April 20, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Virginia - 7th District

Incumbent -- Eric Cantor (R) ; Running for re-election

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.


District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

The solidly Republican 7th begins in part of Richmond and its affluent old-money suburbs, then reaches northwest to the Shenandoah Valley through farmland and new Washington exurbs.

Many of the 7th's residents work in Richmond, a longtime center of state government and commerce. Richmond also was one of the South's early manufacturing centers, concentrating on tobacco processing. Richmond-based Philip Morris USA continues to employ thousands of district residents.

The northeastern stretch of the 7th is changing, as declining traditional farming communities transform into exurban areas filled with new residents with long commutes to Washington or its close-in suburbs. The population in Culpeper County has grown by more than one-third since 2000, and the district as a whole added more than 100,000 residents. The northern 7th also boasts a local wine industry.

A plurality of district residents lives in Henrico County (shared with the 3rd), which cups Richmond in a backward C-shape. Henrico traditionally has voted Republican, although it backed Democrats in the 2008 U.S. Senate and presidential elections. Chesterfield County (shared with the 4th) borders Richmond to the south and west and has a stronger GOP lean. The 7th's portion of Democratic-leaning Richmond includes some Republican voters who live in the city's western end.

As a whole, the 7th is reliably Republican, and it is difficult for Democratic candidates to stitch together victories here. All the counties that are located entirely in the district voted for Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election -- only Caroline and Henrico counties, which are split with the 1st and 3rd districts, respectively, backed Barack Obama. McCain won 53 percent of the 7th's presidential vote.

Major Industry

Agriculture, government, manufacturing

Cities

Richmond (pt.), 54,204; Tuckahoe (unincorporated), 44,990; Mechanicsville (unincorporated), 36,348

Notable

Luray Caverns, in Page County, features a pipe organ made of stalactites; James Madison's Montpelier estate is in Orange County.

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