The Daily Caller has compiled a list of the 100 most conservative counties in the United States. Virginia has only three counties on the list, but Hanover County, near Richmond, earned the number eight spot:
8. Hanover County, Va.The Daily Caller could also have mentioned that Hanover County is the home base for Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling.
Largest community: Mechanicsville
Some parts of Hanover County are two miles from Richmond. Other parts of the southern border are more than 15 miles from the city. Because of this, Hanover County is a hybrid suburban/exurban/rural county. Two miles from Richmond is suburban Mechanicsville. In the exurbs is Cold Harbor National Cemetery, which commemorates the Battle of Cold Harbor fought here in 1864. The rural section is where King’s Dominion amusement park is located. The county gave an astounding 76 percent of the vote to Bob McDonnell.
The two other Virginia localities that made the list were Virginia Beach (55), which is actually a city, and Chesterfield County (29), also a suburb of Richmond.
Here's the entry on Virginia Beach:
55. Virginia Beach, Va.Of course, Bob McDonnell is not a "native" of Virginia Beach; he was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Fairfax County.
Co-terminus with City of Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach is a county masquerading as a city. Lrge parts of the county to the south are undeveloped. The isolated beach town of Sandbridge is more like the Outer Banks of North Carolina than the boardwalk area of Virginia Beach. The Hampton Roads have been called the best natural harbor on earth, and accordingly this is the main Atlantic base of operations for the Navy. It is culturally conservative, as this is where Pat Robertson and his Christian Broadcasting Network are from. While John McCain narrowly won the city-county, Virginia Beach native Bob McDonnell received about 64 percent of the vote last November.
And here's the Daily Caller's take on Chesterfield County:
29. Chesterfield County, Va.For those who are curious, here are the Daily Caller's criteria for inclusion on the Top 100 list:
Largest community: Midlothian
For those looking to locate the change of the Old South into the New, Chesterfield County is a textbook example. Chesterfield contains the southern suburbs of Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy. The area was tobacco country, giving name to the once prominent Chesterfield cigarettes. About 50 or 60 years ago, the rough-hewn nature of the county changed when Richmond, a city with much racial turmoil, began to move out to the suburbs. The county has moved in a white-collar direction, focused on the emerging edge city of Midlothian, a former mining community. Historically conservative, Chesterfield supported Bob McDonnell in last year’s governor’s race by a 2-to-1 margin.
* How counties have voted in the past two presidential electionsThat first qualification explains the presence of Virginia Beach on the list; the second qualification explains the absence of Charlottesville (in addition to all the other criteria that would have excluded it).
* Median household income, factoring in cost of living
* Home ownership percentage
* Married family percentage
* Civilian veteran percentage
* State unionization laws, whether a right-to-work state or mandatory union state
* State tax burden–state income taxes, factoring in available deductions
* State concealed weapons laws, ease of carrying weapon legally
* State weekly religious attendance, as measured by Pew
* State abortion laws, as measured by Americans United for Life
* Intangibles, such things as a long conservative history, an ingrained military culture, prominent right-wing politicians
There are two qualifications:
A “county” must be a county-level unit, which includes parishes in Louisiana, independent cities in Virginia and boroughs/municipalities in Alaska
The population must be over 50,000 as of 2008.
But here's a question: Why are only three Virginia counties on this list while Minnesota gets four (!) and Wisconsin gets three, too? One would expect multiple entries from Texas and Alabama, but the Progressive strongholds of Wisconsin and Minnesota?
Be sure to visit my CafePress store for gifts and novelty items!
Read my blog on Kindle!
Follow my tweets on Twitter!