First Click -- Virginia
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?
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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