“The Democrats clearly needed to work harder in Virginia than they did. The natural advantages that Democrats have in urban areas are only advantages if they get the kind of turnout that can compensate the Republican advantages in more rural parts of the state,” University of Mary Washington political science professor Stephen Farnsworth told TPM. “You’re looking at an underperformance in Northern Virginia in particular by the Warner people, compared to even the governor’s race last year.”
Farnsworth pointed to the margins of Democratic strongholds in the state like Fairfax and Loudon counties where, he said, “you see that that performance didn’t measure up.”
“This is always a problem, by the way, for Democrats in Northern Virginia. Because they live in a Democratic area they often forget how conservative the rest of Virginia is and it takes a great deal of coaxing to convince people to participate in midterm elections and that’s doubly true in Norther Virginia,” Farnsworth added.