting for the Democrat
17.1% – Independents voting for the Democrat
3.1% – Republicans voting for the Democrat
>>> 56.2% – TOTAL SHARE FOR THE DEMOCRAT

The biggest shifts in Virginia’s electorate? Independents and Republicans no longer voting Republican, not Democrat base growth.

BIGGEST SHIFTS BY MARGIN, 2009 to 2018
-10.2%: Independents voting for the Republican 
-8.2%: Republicans voting for the Republican 
+7.2% – Independents voting for the Democrat
+5.8%: Democrats voting for the Democrat
+1.6% – Republicans voting for the Democrat
-0.8%: Democrats voting for the Republican

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