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A year later, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, took 61 percent of the vote in Loudoun and 59 percent of the vote in Prince William in his 17-point romp over state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, Bath Democrat.

Quentin Kidd, a political-science professor at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, cited the confluence of the 140 elections for legislative seats, the unfinished business of congressional redistricting, and the looming U.S. Senate and presidential elections as evidence that the political intensity in the deeply purple state is likely to only grow.

“I don’t think anybody has control or has their hands on it,” he said. “I think everybody’s holding their breath and waiting to see how it all plays out, hoping they don’t get too damaged by it.”