|Poll||Date||Sample||Connolly (D)||Fimian (R)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||49.3||48.9||Connolly +0.4|
|2008: Connolly (D) 55%, Fimian (R) 43%||2008: Obama (D) 57%, McCain (R) 42%
|2006: Davis (R) 55%, Hurst (D) 44%||2004: Bush (R) 50%, Kerry (D) 49%|
|2004: Davis (R) 60%, Longmyer (D) 38%||2000: Bush (R) 52%, Gore (D) 45%|
The Republican domination of Virginia during the 1970s, 80s and 90s was based on a three-legged stool: southwest Virginia Republicans, conservative Democrats who voted Republican in the Southside, and transplanted northerners in the suburbs of Arlington and Fairfax Counties. These counties finally got their own congressional district in the 1950s, and it elected Republicans except in the most heavily Democratic of years. In 1992, Fairfax/Arlington was entitled to a second district, and so the 11th district was created as a swing district (the heavily Democratic areas were placed in the 8th).
The present 11th is marginally Democratic territory. It narrowly voted for President Bush in 2004, and gave President Obama 57 percent of the vote in 2008. That year, it elected Gerry Connolly by a healthy 55 percent to 43 percent margin over Keith Fimian.
But Fairfax County swung back toward the Republicans in the 2009 gubernatorial election. All three statewide GOP candidates carried the district. Meanwhile, Connolly voted for most major Obama administration initiatives. Connolly caught a bit of a break when Republicans nominated Fimian again, who was the more conservative candidate in the primary. But in a year like 2010 is shaping up to be, it might not matter.