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Four Primary Lessons

After a day for digestion, we asked Mark J. Rozell, who has a good sense of Virginia, his takeaways so far from the Deeds blowout. Rozell is a professor of public policy at George Mason University, a certified pundit and a quote machine.

Here are four:

1. Virginia primary voters are pragmatic
"That goes against type quite frankly. Most of the political science literature will tell you that primary voters tend to be more ideological than pragmatic. But we've seen in some recent election cycles that Democratic voters in Virginia have gone for more middle-of-the-road candidates, and perhaps taken lessons from Mark Warner, Jim Webb and Tim Kaine. They understand that having a candidate who runs more to the middle is prescription for success in this state."

2. Republican conventioneers celebrated too soon
"The last place anyone in Virginia would pop a champagne cork last night was the Bob McDonnell headquarters. I think they realize the Democrats picked their toughest opponent."

3. Resist analytical overreach (or, June is not November)
"It's hard to draw geographical lessons from an in-party primary... If a Democratic candidate does well in Republican-leaning counties, that does not portend that he will be successful against a Republican candidate."

4. Beware the McAuliffe magic (or Pundits, reporters and bloggers are fallible):
"It's interesting to me how many of us got kind of caught up in the Terry McAuliffe phenomenon, and look what happened. Part of it is just the kind of energy he brought into the campaign. He tried to do something like a national style campaign: big money, big name party members, including a former president getting invited. It was an interesting story, but apparently it didn't sell the voters in the Democratic primary as well as it sold many of us observers."

By Michael Laris  |  June 10, 2009; 7:46 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe  
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Next: Deeds Camp Headed to NoVa


Hopefully the voters in 2010 will send every one of the Spendocrats that rubber stamped the bail-out bill without reading it their walking papers. Start with Pelosi. Dodd, Reid, Franks and the others need to go. 2010 will be an interesting election as the full brunt of this foolish spending and printing of money should be apparent.

Hopefully voters will move towards fiscally responsible candidates. Democrats had better pay attention to the vote in California over the budget.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | June 11, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I think #1 & #3 have been known about Virginia politics for quite some time.

Definitely agree about McAuliffe. Although, I hope he sticks around in Virginia politics and uses his considerable talents to help Democrats win the Governors' Mansion again, as well as and especially to bring sensible and rational leadership to the House of Delegates!

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | June 11, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

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