|Fact Three: Labor unions are almost powerless politically in this state now. While they used to be a way for Democrats to win in industrial areas like Roanoke, that's not the case now. Democrats have to appeal to the suburban mindset.
Fact Four: Turnout always drops for non-presidential elections in this state, and other states, for that matter. Plus, we have the arcane system of elections every year, which is left over from the Byrd machine's methods to keep voter turnout low. Face the fact that fewer nominal Democrats and uninvolved Independents will vote in non-presidential years and plan accordingly.
Fact Five: If a white Democratic candidate feels uncomfortable interacting with the minority community, I have one piece of advice: Don't run for office as a Democrat.
Fact Six: I would guess that at least 30 percent of the potential vote in Virginia for Democrats will come from the party base - if the candidate can appeal to them and excite them. Please, Democratic candidates, forget all that Republican-lite B. S., that Democratic Leadership Council stuff that attempts to portray what we used to call Rockefeller Republicans as the kind of Democrats who should run for office. Want to run as a Democrat? Act like a Democrat.
Fact Seven: Republicans have a built-in political machine because they have sold out to the fundamentalists, whose churches tell their members how to vote. While that should make those churches lose their tax-exempt status, it won't happen. Counter that GOP advantage by developing a ground game that can defeat that.
(That kind of ground game is not rocket science. Here is the outline: Feed your base. Get volunteers. Feed your base. Appeal to minority voters. Raise money. Feed your base. Identify your voters. Do classic GOTV on Election Day. )
So, what "color" is Virginia. That depends. Tim Kaine calls it "purple," and I guess that's as good a description as any.