Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe is poised to win the Virginia governor's race today, a victory that affirms the fact that the Commonwealth -- once a reliable Republican redoubt -- is not only a swing state but might, in fact, tilt slightly toward Democrats.

The story of Virginia's political progression from Republican to Democrat can be told vividly in a series of presidential and gubernatorial elections dating from 2000 through 2012. What's clear is that the suburbs around Washington -- Fairfax and Loudoun to name two -- have become increasingly Democratic over the past decade as has the central part of the state that runs west to east from just south of Charlottesville all the way to Newport News. (Stay tuned for our look at the five counties to watch in the race in this space later today.)

The growth in the state has all favored Democrats, turning a state that no Democrat since Lyndon Johnson had carried at the presidential level into one that Barack Obama has won twice. (Read this great story about the predictive power of Prince William County, once a safely Republican county in the exurbs of Washington.)

2000 presidential race (George W. Bush carried state with 54 percent):


* 2001 governors race (Mark Warner won with 52.5 percent)


 * 2004 presidential race (Bush won with 54 percent)

* 2005 governors race (Tim Kaine won with 53 percent)

* 2008 presidential race (Barack Obama won with 53 percent)

* 2009 governors race (Bob McDonnell won with 59 percent)

* 2012 presidential race (Obama won with 51 percent)


Image courtesy of NBC