One of the larger suburbs of Washington, Annandale is in Fairfax County. It is another town where partisans are often pitted against each other in close standoffs. Once reliably Republican, Fairfax County has become much more competitive in recent years—2004 was the first time a Democratic presidential candidate had won the county in 40 years, and Barack Obama received 60 percent of the vote in 2008, compared with 52.7 percent statewide.
In 1888, the New York Times dubbed this Boston suburb the wealthiest town of its size in America. Brookline might not be able to claim that title anymore, but it is still very affluent. Median family income is $120,933, much higher than the $77,409 average for the entire state. Those high income levels partially explain the town's interest in political affairs. Equally important might be the town's status as a tony residential area for one of the biggest centers of education in the country. The campuses of Boston University and Boston College are adjacent to the town.