First Click -- Virginia
Friday, Oct. 30, 2009
Good morning Virginia! Here's what's happening in politics across the Commonwealth today.
With just four days until Tuesday's election, we are now at the stage where there is nothing new for the candidates to say. Just many more people for them to say it to, and quickly.
Each have launched their final sweeps through the state, as Republican Bob McDonnell and Democrat Creigh Deeds start multi-day, many stop stumps.
McDonnell's five-day, 25-stop "New Jobs, More Opportunities: It Starts Now!" tour began yesterday, with stops in Glen Allen, Danville, Martinsville and Rocky Mount. Deeds was in Richmond and Roanoke.
Both candidates finished their days Thursday greeting spectators tailgating at the Virginia Tech-UNC football game. The fans surely were eager to discuss issues of importance to the Commonwealth. Or, perhaps they were drunk and excited for the opportunity to hand their cellphones to a candidate, after shouting to their girlfriends/buddies/mothers, "Hey, talk to this guy! He's running for governor!"
Deeds's final tour is a four-day. 20-stop "All in for Virginia" tour, which will focus heavily on get out the vote efforts. The Democrat will hit Northern Virginia today. McDonnell today is in Lynchburg, Waynesboro, Culpeper, Ashland and Virginia Beach.
But first, both men join the notoriously tough Mark Plotkin on his Politics Program on WTOP in the Washington region this morning at 10 a.m.
University of Virginia Professor Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball has been at work on the race. He's measured the contest using 10 metrics he's used in many past election cycles. His upshot? It will be a good night for the Republicans.
Former Bush speechwriter and now columnist Michael Gerson, long a McDonnell fan, declares Deeds' politics "too small" for the governorship.
Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic posts part II of his analysis of why things are where they are in the Virginia race.
And where are things? A new Roanoke College poll released Thursday gave McDonnell a 17-point edge over Deeds. It also showed Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling up 13 over Democratic challenger Jody Wagner. And it indicated Sen. Republican Ken Cuccinelli leading Democratic Del. Steve Shannon by 15 points.
According to VPAP, McDonnell, who has had more money than Deeds forever, has now been taking in a 2 to 1 advantage in late donations of $5,000 or more, including a $25,000 check Thursday from Donald Trump. Trump backed Democrat Terry McAuliffe during the primary.
But Democrats are going about their efforts to drag out surge voters who last year backed President Obama with grim determination. They are convinced the voters are there, if only they will vote. For instance, Young Democrats from outside the state are coming in to help delegate candidate Stevens Miller in Herndon. Two groups that work with immigrants hope to reach 100,000 voters in the next few days. Ethiopians for Change organized a "Know Your Rights" forum last night. Wouldn't you know? One of those rights is to vote in Tuesday's election.
President Obama contributed a bit more help Thursday, as the Democratic Party of Virginia snail mailed a letter signed by Obama to 300,000 Virginians, urging them to vote for Deeds.
Finally, among all the hotly contested races for the House of Delegates, perhaps none has had more drama than between longtime Republican leader Del. Phil Hamilton in Newport News, under federal investigation for steering state money to a university where he then got a part-time job, and Democratic challenger Robin Abbott. Now comes word from the Daily Press that the president of Christopher Newport University, to which Hamilton has also helped send state money, used university letterhead for a fundraising appeal for Hamilton's reelection bid. He has apologized.
October 30, 2009; 7:11 AM ET
Categories: 2009 Attorney General's Race , 2009 Governor's Race , 2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Bill Bolling , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , James Webb , Jody Wagner , Ken Cuccinelli , Mark Warner , Robert F. McDonnell , Terry McAuliffe , Timothy M. Kaine
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