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.

Locality No % HRC % Difference  < No % < HRC %
Petersburg City 65.78% 87.20% -21.42% no yes
Falls Church City 59.24% 75.02% -15.78% no yes
Emporia City 48.91% 64.67% -15.76% yes yes
Richmond City 64.13% 78.58% -14.45% no yes
Alexandria City 61.35% 75.56% -14.21% no yes
Arlington 62.51% 75.83% -13.32% no yes
Charlottesville City 66.43% 79.68% -13.25% no yes
Fairfax 55.91% 64.43% -8.52% no yes
Norfolk City 60.09% 68.39% -8.30% no yes
Martinsville City 53.12% 61.24% -8.12% yes yes
Sussex 49.68% 57.08% -7.40% yes yes
Fairfax City 54.21% 61.25% -7.04% no yes
Franklin City 55.07% 62.03% -6.96% no yes
Portsmouth City 59.71% 65.87% -6.16% no yes
Prince William 51.71% 57.60% -5.89% yes yes
Danville City 52.62% 58.39% -5.77% yes yes
Manassas Park City 55.95% 61.24% -5.29% no yes
Greensville 53.54% 58.63% -5.09% yes yes
Lexington City 56.63% 61.42% -4.79% no yes
Henrico 52.89% 57.44% -4.55% yes yes
Charles City 56.60% 60.77% -4.17% no yes
Williamsburg City 64.87% 68.27% -3.40% no yes
Loudoun 52.36% 55.06% -2.70% yes yes
Manassas City 53.49% 54.66% -1.17% yes yes
Harrisonburg City 55.89% 56.77% -0.88% no yes
Hampton City 66.01% 66.34% -0.33% no yes
Albemarle 58.56% 58.78% -0.22% no yes
Newport News City 60.26% 60.31% -0.05% no yes
Suffolk City 53.82% 53.84% -0.02% no yes
Hopewell City 53.80% 52.44% 1.36% no yes
Fredericksburg City 61.30% 59.58% 1.72% no yes
Roanoke City 59.21% 56.47% 2.74% no yes
Winchester City 51.31% 48.42% 2.89% yes no
James City 47.31% 44.26% 3.05% yes no
Chesapeake City 50.35% 46.71% 3.64% yes no
Prince Edward 55.03% 50.21% 4.82% no yes
Northampton 58.05% 52.77% 5.28% no yes
Nottoway 47.35% 41.95% 5.40% yes no
Essex 52.94% 47.32% 5.62% yes no
Lancaster 49.04% 43.18% 5.86% yes no
Surry 59.82% 53.74% 6.08% no yes
Virginia Beach City 51.73% 44.84% 6.89% yes no
Staunton City 54.31% 47.38% 6.93% no no
Brunswick 65.38% 58.43% 6.95% no yes
Chesterfield 52.93% 45.97% 6.96% yes no
Westmoreland 51.95% 44.74% 7.21% yes no
York 45.37% 38.11% 7.26% yes no
Lynchburg City 48.80% 41.48% 7.32% yes no
Radford City 56.72% 48.09% 8.63% no no
Montgomery 55.19% 46.53% 8.66% no no
Stafford 51.48% 42.33% 9.15% yes no
Halifax 50.14% 40.58% 9.56% yes no
Goochland 44.41% 34.83% 9.58% yes no
Fluvanna 52.76% 42.38% 10.38% yes no
Cumberland 52.32% 41.50% 10.82% yes no
Northumberland 49.41% 38.56% 10.85% yes no
Spotsylvania 49.70% 38.70% 11.00% yes no
Mecklenburg 53.08% 42.05% 11.03% yes no
Isle Of Wight 48.49% 37.40% 11.09% yes no
Colonial Heights City 39.10% 27.99% 11.11% yes no
Fauquier 45.83% 34.63% 11.20% yes no
Nelson 55.73% 44.39% 11.34% yes no
King George 44.60% 33.25% 11.35% yes no
Roanoke 44.76% 33.41% 11.35% yes no
King And Queen 51.27% 39.78% 11.49% yes no
Waynesboro City 52.95% 40.90% 12.05% yes no
Clarke 49.21% 37.15% 12.06% yes no
Accomack 54.71% 42.61% 12.10% no no
Lunenburg 52.19% 39.87% 12.32% yes no
Dinwiddie 55.31% 42.47% 12.84% no no
Salem City 47.40% 34.37% 13.03% yes no
Hanover 44.57% 30.90% 13.67% yes no
Caroline 58.98% 45.14% 13.84% no no
Buckingham 56.77% 42.91% 13.86% no no
Culpeper 50.05% 34.92% 15.13% yes no
Prince George 54.99% 39.66% 15.33% no no
Southampton 56.28% 40.52% 15.76% no no
Middlesex 50.94% 35.03% 15.91% yes no
Richmond 52.83% 36.79% 16.04% yes no
Amherst 49.71% 32.85% 16.86% yes no
Orange 51.77% 34.50% 17.27% yes no
Campbell 42.11% 24.20% 17.91% yes no
Louisa 53.32% 35.27% 18.05% yes no
Charlotte 55.26% 37.11% 18.15% no no
Rockingham 43.42% 24.98% 18.44% yes no
Rappahannock 57.49% 38.97% 18.52% no no
Appomattox 43.84% 25.30% 18.54% yes no
Warren 47.49% 28.80% 18.69% yes no
Greene 49.48% 30.44% 19.04% yes no
Bedford 42.02% 22.97% 19.05% yes no
Henry 53.28% 34.03% 19.25% yes no
Gloucester 47.52% 27.54% 19.98% yes no
New Kent 49.40% 28.99% 20.41% yes no
Covington City 58.86% 38.37% 20.49% no no
Galax City 49.28% 28.66% 20.62% yes no
Frederick 50.38% 29.51% 20.87% yes no
Pittsylvania 50.65% 29.11% 21.54% yes no
Botetourt 45.62% 23.98% 21.64% yes no
Amelia 52.23% 30.23% 22.00% yes no
Washington 43.61% 21.48% 22.13% yes no
Franklin 49.06% 26.91% 22.15% yes no
Rockbridge 54.69% 32.50% 22.19% no no
Buena Vista City 50.98% 28.79% 22.19% yes no
Mathews 51.86% 29.43% 22.43% yes no
Madison 55.16% 31.57% 23.59% no no
Shenandoah 49.56% 25.71% 23.85% yes no
Highland 51.23% 26.67% 24.56% yes no
Bristol City 51.01% 26.11% 24.90% yes no
King William 55.17% 30.18% 24.99% no no
Giles 49.08% 23.75% 25.33% yes no
Poquoson City 48.19% 22.31% 25.88% yes no
Wythe 46.68% 20.78% 25.90% yes no
Norton City 52.36% 26.23% 26.13% yes no
Powhatan 50.17% 24.04% 26.13% yes no
Bath 53.76% 26.76% 27.00% no no
Augusta 50.45% 22.50% 27.95% yes no
Pulaski 55.92% 27.51% 28.41% no no
Floyd 57.88% 28.57% 29.31% no no
Buchanan 48.87% 18.61% 30.26% yes no
Page 54.36% 23.41% 30.95% no no
Alleghany 61.35% 29.57% 31.78% no no
Grayson 51.75% 19.31% 32.44% yes no
Smyth 53.18% 20.67% 32.51% yes no
Craig 52.06% 19.38% 32.68% yes no
Carroll 51.48% 18.74% 32.74% yes no
Scott 48.81% 15.65% 33.16% yes no
Patrick 54.31% 20.74% 33.57% no no
Tazewell 50.59% 15.59% 35.00% yes no
Wise 56.32% 17.81% 38.51% no no
Russell 57.58% 19.03% 38.55% no no
Bland 53.09% 14.43% 38.66% yes no
Lee 57.32% 17.31% 40.01% no no
Dickenson 63.13% 20.73% 42.40% no no
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10 Comments

  • Son_of_the_South December 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, TN-08
    Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

    • twinpines December 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.

      • twinpines December 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.

      • twinpines December 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.

  • twinpines December 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.

  • rdelbov December 31, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    great stuff

  • Red Oaks January 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

    • Greyhound January 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.

      • rayinma January 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).

  • MosheM January 3, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Amazing stuff. The VA-9 area in particular.


    28, M, R, NY-10

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