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First Click -- Virginia

First Click

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009
Good Morning Virginia! Here's what's happening in politics across the Commonwealth today.

With just a week to go before Election Day, President Barack Obama sweeps into Norfolk for a brief but spirited rally for Democrat Creigh Deeds' bid for governor.

A presidential visit--with its Hail-to-the-Chiefiness and its Air Force One photo ops--is all-consuming to the news cycle of a state race, a fact obvious from a quick glance at this morning's Virginia media. Every outlet in the state carried news of the president, his exhortation "I don't believe in can't," and his plea for his supporters to ignore polls and pundits and work to get Deeds elected.

President Obama, not surprisingly, failed to mention to the enthusiastic crowd that those "pundits" lately have included some of his top aides, who have said they no longer see a path to victory in Virginia. And Tuesday, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs confirmed the obvious--the president will not be returning to Virginia for Deeds.

And no wonder. Two new polls, one from Public Policy Polling and one from Survey USA, showed a yawning gap Tuesday, not just between Deeds and Republican Bob McDonnell but also between Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and challenger Jody Wagner and between Sen. Ken Cuccinelli and Del. Steve Shannon. Both polls use a less reliable robopoll interviewing technique, but Republicans had to be pleased by the size of the margins.

McDonnell smartly managed to get a little footage into the Obama stories in the Washington region Tuesday, by appearing at a predominately Vietnamese-American shopping center in Falls Church with Louisiana Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, the nation's first Vietnamese-American member of congress.

Smelling victory, national Republicans are now flocking the state to be associated with his effort. The Republican ticket today campaigns with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney while former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will speak on McDonnell's behalf at a Fairfax County retirement community.

One Republican who won't be coming to town is former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who McDonnell asked to stay away after personally appealing to her for help early in the summer. But, whether she is wanted or not, Palin is looking to aide McDonnell: She posted a Facebook message this week asking supporters to back McDonnell, New Jersey Republican candidate for governor Chris Christie and the Republican Governor's Association.

The polls have grown so rosy for Republicans that the political world has been consumed with talk of the possibilities of a strengthened GOP majority in the House of Delegates--could the party pick up 3 seats? 5? 7?

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 28, 2009; 7:12 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Bill Bolling , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , Jody Wagner , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Sarah Palin , Steve Shannon  
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Next: Get your governor's race questions answered


Obama is a zero. If he had confidence in his ability, he would have come to Loudoun County..

Posted by: SMWE357 | October 28, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I am so worried for the people of Virginia. I understand that they're leaning toward McDonnell. Many people, unless they really know this crowd, don't understand that this is much like asking your debutante daughter to go to her deb ball with Levi Johnson (of Palin fame). These people (that went to his university) do not change. There is something in them, that believes that if God calls then the Constitution just goes right out the window. While George Bush was President you lost a great deal of money in the market. Our nation almost collapsed. Now if McDonnell had not attended a fundamentalist college, if he had not believed in the most radical sect of this religion, it would be different. But he did. We are now eight years behind China scientifically. Your new Governor will not believe in science or global warming. His friends and advisors will be from his church. They want all YOUR money for them, just as Bush did. Please before you vote for him read "Republican Gomorrah" by Max Blumenthal. Please try to understand their view of the world before you vote. Listen to Michelle Bachmann. Listen to Glenn Beck. Is this who you want to run the great state of Virginia. You are the home to Jefferson. You are the state that our nation is often proudest of. Do you want to be governed by Bobby Jindal? I understand that you are worried about President Obama being a "tax and spend" liberal. But look at Wall Street. They seem pretty happy with him. And the largest deficits in history were left by Bush. Now all the Republicans have left is to scare you about deficits. Every Democrat has inherited a huge deficit from his Republican before him. Bill Clinton paid off huge deficits in no time. I am a Republican. But this has got to go. We are not the party of white trash. Please go to You Tube and watch the "values voter" conference they just had. This governor would bring back the Bush years. It is all he has studied. Is that what you want? I want my Republican Party back. But I want the party of William F. Buckley, Jr back. This is the party of Sarah Palin. She had a pedicure and had rhinestones put in her nail polish. Is this what you want to represent you... they have let the fundamentalists take over the party. The reason that people who identify with the Republicans is under 30% is that all that is left are these fundamentalists. You have PROOF that he went to their college. Check who he was with in 2006 and 2007. Like Palin, do you want to refer to the Governor of the state of Virginia, one of the most American of states, as "first dude". Please read the book Republican Gomorrah before you make such a big decision.

Posted by: MuchAdo1 | October 28, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Here's some interesting polling data from Gallup on the idealogical make-up of the country...40% ID as conservatives and only 20% as liberals. 36% as moderates - I think that's were we get the break towards the Democratic party when it comes to social conservatism...and it's something to be congizant of.

However, McDonnell has run a great campaign, focusing on the issues that do matter to Virginians - Jobs, the Economy, Energy...and he has done a fantastic job of making the case to Virginians

Meanwhile, Deeds made no case at all and the WaPo tried to inject social issues into the race.

Deeds chose to hide behind the endorsement of this newspaper, and its constant barrage of manufactured stories about something that bears little-to-no relevance to the people of Virginia, instead of sealing-the-deal with policies that matter.

If this had been a campaign of ideas, maybe the election would be different. Instead, the candidate which injected "fear" on social issues into this election cycle was Deeds, as promoted by his propagandist - The Washington Post.

Must be that beltway traffic or smog clouding this paper's judgement.

Posted by: jrhoeft | October 28, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Did you watch the so-called rally via post web link? If you did you would have seen Obama not even getting deeds name right. Most of the talk was about Obama Himself. He threw a bone to deeds every so often. Another BAD attempt to get voters interested in a ho hum politician. At least McDonnell is running ISSUE ads and has a transportation plan. McDonnel supports the death penalty, and unlike Deeds, was firm to commit to allowing the execution of John Allen Muhammed to proceed - if its postponed next month. Voters cant risk electing Deeds.

Posted by: espnfan | October 28, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

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