This fast growing Loudon county is typical of the fastest growing counties in the US - strongly Republican. So much for the theory that 'the suburbs are trending left'.
"Strongly Republican" means absolutely nothing in terms of trend. In fact, the data show Loudon County *definitely* trending "left". Compare the Loundon County voting to the overall state...
1980 Loudon County was +13.5% Republican (Reagan)
1984 Loudon County was +11.3% Republican (Reagan)
1988 Loudon County was +13.1% Republican (Bush)
1992 Loudon County was +7.2% Republican (Bush)
1996 Loudon County was +9.8% Republican (Dole)
2000 Loudon County was +7.2% Republican (Bush)
This may seem to bounce too much to be an obvious trend, but Loudon County was +4.2% in 1992 compared to the rest of the state for Perot. Since more (though certainly not all) of Perot's support came from Bush, Loudon County would have otherwise been in the +8 to +12% Republican range (compared to the rest of the state) in 1992 were Perot not there. So, 1988 is the only bump, and it's a pretty small one at that. Otherwise, there has been a steady decline in the Republican advantage in Loudon County.
So, over 20 years there's been a greater than 6% Democrat swing in Loudon County. Growth there (influx of more centrist, if not left of center voters) has not been linear; it has been increasing. It is no coincidence that 5% of that 6% Democrat swing has been in the past 10 years. I'm pretty confident in saying that Loudon County will be +5% Republican compared to the rest of the state in the 2004 election. I expect Bush to win VA by about 5% (maybe a bit more), so Bush should take Loudon County by 10%... 55% to 45% (with some exception for a few percentage to Nader and others).