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Deeds Wins!

State Sen. Creigh Deeds has claimed the Democratic nomination for governor in Virginia tonight in convincing fashion, using his low-key demeanor and late burst of momentum to sprint past former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe and former state Del. Brian Moran.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Deeds was at 50 percent to 26 percent for McAuliffe and 24 percent for Moran. The Washington Post called the race at 8 pm eastern time.

"No one could have imagined what we have accomplished here tonight in the Commonwealth of Virginia," Deeds said in his victory speech -- accurately reflecting the sentiment sweeping around the state tonight.

Republicans were quick out of the box to attack Deeds as a tax-raiser. "Despite prevailing in tonight's gubernatorial primary, even Democrats know Creigh Deeds' record of hiking taxes makes him unelectable this fall," said Republican Governors Association spokesman Mike Schrimpf.

Deeds, long seen as an also-ran next to the more high-profile McAuliffe and Moran, ran surprisingly strong statewide -- particularly in the critical northern Virginia suburbs long regarded as Moran's base. Deeds, who hails from Bath County in the far western reaches of the state, also cleaned up in the more rural parts of the Commonwealth -- following the successful blueprint first used by Mark Warner in 2001.

Deeds' victory gives national Democrats a moderate candidate with roots outside of northern Virginia to challenge former state Attorney General Bob McDonnell (R) in the fall -- a development likely to improve their chances of holding what is expected to be the most watched race in the country this fall.

"Virginia needs Creigh Deeds," McAuliffe said at a concession speech this evening.

We'll be back tomorrow morning with our winners and losers from tonight's vote. In the meantime, check out full Post coverage at the "Race to Richmond" page.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 9, 2009; 8:10 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: VA-Gov: The Final Spin
Next: Morning Fix: VA-Gov Winners and Losers


The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.

$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$550 billion: U.S. Defense budget

Posted by: atsegga | June 10, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

It reminds me of when current Wisconsin US Senator Russ Feingold won the Democratic nominmation against two "heavyweights". Feingold's humorous TV ads about not stooping so low and mudslinging carried the day and the rest is history as Feingold is in his second (or is it third?) term.

Posted by: rrice1 | June 10, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

In my view, this race was all about whether the anti-McAuliffe voters would consolidate around one candidate or split their votes and give McAuliffe an opening. I'm delighted to see that the former happened, although at only 26 percent McAuliffe would've lost under just about any split. I have long thought that lots of Dems would refuse to support McAuliffe because of his appalling behavior during the presidential primaries last year.

Posted by: uh_huhh | June 10, 2009 3:13 AM | Report abuse

Deeds looks exactly like the Virginian he is. That smile is recognizable anywhere as belonging to the Old Dominion.

Virginia went blue in '08. Here's to it going bluer in this gubernatorial.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 10, 2009 2:05 AM | Report abuse

This is the last thread on here I would expect to attract such a dirt-stupid troll as AD11. You guys shouldn't dignigfy such an idiot with responses.

Good on you, Virginia. I left in '78 but I'll raise a glass -- OK, light a bowl -- in yer honor tonight.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 10, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse


We are not all as stupid as the lib base. Give us a break.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 10, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Virginia Democrats are getting pretty savvy. Nominating such a moderate candidate is going to force the GOP to depend more on their thinning base, which will push them further right, which will kill their candidate. Just like the presidential election.

Posted by: nodebris | June 9, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

After reading more of your posts, I take back my claim that you're an ideologue, since there is no coherent ideological compass to your arguments. You want to cut the size of government (conservative?) but then raise taxes and redistribute wealth (socialist?). All because you think that normal hard-working Virginians are somehow spoiled because they have a great educational system and a great economy? I'm not buying it. Our great state includes rural, suburban, and urban populations, and if you're not okay with that, maybe you just don't like Virginia.
Where do you live, anyway?
You're like the fools in the national campaign last summer, trying to claim that NoVa isn't the "real Virginia." If that's true, I guess Robert E. Lee must feel like a real idiot.

Posted by: justin_timberwolf | June 9, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

@AD11 - I don't complain that I pay too many taxes to Richmond nor does it bother me that some of the wealth generated up here is spread throughout the state. It's the geographic equivalent of progressive taxation. However, your first comment oozed contempt towards me and where I live. I live relatively modestly, with an exception to enjoying wine and good food.

Incidentally, both Nextel and AOL, to cite examples were based in NoVa before being bought up. Lord knows, the federal government is a primary driver of the economic engine around hear. However, there are a lot of smart innovators and entrepreneurs up in this neck of the woods. A few of us even work for the government.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 9, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

The Morans are a family of a55holes glad to see the loss, also McAuliffe is a pumpkin head bullsh1tter

Posted by: goziner | June 9, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Does Virginia have a flat tax or something? Don't the richest already pay the highest rates?

Posted by: DDAWD | June 9, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I was all set to vote for McAuliffe until he came out with that silly big idea ad about wind farms off shore and high speed trains. I concluded that he didn't get it. We don't need "big ideas". We need a competent person who understands the needs of real people. The GOP seems set to bring out their golden oldies (taxes, guns, and do nothing government) which I think gives Deeds a good chance of building on the Warner, Kane, Webb, and Obama wins in Virginia by offering to do something. Despite what Reagan said, government is the answer to some of our problems. The GOP has proven incapable of doing anything when they are in charge.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | June 9, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Moran after seeing the local news station's interviews of all of them. I thought Deeds was sooo weak and can't believe the WaPo editorial board's endorsement, which surely is what turned the tide.

Moran must have thought NoVa was in the bag. I didn't see one ad for him, and for what it's worth, all the annoying calls I received were from the McAuliffe campaign.

Posted by: chunche | June 9, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

AD11 - you're showing your level of education.
The workers in NoVa make money because, on average, they have MORE than a 4 year university degree. Are you suggesting the Federal Government and all the NoVa jobs move, say, to California?
What would happen to Virginia tax revenues then, if they were cut by 40%? Do you think the rest of the state could survive on what you pay in taxes?

Posted by: Rational4vr | June 9, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

My take? TM and BM robocalled themselves out of the race. There were reports of 4 and 5 robos a day from each of these candidates.

Deeds, however, did not bombard voters and lose their trust with the invasion of privacy that robo calls are.


Shaun Dakin

Posted by: shimane1 | June 9, 2009 9:33 PM


I tend to agree with your analysis, but I think that the robo-calling contributed even more to the low voter turn out. I heard from too many friends and neighbors that they were sick and tired of all the ads, flyers, and calls and were not planning to vote because of their disgust with the whole campaign season.

When are politicians going to realize that people who over-whelming want telemarketers and spammers outlawed are not sympathetic to candidates who deluge them with dinner time robo-calls and junk mail?

Posted by: hisroc | June 9, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

My take? TM and BM robocalled themselves out of the race. There were reports of 4 and 5 robos a day from each of these candidates.

Deeds, however, did not bombard voters and lose their trust with the invasion of privacy that robo calls are.


Shaun Dakin

Posted by: shimane1 | June 9, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I have a solution for the traffic problem of all the rotten and spoiled people in NOVA. Cut federal jobs and spending there in 1/2 and redistribute the money to rural areas in Virginia.

Posted by: AD11 | June 9, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

So you want to punish both Northern Virginians and Virginians from the rest of the commonwealth who benefit from them, all because you're upset that the federal government is centered in and around our nation's capital? I don't see how it would work to have, say, the Department of Commerce based in Rappahannock (my home) or Franklin County, and I can't believe for a second that anyone in those places would want it there.
Also, if you haven't been up to NoVa in a while, there is an awful lot of non-government business being done in the private sector, particularly the tech and energy fields, that would still provide a strong economy. I'm not saying the federal government isn't the backbone, but I don't see what your problem with it is either. Basically, your children are getting an education and your infrastructure is getting improved (to name just a couple of benefits you receive) from some place that you undoubtedly dislike but also don't have to deal with at all.
I can't see how this makes for a "desperate" argument for anyone but a complete ideologue (spoiler: the federal government ain't going away any time soon). You're living in fantasy land if you don't think NoVa's economy is anything but a good thing for the rest of the commonwealth. But then again, I graduated from a public high school in Arlington, so I guess I'm not as concerned with ideology as much as I am with quality of life for Virginians.

Posted by: justin_timberwolf | June 9, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Deeds is the only candidate with the balls to tell the voters the gas tax should increase. I don't agree with him on every issue, but I applaud his courage. Moran should have known better than to try to demagogue the issue.

Posted by: RealChoices | June 9, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Deeds is well ahead of even the optimistic predictions in the other thread. Over at 538 they mentioned turnout is high. Are Virginia Dems enjoying continued enthusiasm from voters? Does that bode well for November?

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 9, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Whether or not this matters, but I think McAuliffe's run for the top job in VA as his first elected post put off a lot of Dems in NoVa -- for me, personally, what did him in was during the Presidential elections in which he appeared on TV in his Luau shirt drinking drinks with paper umbrellas, I just couldn't stomach voting for him. Call me old-fashioned (I'm in my 40s). -- Maybe his "outsider" image did hurt him, but I really think that it was his lack of public service to Virginia -- yes, he worked for the Clintons, but that isn't Virginia.

I was going to vote for Moran -- was set on it actually, but I read the thoughtful editorial in WaPo and read the websites and ended up with Deeds. I think the WaPo endorsement did A LOT to sway voters who were torn between Moran and McAuliffe.

My 2 cents for what it's worth.

Posted by: jrh310 | June 9, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade (BB) and Justin Timberwolf,

Northern Virginia is prosperous because of federal government jobs and contracting. To complain about NOVA paying to much in taxes to Richmond is a desperate and false argument. It is a distraction to how much that area gets in federal dollars compared to the western and southwestern part of the state.

Posted by: AD11 | June 9, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Reply to AD11:
NoVa is already carrying the "less fortunate parts of the state", getting back only 20 cents on every tax dollar sent to Richmond. NoVa taxes are paving your roads, educating your children and paying your unemployment benefits.
If increased taxes will benefit you greatly but benefit NoVa slightly, that "slight" amount is still worth it.

Posted by: Rational4vr | June 9, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

What exactly is a "limousine liberal tax"? A tax for people who are economically prosperous and self-sufficient yet also willing to share their tax money with the rest of the state? Northern Virginians already pay about five times as much in taxes for what they get in return, and most don't complain about it even though public transportation there is generally terrible.
And this is coming from someone who lives in the rural Valley. We are lucky to have Northern Virginia ponying up to help solve our problems, and hopefully one day our public schools down here will be able to compete at their high level.
In other words, why all the hate? You probably don't want to live in NoVa anyway, so enjoy the benefits and let it slide.

Posted by: justin_timberwolf | June 9, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

@AD11 - I drive an 8 year old Ford Focus and my wife's car is a 9(ish) year old Toyota Solara. I guess that makes me exempt! Even if I am one of those evil federal employees.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 9, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I hope when Deeds gets elected his first act is to push forward a limousine liberal tax for his supporters in Northern Virginia. Most are rich because of federal government jobs and contracts. Tax the sh*t out of these people with entitlement attitudes and distribute the money to the less fortunate parts of the state such as Deeds home district.

Posted by: AD11 | June 9, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

mccauliffe was the more charismatic nominee but lost but u can be sure he will be out coampaigning for deeds ... wholeheartedly!VA needs a dem gov.. not a george bush lite...
he is a class act and deserves respect for running a good race & dont count out corzine... he is turning things around in NJ and the dems will not give back NJ to a gop party that is aimless....

Posted by: whatbull | June 9, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

All right! I was uneasy with McAuliffe and moran. The former, because his first interest in state politics was the top job. Reminds me of what (I think) Truman said about generals and the presidency. As for Moran, I didn't think he'd play well down state in a general election and I disliked his emphasis on attack. Tell me why to vote FOR you, not AGAINST him.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 9, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Suggestion for a more left-field winner: the Axelrod-esque outsider-validation strategy.

The Post endorsement was clearly a huge boost for Deeds, and considering his performance in NoVa, I'm sure others will have plenty to say to that. And Deeds's use of the endorsement on TV had to be huge--how many Fairfax Deeds voters relied on the endorsement to cast a vote?

All of this seems remarkably similar to David Axelrod's media strategy of using a third-party "validator" like an editorial endorsement to push African-American candidates over the top with groups outside their core constituencies.

Posted by: Matt_I | June 9, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Deeds' middle of the road stances follows the Mark Warner blueprint. It appears that VA Dems chose him based on the calculus that he is the most electable. Good!

Posted by: rickedelson | June 9, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm predicting a split decision in November. Deeds will win in Virginia but Democrat Corzine is going down in NJ. And NYC will continue its ignominy as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bloomberg, Inc.

Posted by: mattfugazi | June 9, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

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