First, I am already calling this race for Bob McDonnell. Pending some unforeseen October surprise, his support is at a level that will be very difficult for Deeds to overcome. McDonnell is steadily polling above 50%, and even if all the undecideds break for Deeds it will probably not be enough.
The Democrats in Virginia have gained a lot of ground in the past eight years, and the state has become a model of how it is possible to govern with a sensible blend of liberal and conservative ideologies. This moderation is very appealing to a large number of voters, myself included. Sen. Mark Warner, Sen. Jim Webb, and Gov. Tim Kaine all embraced this approach, and I was assuming the Creigh Deeds would also embrace it. How is it possible that Deeds is so far behind?One theme that is very prominent on the Democratic side is Bob McDonnell's Thesis from 1989 (that's 20 years ago, folks). The Deeds campaign and the Democrats are stoking fear about it. Deeds finished up an answer in a recent debate saying, "Bob's record...is enough of a risk, and we can't take that risk in the Governor's office." Now, don't get me wrong, this thesis is pretty nutty, and it lays out an extreme conservative view of the family. However, Deed's obsession over the thesis is not going to win him votes, and McDonnell has effectively countered Deed's criticisms by citing the working women in his family.
The next theme I came across was abortion. Creigh Deeds is very much in favor of people having the right to get an abortion, and he is going after his opponent for being Pro-Life. Seriously? That's the stupidest campaign theme I have heard of from a Democratic candidate in a long time. Wedge issues are annoying, and as a voter I would be very turned off by this.
When you take these two themes together you have common threads. They are both about Bob McDonnell and why someone should not vote for him. Why should someone vote for Deeds?
After watching this video of Deeds talking out of both sides of his mouth on taxes, I have no idea. One thing is clear to me. Although I do not ideologically align with Bob McDonnell on a majority of the issues, I do think he is competent enough to be Governor. With Creigh Deeds I am not so sure, and I suspect I am not alone.