Year in Review: Purple Loudoun Leaned Blue in 2016

Loudoun County voters continued to serve as Virginia’s bellwether in presidential elections.

Four presidential candidates held campaign rallies in Loudoun, hoping to swing the commonwealth to their side. Republican Ben Carson was the first, holding a rally at Park View High School last year, followed by Marco Rubio, who stumped in Purcellville in March. Both dropped out of the GOP nomination contest. Next up was Democrat Hillary Clinton, who stopped in for a coffeehouse chat in Stone Ridge in May. Donald J. Trump held two Loudoun rallies after winning the Republican nomination—one at Briar Woods High School in August and another just one day before the election at the Loudoun Fairgrounds.

After thousands waited for more than six hours for the candidate to arrive, Trump predicted an election victory. “We are going to have one of the great victories of all time,” Trump told the crowd. “We are one day away from the change you’ve be waiting for your entire life.”

On Nov. 8, Clinton won Loudoun with 54.8 percent of the vote, while Trump got 38 percent. Although only 212,000 votes statewide separated the nominees, the margin of victory was enough to help the Democrat take Virginia’s 13 electoral votes and to keep alive Loudoun’s five-decades-old streak supporting the state’s winning candidate.

The most hotly contested race on November’s ballot was that for the 10th District Congressional seat. Two years ago, Republican Barbara Comstock easily won election to succeed Frank Wolf, who retired after representing the district since 1980. Both political parties targeted the Northern Virginia district in their bids to make gains in the House of Representatives. Democrat LuAnn Bennett, making her first bid for public office, almost pulled out a win. She edged out Comstock in Loudoun by 165 votes, but lost districtwide—47 percent to 53 percent.

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