HAMPTON - Hampton demographic consultant and president of CensusChannel LLC Anthony Fairfax is the author of 'The Presidential Trend.'

He says U.S. Census Bureau numbers show why the race for Virginia has become more competitive.

Since 1972, the percentage of Virginia voters casting their ballots for the Democratic nominee is up 20 percent. In 2008, that meant 53% voted for Barack Obama, putting the state in the blue column for the first time since 1964.

Fairfax says Virginia's voting results closely mirror what happens nationally.

'Virginia actually tracks the U.S. better than or at least as best as any other state in the country, ' he contends.

Demographic changes are only part the explanation since the minority population has gone up 14 percent since 1972.

'What that means is every racial group is increasing for the Democratic candidate,' explains Fairfax.

He says non-Democratic voters have fallen more than 20 percent since 1972.

That trend isn't lost on Republican leaders.

'It's a little bit of a changing demographic that means Republicans have a little bit more work to do to make sure new Americans and new voters are hearing our message,' admits Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA).

Republicans point to gains made in 2009 and 2010 as proof that Virginians aren't moving away from the party.

GOP Virginia Victory Chairman Pete Snyder points to the decisive win for McDonnell. He adds that Virginia in 2010 was the epicenter of a Republican turnaround when three Democratic congressmen were voted out. Then in 2011, he touts Republican wins to get control of the State Senate.

'It's been a three-and-a-half year rising tide for the Republicans. Ever since Barack Obama came into office, it's been really tough being a Virginia Democrat out there,' contends Snyder.

Only Election Day will tell if Fairfax's presidential trend continues.

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