"…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