You don’t have to travel to Massachusetts or Oklahoma to find political races that are lacking competition. While those staunchly ideological states may seem like a waste of money for the political party not in power, the fact of the matter is that the Democratic and Republican parties are staying out of most races this year, choosing instead to focus their money and resources on only 40 districts for the 2014 midterm election.
One of these races making both Democrats and Republican anxious for a win is Virginia’s 10th District. Covering a chunk of Northern Virginia that includes Loudoun and Fairfax Counties, the district is up for grabs, now that 10-term Republican Representative Frank Wolf is retiring. As a result the National Republican Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have both spent nearly $3 million this year on television ads alone, to say nothing of the outside groups pouring money into this competitive race.
Historically the district has been in Republican territory, voting for Mitt Romney in 2012 and Ken Cuccinelli in the 2013 governor’s race. But Democrats are hoping that this could be the year for them, as Northern Virginia turns blue and Virginia’s 10th specifically becomes more racially diverse, with more young commuters from Washington.
Representative Wolf’s popularity was largely due to the fact that he appealed to Republican economic values while still remaining supportive of the large federal workforce residing in the district. Barbara Comstock, a former aide to Wolf and current representative in the House of Delegates, will benefit from her connection with her former boss in that regard. However her voting record, which is staunchly anti-abortion stance and anti-big governmentcould hurt her image among this district of business-class republicans.
Meanwhile Democratic candidate John Foust, a Fairfax County supervisor, is working hard to get name recognition in a district that hasn’t had to learn about a new representative since 1981. In many ways, this race will be a test for Democrats, to see if the party label can help in a district that is really on the fence.
Currently, Comstock is projected to have a slight lead over Foust.