the demographics of presidential bellwether jurisdictions between 1956-2020 were significantly different
Source: Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), Presidential Bellwethers
By 2020, the city of Staunton had become a barometer for predicting election results that was "scary accurate for Virginia statewide numbers." As far back as 2014, a former member of the House of Delegates from Staunton noted:1
However, between 1956-2020, Westmoreland County held the record for voting most consistently with the national winner in presidential contests. Out of 17 contests, it voted for the winner 15 times. In every race starting in 1964 through 2016, Westmoreland County voters chose the winner. That streak was broken in 2020, when the majority of voters supported re-election of President Donald Trump. Next in line as a presidential bellwether was the City of Radford, with 14 elections (including 2020) matching the ultimate winner.2
In the 16 elections for Governor between 1961-2021, Democratic candidates won nine times and Republican candidates won seven times. The City of Fairfax held the record for the longest continuous streak of picking the winner in races for Governor, picking the winner in 15 consecutive elections between 1961-2017. That streak was broken in 2021, when the Republican candidate won the election but City of Fairfax voters gave the Democratic candidate 64% of their votes.
Prince Edward County voted for the winner yet again in 2021. After that election it had the longest current streak, with 13 straight decisions in which county voters matched the statewide winner for Governor. Including the 1961 election, Prince Edward County had voted for a losing candidate only once through 2021. In 1969, the county supported William Battle over Linwood Holton by a 50-48% margin, but Holton won that election.3