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US Senate 2012 Election in Virginia


US Senate 2012 Election in Virginia
This article presents facts, analysis, and predictions for Virginia's 2012 U.S. Senate election race.

See 2012 Senate Elections - Who's Winning, Who's Losing for an overview of all 33 US Senate races, on a state-by-state basis.

The Incumbent US Senator
Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat, is completing his first term as U.S. senator from Virginia. Before election to the Senate, Webb, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, was the former Secretary of Navy under President Ronald Reagan. Webb is also the author of 8 books, including six Vietnam-based novels, and an award-winning filmmaker. (See Profile of Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia for more.)

In the 112th Congress, Sen. Webb is a member of the influential Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Forces, Veterans' Affairs, and Joint Economic committees.

Sen. Jim Webb is not running for reelection to the U.S. Senate in 2012.

Virginia's 2012 Senate Race
Only one Democrat is entered in Virginia's 2012 Senate race: Tim Kaine, Virginia governor from 2006 to 2010, and Chair from 2009 to 2011 of the Democratic National Committee. Gov. Kaine was also part of Barack Obama's vice-presidential short list in 2008.

Four Republican candidates are competing in the June 12, 2012 primary election:

  • George Allen, Virginia governor from 2001 to 2007. Allen lost the 2006 Senate election by a very narrow margin to Sen. Webb.
  • Robert Marshall, member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 1992
  • Jamie Radtke, a Tea Party organizer and activist
  • Earl W. Jackson, a conservative and Christian Coalition member
Former Gov. Allen, son former NFL coach George Allen, leads the Republican field in all polls.

Who Will Win?
RealClearPolitics.com rates Virginia's 2012 U.S. Senate race as a "Toss-up" as of May 2012.

Recent Election Results
Virginia's two U.S. senators serving in the 112th Congress (2011 to 2012) are:

  • Democratic Sen. Jim Webb, retiring after completing his first term
  • Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, serving his first term
Both Gov. Bob McDonnell and Lieutenant Gov. Bill Bolling are Republican party members. In Virginia's 11-member U.S. House of Representatives delegation, eight are Republicans, three are Democrats.

In the last four presidential elections, Virginia voted as follows:

  • 2008 - 53% for Democrat Obama, 46% for Republican McCain
  • 2004 - 54% for Republican Bush, 46% for Democrat Kerry
  • 2000 - 53% for Republican Bush, 44% for Democrat Gore
  • 1996 - 47% for Republican Dole, 45% for Democrat Clinton, 8% for Other
Virginia Economic Facts and Voter Demographics
Unemployment Rate as of June 2011 - Due largely to its close proximity to the high-employment area of Washington D.C., Virginia has experienced unemployment rates in recent years well below the national average. The state's unemployment rate in June 2011 was 6%, which ranked 41st among all states.

Foreclosure Rates as of June 2011 - Virginia's home foreclosure rate in June 2011 was 1 in ever 887 homes, which ranks 22nd among all states.

African-American Population - African-Americans comprise 20% of Virginia's population, which ranks 9th among all states.

State Residents Living Below Poverty-Level Income - 10.2% of Virginia residents subsist on below poverty-level wages, which ranks 39th among all states.

Labor Union Membership - Labor unions have a negligible presence and exert little influence in Virginia.

Senior Citizen Population - Residents 65 years old and over comprise 12.2% of Virginia's population, which ranks 43rd among all states.

Women as a Percentage of State Population - Women comprise 50.9% of Virginia residents, which ranks 20th among all states.

Hispanic Population - 7.9% of Virginia residents are of Hispanic heritage, which ranks 27th among all states.

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