Though Newt Gingrich is often associated with Georgia, the fact is he has lived in McLean, in the northern reaches of the State of NoVa, since at least May 2000, when he bought a house here with his then-girlfriend, Callista Bisek, real estate records show. He married Bisek in Fairfax County in August 2000, court records show. And he has voted in McLean in every general election since 2002, voting records show.
The Fairfax County resident is also a regular in Fairfax City, often seen at the City of Fairfax Band concerts toting his wife’s french horn. In fact, the Gingrich Foundation made a (dollar amount undisclosed) donation to the Fairfax band in 2009.
As you may have heard, the McLean man is now running for president, and a new poll out today shows Gingrich with a 30 percent to 25 percent lead in Virginia over Mitt Romney of Massachusetts among Republican voters. The Virginia primary is March 5.
And tonight at 7:30 p.m., the Fairfax County man will hold a “Virginians With Newt” rally and town hall meeting at the Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn, free and open to the public. Part of the purpose is also to enlist supporters to get enough signatures to get the NoVa resident on the Virginia ballot, according to an e-mail obtained Monday by Politico. Candidates have until Thursday (tomorrow!) to collect 10,000 signatures statewide and another 400 from each congressional district.
So if Gingrich were the Republican nominee against President Obama (who recently opened an Arlington office), how might the McLean resident do in his home state of NoVa? In Arlington County and Alexandria City, where Republicans are elected as often as I-66 is uncongested at 9 a.m., he would get crushed. In Loudoun, where Republicans recently swept every seat in the Board of Supervisors election, he would win handily. In Prince William, where Obama won 58 percent in 2008, he would be the underdog.
And in Fairfax, Gingrich’s home turf? The Democratic presidential vote has increased in every election since 1980, to Obama’s 60 percent in 2008. Obama likely can’t pull that number again. But Gingrich would still be a heavy underdog, despite his McLean ties. Regional pride in Gingrich almost certainly would not boost him in the State of NoVa. Or elsewhere, actually, since ties to the Washington area are generally not something to brag about in the rest of the political world.