How Lynchburg could impact Virginia’s gubernatorial election

The Hill City flipped blue during the 2020 presidential election for the first time since 1948

(Cliff Owen, ©2021 Associated Press)

LYNCHBURG, Va. – With less than four days until Virginians head to the polls, Lynchburg might be a big factor in the gubernatorial race this year.

“I’m not sure Lynchburg by itself is going to make or break the election. That would be pretty interesting if it did,” said Dr. David Richards, political science chairman at the University of Lynchburg.

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Richards said one factor could be Liberty University, as LU pushed students to vote in the 2016 presidential election, and the Hill City went red for Donald Trump.

“In 2020, [Liberty University] did not push as hard, so that may have been part of why Lynchburg went blue.”

Joe Biden won the Hill City by two percentage points, marking the first time Lynchburg flipped blue since Harry Truman in 1948.

“[LU students] might push it back into the red, as it were. There are enough students at Liberty [University] that that might a difference. You never know,” said Richards.

With the race down to the wire, Richards said it will ultimately depend on who heads to the polls.

“Wednesday morning a lot of people are going to wake up either pretty excited or kind of disappointed, so we’ll have to see.”

About the Author

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.

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