This report briefly reviews Virginia’s political history, analyzes trends within key demographic groups over the past twenty years, and simulates the 2012 presidential election based on patterns seen in the last two presidential contests.

For decades,growing numbers of scholarly studies have criticized mass media coverage of election campaigns as generally unhelpful to voters.
Virginia, along with the rest of the country, is clawing its way out of a major recession that began in late 2007 following the bursting of the nationwide housing bubble.

This report traces the geographic distribution of blacks across Virginia over time and compares improvements in educational attainment to changes in the economic outcomes experienced by Virginia’s black population.

This report is the first of a two-part series on poverty in Virginia and the group of public programs broadly called the "social safety net." Part I examines the current state of poverty in Virginia. Part II illuminates the role of public programs developed to alleviate poverty and support secure financial futures for individuals across the economic spectrum.

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