The Magazine

Painting Virginia Red

Anatomy of a GOP victory.

Nov 16, 2009, Vol. 15, No. 09 • By JENNIFER RUBIN
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The results in Northern Virginia should alarm Democrats. This region had trended their way in recent years, reflecting growing anti-GOP sentiment in the Bush administration's final years. As Fairfax County Republican chairman Anthony Bedell explains, "Northern Virginia is very Washington centric." And it was there that voters eyed events in D.C. and embraced McDonnell's message of fiscal conservatism. McDonnell took Fairfax County (which George Allen lost by 65,000 votes and John McCain by 110,000) 51 to 49 percent and ran up even higher margins in Washington, D.C.'s farther flung suburbs.

The Virginia results confirm that Republicans are returning from the political wilderness. An effective candidate with the right message can rebuild a winning center-right coalition. The right message in the Obama era is firm opposition to the national Democratic party agenda.

Jennifer Rubin is a lawyer and contributing editor at Commentary.