- - Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Ole Virginny is no more.

Like most states the vast majority of Virginia’s 95 counties went red last week — typically by margins of 2-1 or more.

In several cases, by margins of 3-1.

For example, in Franklin County, outside of Roanoke, Republican gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart cratered Democratic candidate Tim Kaine by 67 percent to 31.6 percent. In Washington County, not far from the state’s western border, it was even more of a blowout: 70.2 percent to 28.5 percent.

Scott County gave Mr. Stewart a staggering 77.5 percent. This was typical.



So why was Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate — Mr. Kaine — elected governor by 56.9 percent to 41.2 percent?

Because of Northern Virginia — which is just as blue as the rest of the state is red.

Fairfax County gave Mr. Kaine 71.1 percent to Mr. Stewart’s 26.9 percent. Adjacent Loudoun, Prince William and Stafford counties went Kaine, too — though not quite as lopsidedly.

He also did well in the counties surrounding Richmond, the state’s capital.

These are the most populous areas of the state, which is electorally decisive in a contest that is decided by the popular vote of the entire state, aggregated. Even if that vote is extremely isolated — and regional.

In Fairfax, 340,061 people voted for Mr. Kaine vs. 14,845 for Mr. Stewart in Franklin County.

That’s a lot of voters. But almost all of them are concentrated in a few enclaves just outside Washington, D.C. — aka The Beltway. They are also liberal voters —politically, as far from the inclinations of the rest of the state as a soy boy’s interest in stock car racing.

In 2016, Northern Virginia voters supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by margins similar to this year’s Kaine vs. Stewart margins. No Republican candidate has won statewide office in Virginia in almost a decade — the last one being former Gov. Bob McDonnell. He may well turn out to have been the last one. Ever.

When I moved from Pennsylvania to Virginia during the George W. Bush administration, it was to escape a blue state for a red one. I never even considered living in D.C. or Maryland to avoid liberalism. That decision now looks like a wash.

Fairfax County has been described — accurately — as the San Francisco of the New South. Its politics are similar — from support for gun control and open borders/amnesty to the micromanagement of businesses by a conga line of busybody agencies.

It is home to the high occupancy vehicle lane (HOV), which punishes people who don’t want to, or simply can’t, carpool to work.

It issued a “Climate Stabilization Declaration” demanding an “80 percent reduction” in “global warming” gasses by 2050 — a verbatim affirmation of California’s insane declaration.

Fairfax County’s sheriff, Stacey Ann Kincaid, has reportedly refused to hold criminal illegals in custody long enough for them to be picked up by ICE in the absence of a specific court order commanding her to do so. As these orders are issued on a case-by-case basis, they are utterly inadequate as a means of compelling Virginia’s chief law enforcement officer to … enforce the law.

Northern Virginia voters amen’d all of that. They voted for Mr. Kaine — and against conservative Republicans such as Mr. Stewart as well as Rep. Dave Brat, who lost his 7th District seat to Democrat Abigail Spanberger.

This shouldn’t be surprising given that Northern Virginia is also the nesting and breeding ground for hundreds of thousands of federal workers, who vote Democrat for the same reason that Willie Sutton held up banks.

It’s where the money is.

The federal workers who live in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties are able to live in those exorbitantly expensive areas — and support expensive liberal policies — precisely because they have high-paid federal jobs; it’s a financial-political feedback loop. The counties around D.C. are virtually recession proof.

They vote their interests, just as the rest of the state does its.

The problem is the interests of Northern Virginia couldn’t be more different from those of the rest of Virginia, which would prefer not be bound by them, much less have to help pay for them. Ask someone is Northern California what its like to subsidize the craziness of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

But the rest of the state is carried along inexorably, and unwillingly, by the irresistible hordes of Northern Virginia’s superior numbers.

It’s doubtful any Republican candidate could make inroads with Northern Virginia voters without becoming a de facto Democrat. In which case, why bother?

Perhaps the solution is for Northern Virginia and the rest of Virginia to go their separate ways.

This solution isn’t radical, or even new.

Virginia once included West Virginia, which separated during the Civil War, to avoid joining the Confederacy. It also once included enormous swaths of land stretching all the way to the Pacific, including parts of what is now California.

It was too big an area to be just one state — and so became other states.

Just as today there is talk about California becoming more than just one state. For precisely the same reasons. San Francisco and Los Angeles no more represent the rest of the state than Fairfax represents the southwest counties of Virginia.

It isn’t democratic for a regional minority to hold sway over the physical majority of the state — whether in the Old Dominion or the Golden State.

And it’s as politically pointless for conservatives to try to appeal to liberal Northern Virginia voters as it would be to try to sell ribeyes to vegans.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article said Sen. Tim Kaine supports abolishing ICE. He does not, according to his office.

• A.J. Rice is the CEO of Publius Public Relations.

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