Right-To-Work Amendment in Virginia

Hey all; I’m not sure what etiquette is for these, but his is my first diary, so let me know how interesting or typical it is of the content people like to see here. I’ve been lurking around for a while but only decided to post now. Hope you enjoy!

The “Question 1” on the Virginia ballot this fall was on whether to add the existing Right-To-Work law to the state constitution or not. It failed with 53.58% voting against. 49.75% of the state voted for Clinton, awarding her the electoral votes. Given this, I wanted to see where the amendment failed but so did Clinton. (For the curious, raw vote totals were 1,956,101 against the amendment and 1,981,473 for Clinton. Maybe in the future I will look into who split their tickets in favor of the amendment and for Clinton).

I measured this in two ways; the first being the difference between the percentage of a county/city voting against the amendment and the percentage of a county/city for Clinton. Mapped out below are those counties/cities with the darkest color denoting a 40% difference or higher, slightly lighter red denoting a 30%-40% difference, and the lightest denoting a 20-30% difference.

The second way I measured this was by marking which counties/cities voted “no” at a margin larger than the state as a whole but also voted for Clinton at a margin less than the state as a whole. Marked in yellow are those counties/cities.

The complete list of my data is below.

LocalityNo %HRC %Difference < No %< HRC %
Petersburg City65.78%87.20%-21.42%noyes
Falls Church City59.24%75.02%-15.78%noyes
Emporia City48.91%64.67%-15.76%yesyes
Richmond City64.13%78.58%-14.45%noyes
Alexandria City61.35%75.56%-14.21%noyes
Arlington62.51%75.83%-13.32%noyes
Charlottesville City66.43%79.68%-13.25%noyes
Fairfax55.91%64.43%-8.52%noyes
Norfolk City60.09%68.39%-8.30%noyes
Martinsville City53.12%61.24%-8.12%yesyes
Sussex49.68%57.08%-7.40%yesyes
Fairfax City54.21%61.25%-7.04%noyes
Franklin City55.07%62.03%-6.96%noyes
Portsmouth City59.71%65.87%-6.16%noyes
Prince William51.71%57.60%-5.89%yesyes
Danville City52.62%58.39%-5.77%yesyes
Manassas Park City55.95%61.24%-5.29%noyes
Greensville53.54%58.63%-5.09%yesyes
Lexington City56.63%61.42%-4.79%noyes
Henrico52.89%57.44%-4.55%yesyes
Charles City56.60%60.77%-4.17%noyes
Williamsburg City64.87%68.27%-3.40%noyes
Loudoun52.36%55.06%-2.70%yesyes
Manassas City53.49%54.66%-1.17%yesyes
Harrisonburg City55.89%56.77%-0.88%noyes
Hampton City66.01%66.34%-0.33%noyes
Albemarle58.56%58.78%-0.22%noyes
Newport News City60.26%60.31%-0.05%noyes
Suffolk City53.82%53.84%-0.02%noyes
Hopewell City53.80%52.44%1.36%noyes
Fredericksburg City61.30%59.58%1.72%noyes
Roanoke City59.21%56.47%2.74%noyes
Winchester City51.31%48.42%2.89%yesno
James City47.31%44.26%3.05%yesno
Chesapeake City50.35%46.71%3.64%yesno
Prince Edward55.03%50.21%4.82%noyes
Northampton58.05%52.77%5.28%noyes
Nottoway47.35%41.95%5.40%yesno
Essex52.94%47.32%5.62%yesno
Lancaster49.04%43.18%5.86%yesno
Surry59.82%53.74%6.08%noyes
Virginia Beach City51.73%44.84%6.89%yesno
Staunton City54.31%47.38%6.93%nono
Brunswick65.38%58.43%6.95%noyes
Chesterfield52.93%45.97%6.96%yesno
Westmoreland51.95%44.74%7.21%yesno
York45.37%38.11%7.26%yesno
Lynchburg City48.80%41.48%7.32%yesno
Radford City56.72%48.09%8.63%nono
Montgomery55.19%46.53%8.66%nono
Stafford51.48%42.33%9.15%yesno
Halifax50.14%40.58%9.56%yesno
Goochland44.41%34.83%9.58%yesno
Fluvanna52.76%42.38%10.38%yesno
Cumberland52.32%41.50%10.82%yesno
Northumberland49.41%38.56%10.85%yesno
Spotsylvania49.70%38.70%11.00%yesno
Mecklenburg53.08%42.05%11.03%yesno
Isle Of Wight48.49%37.40%11.09%yesno
Colonial Heights City39.10%27.99%11.11%yesno
Fauquier45.83%34.63%11.20%yesno
Nelson55.73%44.39%11.34%yesno
King George44.60%33.25%11.35%yesno
Roanoke44.76%33.41%11.35%yesno
King And Queen51.27%39.78%11.49%yesno
Waynesboro City52.95%40.90%12.05%yesno
Clarke49.21%37.15%12.06%yesno
Accomack54.71%42.61%12.10%nono
Lunenburg52.19%39.87%12.32%yesno
Dinwiddie55.31%42.47%12.84%nono
Salem City47.40%34.37%13.03%yesno
Hanover44.57%30.90%13.67%yesno
Caroline58.98%45.14%13.84%nono
Buckingham56.77%42.91%13.86%nono
Culpeper50.05%34.92%15.13%yesno
Prince George54.99%39.66%15.33%nono
Southampton56.28%40.52%15.76%nono
Middlesex50.94%35.03%15.91%yesno
Richmond52.83%36.79%16.04%yesno
Amherst49.71%32.85%16.86%yesno
Orange51.77%34.50%17.27%yesno
Campbell42.11%24.20%17.91%yesno
Louisa53.32%35.27%18.05%yesno
Charlotte55.26%37.11%18.15%nono
Rockingham43.42%24.98%18.44%yesno
Rappahannock57.49%38.97%18.52%nono
Appomattox43.84%25.30%18.54%yesno
Warren47.49%28.80%18.69%yesno
Greene49.48%30.44%19.04%yesno
Bedford42.02%22.97%19.05%yesno
Henry53.28%34.03%19.25%yesno
Gloucester47.52%27.54%19.98%yesno
New Kent49.40%28.99%20.41%yesno
Covington City58.86%38.37%20.49%nono
Galax City49.28%28.66%20.62%yesno
Frederick50.38%29.51%20.87%yesno
Pittsylvania50.65%29.11%21.54%yesno
Botetourt45.62%23.98%21.64%yesno
Amelia52.23%30.23%22.00%yesno
Washington43.61%21.48%22.13%yesno
Franklin49.06%26.91%22.15%yesno
Rockbridge54.69%32.50%22.19%nono
Buena Vista City50.98%28.79%22.19%yesno
Mathews51.86%29.43%22.43%yesno
Madison55.16%31.57%23.59%nono
Shenandoah49.56%25.71%23.85%yesno
Highland51.23%26.67%24.56%yesno
Bristol City51.01%26.11%24.90%yesno
King William55.17%30.18%24.99%nono
Giles49.08%23.75%25.33%yesno
Poquoson City48.19%22.31%25.88%yesno
Wythe46.68%20.78%25.90%yesno
Norton City52.36%26.23%26.13%yesno
Powhatan50.17%24.04%26.13%yesno
Bath53.76%26.76%27.00%nono
Augusta50.45%22.50%27.95%yesno
Pulaski55.92%27.51%28.41%nono
Floyd57.88%28.57%29.31%nono
Buchanan48.87%18.61%30.26%yesno
Page54.36%23.41%30.95%nono
Alleghany61.35%29.57%31.78%nono
Grayson51.75%19.31%32.44%yesno
Smyth53.18%20.67%32.51%yesno
Craig52.06%19.38%32.68%yesno
Carroll51.48%18.74%32.74%yesno
Scott48.81%15.65%33.16%yesno
Patrick54.31%20.74%33.57%nono
Tazewell50.59%15.59%35.00%yesno
Wise56.32%17.81%38.51%nono
Russell57.58%19.03%38.55%nono
Bland53.09%14.43%38.66%yesno
Lee57.32%17.31%40.01%nono
Dickenson63.13%20.73%42.40%nono
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10 Comments

  • Son_of_the_SouthDecember 31, 2016 at 2:03 am

    As a Republican, these NOVA numbers are pretty depressing. If something like this can’t get majority support in Loudon County, then we should definitely votesink the 10th and be done with it (assuming that we can get the 4th back with a favorable SCOTUS).


    23, R, DC-AL
    Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

    • twinpinesDecember 31, 2016 at 6:10 am

      No reason to vote sink it, right to work has less support then the republican party in general. If a wealthy state with a recent conservative history doesnt like right to work, basically means its not popular anywhere. Its lost horribly in Ohio a while back while the state is zooming rightward. Right to work is like the minimum wage and everything else. Voters love democrat economic policies but vote for us because they hate the democratic social agenda.


      AZ LD-20, Conservative Independent, not associated with either party.

      • twinpinesDecember 31, 2016 at 6:17 am

        Also keep in mind that not only did Romney win this district but so did Cuccinelli and Obenshain. Even crazy E. W. Jackson got 47.8% of the two party vote in the district. Its silly to write this district off due to a one-time bad performance of a president who crashed in all upper-middle class suburbs across the country. And the fact that Jackson got nearly 48% while Cucinelli won the district is one reason I am not one bit impressed by Comstocks performance this year. This is a red district. No need to vote sink red districts.


        AZ LD-20, Conservative Independent, not associated with either party.

      • twinpinesDecember 31, 2016 at 6:28 am

        I just checked. We hold 1 state senate seat and 11 state house seats in VA that are more liberal then this congressional seat. Its a competitive district but by no means blue. We can shore it up next redistricting but it should be good otherwise.


        AZ LD-20, Conservative Independent, not associated with either party.

  • twinpinesDecember 31, 2016 at 2:55 am

    Not surprising, the white working class in rural VA voted Trump but do not like right to work. Some upper middle class clinton/republican voters plus conservatives blacks voted for right to work but against trump. NOVA is going leftward because of all the liberal migration there. In the past, DC-bound liberals mostly relocated to MD due to the stigma of living in conservative VA. However as VA has moved left, the stigma disappears drawing more and more liberal voters who just move the state further left in constant positive feedback loop.


    AZ LD-20, Conservative Independent, not associated with either party.

  • rdelbovDecember 31, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    great stuff

  • Red OaksJanuary 1, 2017 at 10:51 am

    I wouldn’t necessarily interpret the VA rejection of this proposal as a general rejection of right to work. Virginia already has statutory RTW. A yes vote would have placed it into the state constitution. One can be in favor of a policy and not want it enshrined in the constitution. There were multiple proposals like this (not RTW but the same principle applies) in MI in 2012 and they all failed. Many voters in general are skeptical of ballot proposals and will lean towards voting no by default. When they hear a law will be rammed into the constitution they are even more likely to reject it. If RTW repeal was on the ballot I think it would fail at least as bad as this proposal.


    MI-03 Castle voter who now says Give Trump a chance

    • GreyhoundJanuary 1, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Yeah, the map looks remarkably non-partisan, considering every single county was between 40 and 66% for no. If Hanover County really only favors RTW by 10 points, it would have been repealed decades ago.


      R, 26, CA-18. Nothing smooths over divisions like victory.

      • rayinmaJanuary 2, 2017 at 2:52 am

        To play devil’s advocate for a sec, one of the themes of last year is that business lobbies can keep unpopular policies locked in place for decades, and voters are tired of that. Plus, Virginia is a very different state than it was even 10 years ago, much less when it adopted RTW in 1947.

        (I agree that the simplest explanation is voters are particularly skeptical of constitutional amendments, although I doubt the effect ever exceeds 5 points or so).

  • MosheMJanuary 3, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Amazing stuff. The VA-9 area in particular.


    28, M, R, NY-10

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