When Frank Wolf won Virginia’s 10th Congressional District in 1980, it was a solidly Republican district, anchored in northern Fairfax County, while extending into Arlington County and out to Loudoun County. Loudoun’s population in the 1980 census was only 57,000, barely triple the population the country had in 1790.
Since then, Loudoun’s population has skyrocketed, and today it is home to an estimated 350,000 Virginians. Wolf’s district has followed the population outward, and today it takes in only a few exurban portions of Fairfax County. It has also become more competitive, with Wolf facing relatively stiff challenges the past few cycles (though he always won by double digits).
Wolf announced that he would not seek re-election in 2014. Republicans settled on the nominee they thought would be their most electable: state Del. Barbara Comstock, while Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust will provide credible Democratic competition. In a favorable Democratic environment, Foust would probably win, but for now it doesn’t look like the environment will favor the party.