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Barack Obama and New Virginia.

October 28, 2008

Interesting piece by Jay Newton-Small on how Barack Obama’s doing in Virginia.

On the other side of the tracks — literally Amtrak’s line from Washington to Richmond — the county’s eastern corridor is one of the fastest-growing areas in the state, home to a Latino population that has swelled from about 5% of the population in 1990 to approximately 20% in 2007. Along the Occoquan and Potomac rivers, the state’s northern and eastern borders, historic black neighborhoods argue for space with new developments: golf courses, strip malls, gated communities, retirement villages — many that stand half finished, caught off guard by the subprime crisis. Such bedroom communities have been the worst hit in the state by the economic downturn; before the market plunge, high gas prices and highway congestion topped the list of concerns for those commuting to Washington or the northern Virginia cities of Arlington and Alexandria. This is the new face of Virginia — and the South — one where white working-class voters are being replaced by booming Hispanic and Asian populations and white college students outnumber white seniors 21% to 13%, according to a new Brookings Institution study.

I wrote about this phenomenon as well, though far less eloquently and with much less research.

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