Shifting Demographics in Chesterfield and Loudoun Create Key Battlegrounds

Oct 31, 2016

It wasn’t all that long ago that Virginia was considered a red state, or at least a state that strongly leaned Republican. Now Democrats have won the last two presidential cycles, and the trend is expected to continue again this year. 

Strong job growth in two of Virginia’s largest counties are shifting the political map this year in two different parts of the state. Chesterfield County south of Richmond and Loudoun County in Northern Virginia. The two counties have some of the fastest job growth in the country. Frank Shafroth at George Mason University says Chesterfield in particular is going gangbusters. 

“The future job growth is predicted to be over 40 percent, nearly 43 percent. So it’s got a higher a higher than average job growth in the state of Virginia. It’s got very affordable housing. And average commuting time for someone who lives in Chesterfield County is 25 minutes."

Loudoun County Courthouse
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Quentin Kidd says the demographic changes are the result of growing suburbs and exurbs of Richmond and Washington. 

“Chesterfield and Loudoun are sort of the leading edge of suburban parts of Virginia in the Golden Crescent that have been leading the kind of political changes that we are seeing across the Commonwealth."

The demographic shifts are making these areas less white and less Republican.