How it is that Bob McDonnell will be the next Va. governor.

"…an improvement for Deeds in the critical Northern Virginia region, where he now holds a 56 to 43 percent lead in the left-leaning Washington suburbs. But that lead is swamped by significant and growing deficits in every other region of the state.

McDonnell appears to be in a particularly dominant position in the state's rural west, an area the Democrat had labeled "Deeds Country" because it includes his Bath County home. Although Deeds has devoted considerable resources to the region, he trails there 63 to 36 percent.

Obama's approval rating is at its low point in that part of the state: 46 percent of registered voters in the western areas give him positive marks. And opposition to the proposed changes to the nation's health-care system peaks at 58 percent.

Statewide, 53 percent oppose the efforts at health-care reform; 43 percent are supportive. "   Washpost


The data on page A-18 of today's Washington Post says to me that Virginia remains much as it has been.  McDonnell is way ahead everywhere in the commonwealth except for the Democratic Party dominated enclave along the Potomac River.  Alexandria city and Arlington County are his only real areas of strength and that is not enough.

The state still prefers conservative governance.  Deeds, by no means a liberal in the Northern sense, is trailing McDonnell even in Bath County, his home.  Deeds is ahead in the riverine zone here, but even that support is not as enthusiastic as it have been expected to be.

The last general election (2008) was strongly affected by revulsion against the Bush Administration and the novelty of Obama's candidacy.  Both of those phenomena are past and the groups that turned out to vote against Bush's ghost and for Obama have lapsed into the passivity that characterizes them politically.

To compound the Demcrats' problem, Bob McDonnell reads well all over the state, (including up here in Alexandria and Arlington) as an authentic Virginian, something important to a region (dare I say a people?) where identity still matters.

Both the Democrats and Republicans have failed in the past to understand Virginia.  They still do.  The Republicans just got lucky this time in their choice of candidate.

The Democrats should take comfort in the probability that McDonnell wold have beaten Terry McAuliffe even  more severely.  pl


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12 Responses to How it is that Bob McDonnell will be the next Va. governor.

  1. Sophie says:

    Yes, and here in Western VA even the fightin’ Dems are in danger of not showing up on Election day. Deeds’ campaign tried to cast a shadow of anti-Christian wingnut sentiment over McD during the summer push. Unfortunately, that worked against Deeds in the very conservative part of the state. To this observer, Mr. Deeds’ campaign was executed very poorly indeed.
    But since the conservatives in the General Assembly have participated in most of the sandbagging w/r/t NoVa transportation legislation, I say, “Let the GOP have Virginia”. They deserve it.

  2. Patrick Lang says:

    Which county or city do you live in? pl

  3. jonst says:

    As Lee J Cobb’s character said to the crowd (when speaking about Brando’s character)in the movie On the Waterfront: “you want em? You can have em!”

  4. Fred says:

    “The state still prefers conservative governance.” I would say small ‘c’ conservative.
    Bob McDonnell beat Deeds in the Attorney General race by 330 votes.
    Why is Deeds 11 points behind now? That is a hard lead to break in a week. It looks voters decisions are solidifying.
    As to Terry McAuliffe, I’m glad he lost even though I’m a Democrat and no longer live in Virginia.

  5. HJFJR says:

    As a long time student of VA Politics this election holds little interest to me as we have one candidate who is a mile wide and inch deep; and another candidate who is an inch wide and inch deep.
    Why is Deeds losing–because he has run an absolutely horrible campaign. In my analysis of the last several state wide races it has become abundantly clear that in order to win a Democratic candidate must do the following:
    1. Take NVA, Richmond, and the Tidewater (less VaBeach) with at least 55% or more of the vote.
    2. Must average at least 40% of the vote in rural Virginia. There are parts of rural Virginia where any Democrat will be lucky to get 35%; there are however areas where they can 40% to 45% and in some cases carry some rural counties.
    3. Must run a campaign that gives the areas other than NVA, Richmond, and Tidewater a reason to vote Democratic. Mark Warner has done that twice, Tim Kaine four years ago, Jim Webb against George Allen (although helped by Allen ineptness), and finally Obama although I agree with your analysis.
    If you look at Deeds campaign he has done none of the above, the biggest mistake he has made has been not working to gain rural voters. Deeds is very likable person however I never expected him to be a candidate for Governor, and his campaign is proof he is out of his league.
    By the way, Deeds would not be a State Senator if he did not have Albemarle County in his Senatorial District. Bath county has never been kind to Democrats and Deeds is an exception. He was elected to the House of Delegates by defeating an even worst Republican candidate.
    Hank Foresman

  6. Patrick Lang says:

    The Republicans want’em but don’t know what “they” are. They have been tryng to convince themselves for a decade that Virginia is becoming a state dominated by the democratic enclave. The argument goes that “the rubes in South Virginia will always vote Republican, and new immigrant Northern Virginia people(read Yankee) can be made into movement Conservatives who will vote for us.”
    The truth is as someone here said that a lot of Virginians like conservative government(small c) meaning moderate, small government, balanced budget government. They don’t care much about party.
    The Republican pols from Washington hang out with the country club snobs too much. pl

  7. Sophie says:

    Hi Col Lang. I’m in the northeast corner of Shenandoah County.
    Thank you.

  8. Patrick Lang says:

    In Clark County then. pl

  9. Good analysis PL! Looks like low voter turnout will be the real DEMS killer.

  10. remarksdc says:

    I’m a Democrat (and live in DC) but I have been impressed by McDonnell’s campaign. He introduced himself to the voters (at least in the DC region) in very personable, friendly terms. His negative ads have used behind-the-scenes footage to hoist Deeds on his own petard (this is reminiscent of Webb’s campaign use of behind the scene footage against Allen).
    Deeds never established a positive personal vision of himself as a candidate and never created a forward looking position. I can’t recall a single “here’s what I’m going to do for you” Deeds ad.
    McDonnell’s position in Northern Virginia is “lower taxes, better roads.” Deeds really doesn’t have a position other than the McDonnell version–we’ll have to pay for roads somehow.
    I suspect when he has to govern McDonnell will be a Jim Gilmore type governor, since he’s campaigned on hope and mirrors, but he seems very pragmatic and my be able to adjust his governing style to the political realities of the state.

  11. William says:

    I’m in Fairfax and will vote for Deeds, though I think he’s run as bad a campaign as McDonnell has run a good one. That said, whatever McDonnell’s newfound “moderation” touted in his tv ads, to me the real possibility is that the election will once again bring out the wacko conservatives in the legislature (especially the House) who think they have carte blanche to start up more culture wars. If the Senate stays in Democratic hands, there might yet be another four years of gridlock that neglects real issues in transportation (which I believe does relate to economic development and jobs), and potential meltdowns in funding for education. After all, those are hard problems, and it’s much more entertaining to instead introduce more bills to restrict abortions or immigrants, water down science education standards, or allow open carrying of firearms at universities.

  12. Shrike58 says:

    I’ve been resigned to McDonnell for awhile, though I still wonder what self-respecting Catholic attends Regent University.
    For the record I’m a resident of Arlington Co.

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