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Morning Fix: Can Deeds Come Back?

Can state Sen. Creigh Deeds come back in the Virginia governor's race? AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Two new polls -- one conducted for the Washington Post and one for the Richmond Times-Dispatch -- show former state attorney general Bob McDonnell (R) opening up a high single digit lead over state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) with less than a month remaining in the Virginia governor's race.

The polling reflects Democrats' increasingly negative view of their chances of pulling off a third straight victory in the Commonwealth and Republicans' optimism that a state that has swung heavily against them in recent years is moving back in their direction.

But, since no race is ever over until all the votes are counted, we spent the weekend picking the brains of smart party operatives who have worked extensively in Virginia to get their perspective of whether a path to victory remained for Deeds.

The conclusion? Yes, sort of.

The overriding concern of the strategists we talked to was that Deeds's intense focus on McDonnell's thesis over the past six weeks (or so) of the campaign, has badly damaged his own image.

In the Post poll, 56 percent said Deeds was running a mainly negative campaign while just 37 percent said he was conducting a mostly positive campaign. McDonnell's numbers were an almost exact reverse -- 60 percent said he was running a positive race, 32 percent a negative one.

And, on the most critical issue to voters -- the economy and jobs -- 53 percent said they trusted McDonnell more to handle the issue while 39 percent said Deeds.

"I think Deeds has to make it clear that he has good ideas that will address these concerns so voters see that he is a leader, see his core values and are open to [his] case," explained one senior level Virginia Democrat.

The issue for Deeds appears to be that amid ensuring that voters knew about McDonnell and the thesis, he failed to sell any sort of positive message about himself. Voters tend to want to cast an affirmative vote for a candidate -- no matter how negative the campaign -- and, as of today, voters seem to have little positive sentiment about Deeds.

"In politics you have to stand for something," said Chris LaCivita, a veteran Republican consultant based in Virginia. "You have to prove to people you want to accomplish something - Deeds has been unable to discuss either and three weeks before the election isn't when you start."

The two other pieces of a "Creigh-back" (not bad, right?) are demographic -- Deeds is underperforming among voters in northern Virginia and among African Americans.

Northern Virginia has been the critical piece of the winning formula for Democrats statewide over the past two elections but Deeds is drastically underperforming in what should be friendly territory for him.

The Post poll put Deeds ahead of McDonnell by only a 51 percent to 46 percent margin and the RTD survey had the Deeds at a slightly wider nine-point edge. Still, neither of those numbers come anywhere close to where President Barack Obama performed in 2008 when he won 64 percent in northern Virginia, according to exit polling.

It's a similar story among black voters who constitute nearly one in five residents of the Commonwealth and were one of the backbones of Obama's win in the state last year.

Deeds is winning non-white voters, which includes Hispanics, by a 75 percent to 20 margin. Obama, by contrast. carried black voters by a whopping 92 percent to eight percent margin and Hispanics by 65 percent to 34 percent cover Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in last year's presidential election.

Deeds allies insist that the candidate's underperformance in northern Virginia and among black voters could be solved by an Obama visit in the final weeks of the campaign. "It's not just a Northern Virginia play -- he'd help in Hampton Roads and Richmond too," explained one senior Democratic source with extensive knowledge of the state. "People who don't like Obama won't vote for Creigh, anyway. So there's no downside at all to bringing him in."

But, as always in politics, it's not that simple. It's not clear whether Obama and his political team -- who carefully protect his brand -- will be willing to return to campaign with a candidate who is struggling to stay within shouting distance of his Republican opponent just weeks before the vote.

And, even if Obama does come to the state, he isn't likely in one visit to convince northern Virginia residents and black voters about the necessity of backing Deeds.

The decision by former governor Doug Wilder, the state's most visible black leader, to withhold his endorsement from Deeds amounts to a symbolic vote of no confidence in the Democratic nominee. And, McDonnell's roots in norther Virginia -- in the Fix's neck of the woods the campaign signs read "Fairfax's own Bob McDonnell" -- suggest that Obama is not the panacea to Deeds's problems.

Deeds allies are quick to note that he has closed strong in both his 2005 race for attorney general and his 2009 Democratic primary victory for governor. True enough. But, with every passing day, Deeds's path to victory narrows.

Tuesday's Fix Picks:

1. Rick Hertzberg on Obama and the Nobel.
2. HRC 2016? Nope.
3. Dan Walters on how Tom Campbell could win in Calfornia.
4. Reid (Rory, that is) is running for governor.
5. M.E. Sprengelmeyer and the future of journalism.

DGA Hits Christie on Mammograms: The Democratic Governors Association (among others) is up with a new ad in the New Jersey governor's race that attacks former U.S. attorney Chris Christie's (R) health care plan for not covering mammograms. The commercial features a series of women saying that Christie's plan would not cover mammograms, making it more difficult (and expensive) to get the test. "The only people the Christie plan benefits are the insurance companies," says one woman. The ad is running in the Philadelphia media market at a cost of roughly $300,000. The DGA has dropped more than $3 million in the New Jersey race.

And Speaking of Ads Bashing Insurance Companies. . .: Americans United, a liberal interest group, is launching another in a long series of five figure ad buys today with a new commercial that puts the blame on insurance companies for blocking health care reform. The ad -- in the spirit of playoff baseball -- unfavorably compares insurance companies to America's pastime. "Insurance industry executives are scared of competition," says the ad's narrator. "Baseball players aren't." And, then: "When baseball players fix the games, they get in trouble. When health insurance executives fix the game, they get rich." These ads, which will run only on cable television in the D.C. market, are largely aimed at influencing the chattering class inside the Beltway.

Ad Wars in IL-Gov: The primary isn't until February but Gov. Pat Quinn (D) and state Comptroller Dan Hynes are already slugging it out on television. Hynes struck first with an ad seeking to lump Quinn in with disgraced former governor Rod Blagojevich (D). "I warned Governor Blagojevich about overspending but he wouldn't listen," said Hynes. "That governor is gone but our problems aren't." Quinn responded with an ad of his own seeking to lump Hynes in with Blagojevich (notice a theme?). "Since taking charge in a crisis, Pat Quinn has brought honesty and decency to the governor's office," says the ad's narrator. "Do we really want to go back to the same old political games?" The attempts by Quinn and Hynes to link one another to Blagojevich are a fitting precursor to the general election where Republicans will do everything they can to paint the Democratic nominee as tied at the hip to Blago.

Seitchik to Tark: Political operative Brian Seitchik has landed as the campaign manager for businessman Danny Tarkanian's Senate bid in Nevada -- his third stop in a high-profile race this cycle. Seitchik started as campaign manager for California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner's gubernatorial bid. He then went to Florida to manage former state House Speaker Marco Rubio's Senate primary challenge to Gov. Charlie Crist but when Rubio's cash ran low Seitchik left the campaign. He is now tasked with guiding Tarkanian's primary bid against former state GOP chair Sue Lowden among others. A poll released over the weekend showed both Tarkanian and Lowden leading Sen. Harry Reid (D).

Click It!: Speaking of Sue Lowden, check out her campaign's new web video -- two and a half minutes of biography that includes footage of Lowden playing piano in the Miss America pageant!

Say What?: "We produce a very unique form of entertainment." -- World Wrestling Entertainment CEO and Connecticut Senate candidate Linda McMahon (R) explains what she does.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 13, 2009; 5:50 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: NV-Sen: Harry Reid's Dilemma



What if McDonnell is a fundie AND a results-oriented Republican? Until Roe v. Wade is overturned, the Governor has zero impact on the abortion debate. Is there some other pressing social issue that worries you?

Posted by: JakeD | October 14, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Just because he stammers when he speaks doesn't mean he is disabled. He can't articulate a coherent thought that's what really matters, raise my taxes will ya. Deeds go away, go far away.

Posted by: zcxnissan | October 14, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

So Deeds is clumsy. I can see and most people can see that he is not good at politicing. There is however a lot to be negative about with McDonnell. Deed's opponent is a really far right fundi. Think about that. Do you think he actually cares about managing the state's economy smoothly when his favorate topics are conservative social values?

What Deeds needs to do to make people comfortable is to be comfortable with himself and to actually explain what he is thinking of policywise. Uncertainty leads to distrust and we are in the age of facebook where vauge answers aren't going to fly as well. He should not be selling himself as the 'lesser of two evils.' If the state didn't have voters who were willing to support democrats and form coalitions than it would not be competitive.

Posted by: persimonix1 | October 13, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that going negative is necessarily a bad thing. There's some pretty sharp anti-Deeds ads airing around here. Lord knows, that post-debate presser suggested he had a near terminal case of foot in mouth disease. Going negative has worked for Corzine as Christie seems to have gone for the I have a big lead and I'm not saying anything to jeopardize it. In other words, I'm not saying anything. Were I a resident of the Garden State, I'd vote for Daggett in a heart beat.

Deeds let the two NoVa candidates knock themselves out in the primary. I didn't like Moran's style and McAuliffe seemed to be a gamble. I liked him, but it was a stretch to go from a national politico to governor of Virginia. As it happens, we did a tactical split of the household votes and gave one to Deeds and one to McAuliffe.

A summer lull was an opportunity for Deeds to marshall resources and prepare his argument. I'll give him a pass on the former and a fail on the latter. My heart tells me that Creigh Deeds is my kind of guy and that McDonnell is a fundie masquerading as a results oriented Republican. Deeds hasn't made the case for himself so much as he's made the case against McDonnell.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 13, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Fairfax Voter,do you like Deeds because you and he are Ds, or do you just dislike his opponent, or has Deeds shown you something that the campaign has not shown others? If you think Deeds is better than his campaign, why?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 13, 2009 5:10 PM

Deeds is running an awful campaign. His signs are few and laughable: you can barely see his name. Mac on the other hand is everywhere; his women-are-my-friends ads run almost non stop here.
If he could get Wilder, that might swing it, though.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 13, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Totally agree with CC's ground level view of the race. It has NOTHING to do with Obama. In fact, for whatever reason, [Mis]Deeds is running from Obama's agenda. And now he wants BHO to campaign in VA?--I don't think so. Deeds is clearly uncomfortable reaching out to the base he needs to win: blacks, No. Virginians, suburbanites, immigrants, etc. Reminds us of the failed Kahleen Kennedy Townsend race for MD governor where she, too, ran away from the base for reasons no one can figure.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 13, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

BB, I am guessing that because you live in VA you are interested in this race. I take your comments earlier at face value. Is the primary lesson that going relentlessly negative is counterproductive? Is it that Deeds is a loser of a candidate? Does it have anything to do with BHO? Does it have anything to do with Doug Wilder? Was Wilder's lack of enthusiasm deserved?

Fairfax Voter,do you like Deeds because you and he are Ds, or do you just dislike his opponent, or has Deeds shown you something that the campaign has not shown others? If you think Deeds is better than his campaign, why?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 13, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the answer, fairfaxvoter -- I honestly did not know that you have been working your heart out for Deeds -- hopefully, you take the election night returns sitting down.

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I pray the voters of Va. will give the Pubs another chance to stop this Obama-Deeds madness of just hiking taxes, spending and devolving power to the almighty state. There are so many federal issues that impact Va. and they all seem to be taking freedom away from the individual, punishing seniors, stopping private and state chances to get our own domestic energy and to keep education a state and local affair. All of this in just 9 months from a socialist pacifist President and Deeds seems overjoyed in praising and supporting his agenda. That too me, doesn't sound good for any of our 50 states.

Posted by: phillyfanatic | October 13, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse


Are you voting for Deeds?

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I've been working my heart out volunteering for Creigh Deeds in my "free" time for two or three months now, and have seen him campaign in person a few times also. Both he and McDonnell are popping up all over the state, as you might imagine.

So yes, I'm surprised you have to ask, but of course I'm voting for Senator Deeds! They always say an enthusiastic vote and an apathetic vote each count exactly the same (one vote), but mine will be enthusiastic.

Actually, I voted for Creigh four years ago, also when he lost by 323 votes to McDonnell. (I think 323 is the post-recount number.) That only adds to my motivation.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | October 13, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

After the GOP win here (and New Jersey, I'm keeping my fingers crossed):

Palin-Romney 2012 HOPE FOR CHANGE!!!

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"The overriding concern of the strategists we talked to was that Deeds's intense focus on McDonnell's thesis over the past six weeks (or so) of the campaign, has badly damaged his own image."

Too bad he listened to those like margaretmeyers and drindl, huh?

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

1631 JORDEN 'Nat. Bathes' xvi (1669) 151 In the East-Indies and in Turkey .. they have a drink called Capha, sold ordinarily in Taverns, and drunk hot.

Posted by: edtroyhampton | October 13, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Staying home is better than voting for Deeds : )

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

As a non-party-affiliated voter, I would have loved nothing more than a socially-liberal – sorry McDonnell— but fiscally-conservative Governor from NoVA (not the rural outposts of the state) – sorry Deeds. I think I’ll stay home this time.

Other voters are less picky, but many have negative views of Deeds because of T.V…. allow me to explain…

The vast majority, if not all, of the advertisements from the Deeds campaign are ad-hominem attacks on McDonnell, with Deeds’ good ol’ boy rural VA accent chiming in at the end “approving this message.” Since Deeds failed to establish his own persona in his ads (all the airtime was reserved for attacking McDonnell), the only visual most people now have of Deeds in action is the footage of him mincing words in front of cameras on the Use Tax issue (“I think I’ve made myself clear young lady!”) in McDonnell’s recent advertisements. I’ve seen one positive ad on television where the universally admired Senator Mark Warner is personally endorsing Deeds, though Deeds doesn’t do much but have a choreographed stroll with Warner during the footage.

On the other hand, at least half of McDonnell’s television ads show him personally addressing the camera, showing his kids, or him receiving accolades from respected women in the state government, or him describing his character and promising “that’s who I am, and that’s what kind of Governor I’ll be.” This positive persona may be totally B.S., but it is ingrained into peoples’ minds on a daily basis through television. McDonnell has advertised himself well in an election where both candidates are relatively unknown outside of state government.

You need to first fill the void and show yourself on camera, or people will fill the void for you.

Posted by: DCguy3 | October 13, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Assuming that healthcare reform is not a cruel joke because of "directed energy weapon systems", political opposition is growing from BOTH sides of the aisle because of the proposed tax on so-called "Cadillac" health insurance plans, which would actually affect millions of middle-class people too. From today's NYT link (advertising won't matter if the People finally get behind killing it):

"In a preliminary estimate, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation calculated that absent any such employer efforts, 14 percent of family health policies and 19 percent of individual policies would be hit by the tax in 2013. By 2019, according to the estimate, 37 percent of family policies and 41 percent of individual policies would be affected. Those numbers rise over time in these calculations because although the initial tax threshold would increase with the economy’s overall inflation, premiums would be expected to rise even faster.

... House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York, the chamber’s chief tax-writer, oppose the idea, as do labor unions and businesses. Ms. Pelosi last week floated the idea of taxing insurers’ “windfall profits” as a possible alternative, to supplement the House’s main revenue raiser, an income tax surcharge on the nation’s highest earners.

At least 173 House Democrats, two-thirds of the party caucus, have signed a letter to Ms. Pelosi voicing opposition to the insurance tax.

“The tax, supposedly aimed at Cadillac health plans, would affect millions of middle-class people,” said Representative Joe Courtney, Democrat of Connecticut. “The American people soundly rejected the idea when it was proposed by Republicans in elections last year.”

Under current law, employer-paid premiums for health insurance are not taxable. Experts say this provides a big government subsidy for such coverage, and an incentive for businesses to provide better benefits in lieu of higher wages.

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse


In an unusual alliance reflecting the shared interest of some unions and businesses on the issue, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and the United States Chamber of Commerce are mobilizing opposition to the tax.

James P. Gelfand, senior manager of health policy at the Chamber of Commerce, said that if the tax is imposed, “employers will have to reduce wages or benefits or increase cost-sharing.” And, he said, “employees will blame employers, not the government.”

Leaders of organized labor, which in recent years has often negotiated for benefits in place of raises, descended on Capitol Hill last week to lobby against the tax, which could hit many health plans covering unionized workers. Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers of America, said at least half his members would be in health plans subject to the tax in 2013.

John P. Yrchik, executive director of the Connecticut Education Association, has lobbied Mr. Courtney and other members of the state’s Congressional delegation, noting that the tax would affect teachers in 30 percent of Connecticut towns. In some towns, Mr. Yrchik said, health insurance premiums for teachers’ family policies already exceed $25,000."


Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

CC - head over to claudias' blog. It is there that you can see a rolicking enterprise full of give and take and intelligent commentary. you may have to squint a little as the posts seem mostly to be about bi-annual. but that is probably the model she is suggesting. you could post a funny photo of George Bush in the image of a monkey. funny huh. If you're about 12, yeah. LOL ;)

Of course, with all Liberal businesses, you will have to do without the advertisers and audience. and the mind, you know.

Posted by: snowbama | October 13, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Meanwhile the white house concentrates its war effort on Fox news. The taliban and Al queda can wait. this makes Obimbo look like Senior class president, not the present ident of the US.

Posted by: snowbama | October 13, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Anyone notice the elevated nature of the discussion without the twin loons drivl and CF8?

Posted by: snowbama | October 13, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse"

A handful of comments, mostly by the same two cretins, and this comments section has turned to drool.

I told you so, CC.

Posted by: drindl | October 13, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Anyone notice the elevated nature of the discussion without the twin loons drivl and CF8?

It will likely not last.

Posted by: snowbama | October 13, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The little recording of Deeds telling the "young lady" that he is done asking questions is toxic. A pol can't be testy and insulting to the press. He should have done what other liberals do when asked hard questions - simply not answer. This is still working for Obimbo, al gore and all the rest of the fraudsters.

Why do you think Barry is afraid to go on fox news and has declared war on them, the only war he seems willing to wage? It is because they are the only outlet that is actually questioning him. He has no answers. Would you enter this environment so ill equipped? He may be weak and indecisive but he's not stupid.

Posted by: snowbama | October 13, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse


Good points!

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

It will be amusing to see the Democrats try to spin the loss on this one. In fact it is a repudiation of all things liberal. the Old Dominion is prepared to apologize to the nation for its error last november.

Meanwhile the white house concentrates its war effort on Fox news. The taliban and Al queda can wait. this makes Obimbo look like Senior class president, not the present ident of the US.

Posted by: snowbama | October 13, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that this year's Nobel PEACE Prize winner is sending 13K more troops to WAR ; )

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse


Are you voting for Deeds?

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

McDonnell will win and the GOP will hail it as a universal rejection of everything Obama. The simple truth is that the Democrats are fielding and extremely weak candidate. A John Warner or Tim Kaine would have won this race by five points.

Posted by: jbentley4 | October 13, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Or, maybe a play on "come back"?

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Okay, I am simply mystified.

What does "Creigh-back" mean? Chris, can you explain what you are thinking here? Can anybody else? I just don't know what this means. Is there a buried pun? A cultural reference?

His name is pronounced "cree". But "Cree-back" doesn't sound like anything either.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | October 13, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse


You are you voting for?

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

This one isn't in the bag, but McDonnell has been far too disciplined a campaigner to slip up a la Allen at this point. I'd suggest several critical factors:

(1) Deeds ran as an incumbent with a big lead, neither of which was true. Chris Wallace of Fox News did a better job in opposition to McDonnell than Deeds. McDonnell picks up the advantage as open to engaging his opponent even while he was building a lead.

(2) Deeds missed the chance to define himself. In this environment, which will be anti-incumbent, McDonnell learned the Carville lesson (it's the economy, stupid). I'm left with the impression that both want money spent on roads, but neither plan has a chance of making it through the legislature.

(3) Having missed his chance. Deeds has run a relentlessly negative campaign. It's helpful in blowing away the fog of McDonnell as a NoVa moderate, but did little more. I think it's too late for Deeds.

Moran wouldn't have won. His primary campaign appears to be the model for the Deeds general campaign. McAuliffe probably would have lost, but at least we would have had a happy warrior.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 13, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

TO: Blarg @ 9:21 a.m.

You offer a reasoned response concerning the Corzine-Christie race and the non-engagement of Bruce Springsteen -- but with a fundamental flaw.

All politics is LOCAL. A GRASSROOTS GESTAPO, enabled by ideologically-driven zealots in federal and local bureaucracies nationwide, is violating human and civil liberties and making a mockery of the rule of law.

This officially-enabled Gestapo is decimating our democracy by co-opting and misusing publicly funded community volunteer programs and CLASSIFIED MICROWAVE/LASER RADIATION DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS SYSTEMS (in one iteration, apparently disguised as cell phone towers) to physically attack and degrade those slandered as "dissidents," "trouble-makers" or "social deviants" -- extrajudicially, under the convenient, premeditated cover of national security.

Is THIS how Bush-Cheney, Rove & Company planned to install the "Permanent Republican Majority"?

Bottom line: A SILENT COUP is underway, based at the GRASSROOTS. The mainstream media's preoccupation with official Washington and its take-the-handout mentality explain why this insidious "program" remains largely unexposed in the press.

When will Congress, the Obama administration -- and Bruce Springsteen in his music --- work to excise this neo-fascist cancer from the body politic? OR (if link is corrupted):

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 13, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

In the big picture this will not be a surprising result. In every gov election since 1977, the party that won the presidency the previous year lost the VA gov race.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 13, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

The Post poll is high quality, but the turnout estimate is fairly high, suggesting there are many in the poll who will not vote, and I don't know if they favor the candidates equally.

In 2005, the turnout was roughly 34% of the adult population(based on Almanac and 2006 census estimates). The poll says that 1,001 out of 2,091 said they are "absolutely certian" to vote, indicating a 48% level of turnout.

The issue of likely voter models is common issue for pre-election polls, and robopolls probably perform worse on this issue, but my suspicion is that since consistent voters in off-year elections are more conservative and Republican (and older), the actual level of support for McDonnel could be higher than polls are showing. Only on election day will we find out.

Posted by: sfcpoll | October 13, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Need more cafine. Meant to say McDonnell

Posted by: ModerateVoter | October 13, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Deed's party affiliation to obama will be his undoing. A huge backlash against the socialist agenda of the current president will be forthcoming.

Posted by: spiris333 | October 13, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

More of a reflection on how weak a candidate Deeds is. Most of the people I've talked to while not happy about the paper McDonald wrote say Deeds has just not connected with them and has few ideas.
They will vote McDonald but not because they dislike the president.

Posted by: ModerateVoter | October 13, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Deeds cannot come back. The Washington Post's handpicked candidate for Virginia Governor is not, and never was, a good candidate. A Democratic nominee who a former Democratic Governor to his left refuses to endorse? Had the Post supported a real Democrat like Brian Moran rather than Deeds in the Primary, this would be an entirely different race. But the Post heartily endorsed Deeds, contributing to his winning Northern Virginia and the primary. But he is a candidate with no message and no clue. He is out of his depth. He is opposed by a far-right candidate who he should be mopping the floor with and he's losing big. Poor candidate running a terrible campaign.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | October 13, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Deed's party affiliation to obama will be his undoing. A huge backlash against the socialist agenda of the current president will be forthcoming.

Posted by: spiris333 | October 13, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse


Perhaps you are thinking of Rep. JOHN Campbell (R-CA)?

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Cillizza needs to acll his colum/blog: I hope Deeds can make a comeback - just like Amy Garner the bias is overwhelming. Sorry WPO and staff - seems like the voters aren't falling for it this time. Deeeeeds is the negative campaigner and lacking on the issues. I'll be surprised if he's within 12 pts come election day. He will probably even lose NOVA by 3pts.

Posted by: espnfan | October 13, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Pro-choice and pro same-sex marriage, for starters.

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

McDonnell will win, be a failed governor like Jim Gilmore, and the Dems will win in 2013.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 13, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Living in Ohio, I have little to say regarding either California or Virginia. I wish Deeds could pull it off, and I believe four years of McDonnell will ensure Virginia's status as a Democratic stronghold for generations to come. Had to slip that in there, but what happens is what happens.

JakeD: How can you call Tom Campbell a liberal? Everything I've heard about him is that he is extremely conservative. No Republican has a prayer in California, but I'm curious how Campbell is a liberal.

Posted by: jothomp | October 13, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm voting for Deeds, but only because I'm a die hard Democrat. I can't believe we nominated a hick from Nowhere, VA. He is uninspired and just plain sucks. I hope he dies a miserable death.

As for MacDonnel, he is strictly a neanderthal. There are still enough ayholes in VA to ensure that he gets elected. What a fluster cluck the next 4 years will be.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | October 13, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Scrivener, I think it's inaccurate to say that Bruce Springsteen has "gone apolitical". You could always tell that he was a liberal, from the content of his music and his sporadic support of liberal causes. But he didn't publicly get involved in politics, or explicitly write about politics, until the later years of the Bush administration.

From what I've heard, Bruce wrestled with the decision to make his music explicitly political and publicly support Obama. And that decision seemed to be mostly caused by the Iraq War, which he strongly opposed. Considering his general tendency to be publicly apolitical, and the fact that the NJ Gov race has nothing to do with the war, it's not surprising that Bruce is staying out of the race. It's not fair to expect anything else from him.

Posted by: Blarg | October 13, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Has "The Boss" gone apolitical?


How come Bruce Springsteen hasn't stopped Chris Christie from appropriating his music to advance the Republican candidate's run for NJ governor?

Why hasn't Bruce done to Christie what he did to Ronald Reagan: excoriate him for failing to understand that the message of his music is antithetical to his selfish hard-right politics?

Could Bruce's reticence be a harbinger of how the race will turn out? Or is Bruce simply not tuned into the fact that the Star-Ledger's endorsement of the independent Daggett increases the odds that Corzine will eke out a victory?

Perhaps some 'Fix' reader has connections to Bruce's people and can forward this inquiry to him. This past weekend's Springsteen performance at Giants Stadium, the final event at the swamps-of-Jersey venue, would have been the perfect time for Springsteen to school Chris Christie -- and put up some badly needed points for the embattled Democratic incumbent. RE: "GESTAPO USA"



Where is the DOJ Civil Rights Division investigation into the covert use (read: TORTURE) of silent, harmful microwave and laser directed energy weapons systems on unjustly targeted Americans and their families by a Bush-legacy federal-local "multi-agency coordinated action program" that continues to commit civil and human rights violations under Team Obama...

...including government-enabled, warrantless GPS-activated, covert "community stalking" harassment, surreptitious home entries -- officially-enabled "black ops" domestic terrorism? OR RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 13, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Tom Campbell, as liberal as he is, can't "out liberal" Newsom and certainly doesn't have more experience than Brown. I doubt that the GOP will nominate him even if Whitman and Poizner destroyed themselves. Hopefully, an actual conservative would be nominated. Speaking of which, Dan Lungren did not run a bad campaign just because Gray Davis won -- he was recalled later -- until Roe v. Wade is overturned, pro-life State Governors have little power on the abortion issue so his fiscal conservatism was more important. Lungren made those points, but the voters chose to send the State into financial ruin instead.

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Clearly Mcdonnell has my vote now. Just saw one of his ads on TV, at least it is a positive one unlike Deeds broken record.
Go Mcdonnell, yabadabadooo!

Posted by: binghe | October 13, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I wanted Deeds to have one more chance, he lost it at this debate. I've never seen a candidate so negative, calling the opponent on TV a liar. To add insult to injury, Judy Woodruff is far from an independent moderator, I recaled she cried on TV on election night 2000 and she didn't call on Deeds when he said You Lied!

Posted by: binghe | October 13, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse


Who are you voting for? I wonder who Mr. and Mrs. Cillizza will vote for.

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

It is unfortunate, but I don't think Deeds can come back and pull this off. I say unfortunate, because this was Deeds' race to lose (McAwful wouldn't have stood a chance and Brian Moran went too liberal in the primary to have support in rural Virginia in the general).

I will still vote for Deeds as I firmly believe that McDonnell will do terrible things to this state such as slash education budgets, allow our crumbling transportation infrastructure to collapse further, slow growth and development in NoVA, and generally leave this state in worse shape than he found it. That being said, I recognize that it is most likely a lost cause this year and I can only be grateful that Virginia's oddball one term limit for governors will help limit the damage to be done in the next four years.

Posted by: Tiki79 | October 13, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse


Especially since every single word in that academic paper was right on. Now, if you don't happen to value the traditional definition of "family" then don't follow his recommendations. But, you can't fault him for simply pointing out its demise.

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Deeds proved in this debate that this campaign is about an academic paper, not about Virginia. He is running on nothing about himself, nothing positive. Oh boy, I have to put up with 2 more weeks of his broken record on my tv and radio. And boy, he was right, he can't articulate himself.

Posted by: binghe | October 13, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully, neither Creigh Deeds nor Tom Campbell win.

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

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