Four months before the November election, presidential contenders Barack Obama and Mitt Romney look likely to draw nearly equal numbers of votes, both at the polls and in the electoral college. In such races, a handful of swing states can decide the outcome. And within each state, a handful of heavily-populated counties can decide who carries the state. So it is with Virginia’s Fairfax County, which is home to one in seven Virginians. Candidate Obama attracted 310,000 votes in the county four years ago, which was more than his margin of victory for the whole state. With Virginia shaping up to be a kingmaker in the 2012 race, it is crucial to Obama that he run up a big majority in Fairfax to balance weakness elsewhere in the state. However, Virginia in general and Fairfax in particular is so dependent on defense spending for its prosperity that Obama’s military policies could trip him up. I have written a commentary that you can read here.
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