Opinion Column, Washington Post, December 4, 2016
Rep. Barbara Comstock, reelected on Nov. 8 in the battleground communities of the District’s western Virginia suburbs, really knows the 10th Congressional District.
With roughly 70 percent of the district’s voters residing in Fairfax and Loudoun counties, the first-term incumbent had to walk a careful line during this year of Donald Trump. For most of the campaign, Comstock neither broke with the Republican nominee nor sang his praises, hoping to avoid losing the support of both potential swing voters and Trump loyalists.
Without considerable approval among those in each group, Comstock might not have won the district, which four years ago had split 50 percent for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and 49 percent for President Obama. With its decidedly purple hue, both Democrats and Republicans recognized Virginia’s 10th as an unusually vulnerable seat in the nation’s highly gerrymandered Congress, where nearly every district was drawn to be either safely Democratic or safely Republican.