By Stephen J. Farnsworth
March 2, 2012
The time has come to break the tyranny of Iowa and New Hampshire in the presidential nomination process, and Virginia is just the state to do it.
Virginia is far closer to the United States in miniature than either of those two places — or, for that matter, Nevada or South Carolina, two other favored states on the 2012 nomination calendar.
In Northern Virginia, the commonwealth has a version of the ideologically liberal Northeast as well as a replica of Silicon Valley. The commonwealth has its own Sun Coast and an industrial heartland in Hampton Roads, and it has a variety of politically and culturally distinct urban and suburban communities along Interstates 95, 66, 81 and 64. Other parts of the state are populated by farming communities and small towns that call to mind the Great Plains and the South. The state has substantial numbers of Christian conservatives and Tea Party supporters as well.
But there’s more. Population statistics demonstrate the demographic advantages of the Old Dominion over the first two nomination states. Virginia’s population is about 69 percent white, while the figure for Iowa and New Hampshire is higher than 90 percent. The national population is about 72 percent white.