The Virginian Queen


Darynne Dahlem is logically minded and creatively based. She is a sophomore animal science major and has competed in the Miss America System for three years. This verbal processor loves ice cream and cats and has the ability to quote National Lampoon’s Animal House on a daily basis.

In the last four elections, Virginia has voted for the candidate who has won the Electoral College. However, this state doesn’t necessarily know where its loyalties lie. From 1976 through 2004, Virginia was a red state, but it has shifted over the past two election cycles. Virginia has been considered a swing state that was reliably red since 1952, but in 2008, both Obama and McCain heavily targeted the state and that was the year the colors changed. The year 2008 saw a financial meltdown across the entire nation, but there was also a noticeable change in the demographics of Virginia. These factors working together are what led to the State’s change of party during the 2008 election. That year marked the first time Virginia had voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

Prediction: Flash forward to 2016 and Virginia is still looking to favor the Democratic party and it does not look like Trump stands a chance to win this state. The Real Clear Politics poll average running from 9/15/16 until 10/13/16 shows Clinton at 45.6% over Trump’s 38.2%. In the most recent poll done by Emerson College, Clinton was up +5 points.

One major piece of Hillary Clinton’s success in Virginia is due in part to Hillary’s running mate, Senator Tim Kaine. If you look at FiveThirtyEight’s predictions of Clinton carrying Virginia over time, you can see the astronomical jump in Hillary’s popularity after the announcement of her running mate at the 2016 Democratic Convention on July 22. The poll tracker shows a jump from a 56.6% chance of winning the state on July 30, to an 87.7% chance of winning on August 9 and her chances over time of winning the state has increased to today’s 90.7% prediction as of October 14. Would Clinton still have become the favorite candidate for Virginia if she had chosen a different running mate? Probably. Would it have been by the same massive margin it is today because of her allegiance with Virginian, Tim Kaine? Who knows! I would assume probably not, but one thing is for sure, Clinton is definitely the Virginian Queen and my predicted winner for the state.

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