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CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.
District Profile from Politics in America
The black-majority 3rd moves from the state capital of Richmond southeast to military and shipbuilding territory, taking in parts of Newport News, Hampton and Norfolk, and the entire city of Portsmouth.
The 3rd has long benefited from hosting one of the nation's largest ports, at Hampton Roads, and from Richmond's financial sector. Although now owned by Wells Fargo, Wachovia is still a key employer. While the 3rd has not been immune to layoffs, state government jobs around Richmond and port-related jobs to the south have mitigated the impact of economic downturns. Richmond also is home to one of the largest cigarette plants in the nation, a Philip Morris USA facility.
The Hampton Roads area has a heavy concentration of naval installations as well as associated shipbuilding and ship repair firms. Among these is the nation's largest privately owned shipyard -- Huntington Ingalls Industries -- which builds aircraft carriers and submarines. All three of the 3rd's military bases were affected by personnel changes from the 2005 round of base realignments, but none were slated for closure.
Richmond, Portsmouth and Norfolk, which have substantial black populations, all gave Barack Obama at least 70 percent of their 2008 presidential vote. Overall, Obama took 76 percent of the 3rd's vote, his best showing statewide. Despite Democrats' dominance of the 3rd, Republicans are strong in some areas, particularly in New Kent County and Prince George County, which is shared with the 4th District.
Defense, shipbuilding and repair, shipping, government, tobacco
Joint Base Langley-Eustis (shared with the 2nd), 13,000 military, 6,650 civilian; Norfolk Naval Shipyard at Portsmouth, 8,650 military, 1,200 civilian (2011); Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, 2,793 military, 1,291 civilian (2009)
Richmond (pt.), 150,010; Norfolk (pt.), 125,964; Newport News (pt.), 105,543; Portsmouth, 95,535; Hampton (pt.), 59,926
The Edgar Allan Poe Museum is in Richmond, where Poe lived.
|2010||general||Robert Scott (D)||114,754||70%|
|C.L. Smith (R)||44,553||27.2%|
|James Quigley (LIBERT)||2,383||1.4%|
|John Kelly (I)||2,039||1.2%|
|2008||general||Robert Scott (D)||239,911||97%|
|2006||general||Robert Scott (D)||133,546||96.1%|
|2004||general||Robert Scott (D)||159,373||69.3%|
|Winsome Sears (R)||70,194||30.5%|
|2002||general||Robert Scott (D)||87,521||96.1%|
|2008||Barack Obama: 76%||John McCain: 24%|
|2004||John Kerry: 66%||George W. Bush: 33%|
|2000||Al Gore: 67%||George W. Bush: 32%|