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First Click -- Virginia

First Click

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009

Good morning, politicos! Just 14 days to go until Election Day, and things are looking good for the GOP/bad for the Dems.

A new poll gives Republicans Robert F. McDonnell a substantial lead over Democrat R. Creigh Deeds. We have a few issues with this poll, but there's another one out this morning from Clarus that shows McDonnell up by 8 points, 49 to 41.

Democrat Creigh Deeds says he's still got plenty of time, and that his campaign will now focus on drawing out supporters of President Obama and core Democrats generally.

The candidates for lieutenant governor, incumbent Republican Bill Bolling and Democrat Jody Wagner, took the proverbial gloves off last night in a televised debate.

And Steve Shannon, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, unveiled a tough new ad accusing Republican Ken Cuccinelli of not being tough enough on public corruption because he hasn't called for the resignation of Del. Phil Hamilton.

The gubernatorial candidates meet for their final debate tonight in Roanoke. McDonnell is holed up to prepare, while Deeds will fit in a quick campaign appearance in Tysons Corner at lunchtime today with former president Bill Clinton and his pal Terry McAuliffe.

There's more grim news out regarding Virginia's revenue outlook, raising the obvious question of why all these folks even want the jobs they're seeking.

Lastly, we'll leave you with this thought: Bob McDonnell for President!

By Amy Gardner  |  October 20, 2009; 6:52 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Bill Bolling , Creigh Deeds , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , First Click , Jody Wagner , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Steve Shannon , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Next: Shannon blasts Cuccinelli for 'personal political agenda'


Give it up leftists, Deeds has no shot. He brings nothing to the table..

Posted by: SMWE357 | October 20, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

On the Shannon ad: Out of curiousity, what is the role of the Attorney General in the impeachment of a legislator? Does the AG prosecute or take a role that would require him/her to remain unbiased and therefore NOT take a position prior to a legal investigation of the issues? And if that's the case, does Shannon's ad betray an ignorance of the job's requirement?

Posted by: cbraunlich | October 20, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

cbraunlich -

Yes! The Attorney General has a great deal to do with corruption in the Legislature. Three things can happen to Phil Hamilton:

1. He is found guilty in a Court of Law and he automatically loses his seat in the House.

2. The House Ethics investigation finds him pure and innocent. Nothing further happens.

3. The House Ethics committee finds he violated their own code. This is different from a Court of Law finding him guilty. At this point, the Attorney General would take over.

As Scenario 3 is quite likely, yes, this is quite relevant to the AG race.

Posted by: antoniomelias | October 20, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

cbraunlich -

Sorry, I misread your question. Does the AG need to stay unbiased? Well, depends who you ask. Some have criticized Steve Shannon for already coming out against Phil Hamilton, but most on both sides of the aisle agree that it's a pretty straightforward task. It's the House Ethics Panel that finds Hamilton guilty or not, the AG just then needs to go through the paperwork to do his job or not.

Most of the AG's work is paperwork and doing what he's told. That's why I for one am nervous about Ken Cuccinelli, who has said he will not enforce laws he personally deems unconstitutional. That is the role of the Supreme Court of Virginia. Neither the Governor nor AG has the right to not enforce the law.

Posted by: antoniomelias | October 20, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

After receiving a barrage of legitimate and deserved criticism for its coverage of the campaign, it is time for those of us who have inflicted this criticism to give the Post some credit. Up 'til now, the Post's stated policy as I've understood it has been to not give airplay to poll results that the Post believes are questionable in terms of the polling criteria. In taking this position, the Post has given creedance to the notion that they have a tin ear on how such selective coverage gives off a very reasonable appearance of bias in the day to day beat reporting. This appearance has never had anything to do with the Post's editorial board or its editorializers in the Metro section. It has always been squarely about whether the beat staff are themselves operating with the same predispositions as the editorial wing when deciding what's newsworthy and what isn't. Refusing to give due note to other poll results (which certainly seems to pass the smell test of what's newsworthy in a gubernatorial race), raised legitimate questions about the basic integrity of the beat reporting and what's been driving it.

But it now appears that at least temporarily, the Post has altered its thinking on this issue and has adopted a far more balanced and responsible approach. It is a responsible journalistic decision to make readers aware of other poll results, and then including in this coverage whatever concerns or questions the Post may have about the poll. This allows readers to be made aware of newsworthy information, and to assess not only the reasonableness of the poll in question, but also the Post's rationale in taking issue with the poll. It's more balanced, more transparent, and decidedly less dogmatic when it comes to decisions about what should be covered.

Posted by: mbcnewspaper | October 20, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm voting for a Attorney general that support the Death Penalty and support theexecution of John Allen Muhammed. remeber that terrorist? No to liberal do-gooders. VA cant afford an attorney general like Shannon. McConnell and Cuch will bring sanity back to VA policies.

Posted by: espnfan | October 20, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm fascinated by the fact that anonymous WaPo blogger of First Click has an issue with the Kidd poll (which they should) but thinks nothing of the Clarus poll which

--Called Jody Wagner "Judy Wagner"in the actual LG ballot question according to their own release.
--Discusses demographic results based on factors such as geography and race, but does not provide the demographic breakdown of the sample to even know what they are working with.

I could go on, but why you wouldn't have some pause with the Clarus poll is beyond me.

Posted by: JohnnyVegas2 | October 20, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

It is hilarious that mbcnewspaper lambasts the Post for "not reporting poll results" when just about every poll out there shows up somewhere on the Post pages, or online.

At any rate, the Clarus poll is and has been rather suspect because it seems to not be open for public analysis as the likely voter models are not disclosed.

PPP is supposed to be out tomorrow, I think. The trouble is that many of the likely voter models used by pollsters in this election, in my opinion, have been overly pessmistic about how many Democratic voters will be showing up at the polls. Well, this will certainly not be like 2008, but do the pollsters really believe that so many normal persistent Democratic voters in the state aren't going to show up at the polls at all?

They really need to reexamine their models in my opinion, especially in light of the recent endorsements for Deeds, the fact that Clinton and Obama are coming to Virginia to campaign for Creigh, and because Democratic base voters are not as detached as the pollsters say, at least based on my empirical canvassing experiences in my heavily Democratic precinct.

We will see what happens, it will be interesting. Definitely agree that McDonnell does appear to have the upper-hand, but anyone would be wise to understand that the Democratic ground game in NoVA is definitely capable of delivering a lot of voters to the polls, and also that the plethora of delegate races in NoVA means that turnout may be up in NoVA for this reason, as well.

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | October 20, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I think there's a misunderstanding. NBC12 didn't say Deeds would ever be a potential presidential nominee. They said McDonnell would. Perhaps that misunderstanding is the reason the Post found the question so hilarious. (And it was a question. McDonnell didn't bring it up, as the first post this morning suggested.)

Posted by: OlMcCreedy | October 20, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Just FYI JohnnyVegas, First Click rotates among the reporters but is never anonymous -- Amy Gardner compiled it this morning, says so just below the end of the post.

Posted by: Christopher Dean Hopkins | October 20, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse




"I'm voting for a Attorney general that support the Death Penalty"

Then DO NOT vote for Ken Cuccinelli. Cuccinelli, like myself, follows the Catholic Church's belief that the death penalty is wrong. On the only major vote of 2009 regarding the death penalty - a vote to expand its use - Cuccinelli voted NO, Shannon voted YES. Hell even Deeds voted YES. Cuccinelli joined liberal Democrats from NoVA and Richmond on that one. Don't believe me?...

Senate vote:

House vote:

If your vote on Attorney General hinges on support for the death penalty, please, do not be a hypocrite - vote Shannon!

Posted by: antoniomelias | October 20, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The Virginia Supreme Court exercises its authority based on Virginia law. The legislature makes the law. So if Cooch is elected he will establish his own set of laws and attempt to enforce them overriding the Supreme Court and the legislature? Folks who are so blind that you will vote for any Republican need to at least post something with some factual accuracy and especially not hate filled rhetoric. You sound like you’ve just returned from an Al Qaida indoctrination.

Posted by: Willis3 | October 20, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

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