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First Click - Virginia

Sandhya Somashekhar

Good morning, Virginia, here's what's happening in politics around the state today.

The campaign finance numbers are in, and they're big. R. Creigh Deeds, the Democrat running for governor, raked in a record $3.48 million in July and August, about a half million dollars more than Republican Robert F. McDonnell. But McDonnell, who didn't have a primary challenge, has more money in the bank, $5.8 million, compared with Deeds's nearly $4.4 million.

It's a good news, bad news day for Deeds. According to a recent poll of registered voters, McDonnell's lead has slimmed to five percentage points (the poll was conducted by live interviewers, which is critical to meeting the Post's standards). But the Democrat is facing questions about seemingly contradictory responses he gave two groups about collective bargaining.

Both men are in Richmond today at a forum sponsored by Virginia FREE. Sorry, you weren't invited.

In the attorney general's race, state Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R) is claiming a record number of individual contributions in the last reporting period, when he raised more than $600,000 from more than 2,000 donors in his race against Democrat Steve Shannon.

More bad news on the horizon for Virginia's budget. Yesterday, Gov. Timothy Kaine asked for federal assistance to stabilize the state's unemployment trust fund, which is nearly depleted.

A Richmond businessman planning to challenge Rep. Eric Cantor (R) next year says he made an "honest mistake" when he erroneously accused the congressman of Twittering during President Obama's recent address to Congress.

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  September 16, 2009; 7:17 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2010 , Eric Cantor , First Click , Ken Cuccinelli , Polls , Robert F. McDonnell , Sandhya Somashekhar , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Next: Romney to Raise Money for McDonnell


"The Post's standards"? That's a joke right? What about reporting on polls done by a proclaimed fly-by-night polling group which is barely a year old. Does that meet the "Post's standards" as well?

If the thesis story isn't impacting voters, which they claim, then what other significant event caused McDonnell to lose 15 points? You don't lose 15 points without any viable reason...unless of course you're manipulating the data.

Let me explain, if you look at the survey demographics you will notice a gross oversampling of Females and African-Americans. The samples are not representative of how Virginia voters. When you oversample Females and African-Americans, since these are traditionally Democratically leaning constituencies, you naturally come up with smaller numbers for McDonnell and higher numbers for Deeds.

The real take-away here is that even in an obviously manipulated (or incompetent) poll, McDonnell is still winning within the margin of error.

I invite you to see for yoruself:

But what a surprise the Post rallies around a poll that is good news for the candidate they endorsed. Not exactly the medium of objectivity is it?

Posted by: alan8228 | September 16, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Do you mean by McDonnell's lead has "slimmed" as it is now 5 points among Registered Voters as opposed to the 7 points it was among Registered Voters in the mid-Aug. WashPo poll that had McDonnell leading by 15 among Likely Voters?

And seriously, "the poll was conducted by live interviewers, which is critical to meeting the Post's standards" -- I have to echo the previous comment -- when did the Post get standards? It didn't report on McDonnell's visit to Alexandria a few weeks ago where he unveiled a plan to pump millions more dollars into school classrooms every year and it didn't report that the NRA has endorsed McDonnell.

Posted by: JTR555 | September 16, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

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