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Kenny Powers

I would love for Creigh to start yackin' about social issues while Bob continues to speak about the issues voters care about ... job creation, the economy, transportation, education, etc.

Salem Republican

As a Republican, I'm thrilled to see this level of desperation this early from Deeds. In just a couple weeks, Deeds has gone from saying social issues wouldn't play a major role this year to making them the centerpiece of his campaign. That shows he has no plan and he has fully sacrificed the authenticity that has served him so well for so long. This is the best news McDonnell could have hoped for on this fine Sunday morning. Keep up the good work Mr. Deeds.

Tdanlmyer

I would say it's a little risky. To me it looks desperate as mcdonnell says in the story. Creigh could outdebate mcdonnell on the real issues of today (roads, economy) if he tried. While it's good to see the campaign alive, is it already too late?

Salem Republican

It is because Deeds CANNOT beat McDonnell on the important issues of the day that he is having to take this approach. Anyone who has watched Deeds' career closely knows how poorly situated he is for this type of race. Frankly, it's why I'm still stunned (and thrilled) that McAuliffe is not the nominee.

kelley in virginia

I really hate to agree with NLS, but i think this is good strategy for Deeds.

the social right is already out in full force because of Ken C., so if Deeds can mobilize the anti-socials (just a joke there), i think its good for him.

however, this is really weird political climate.

Not Bentard

It's the economy, stupid!

Really, really bad call on the Deeds campaign. Creigh has my vote, but how can I convince fellow Catholics to continue to beat-back the reckless abortion debate when Deeds does a complete turn-around from his commitment to stay away from social issues?

Kaine did a masterful job at not getting tied down with social issues, and making the economy and (continued) prosperity his key objectives. This helped him in Loudoun with indys, and he almost won PWC with indy support.

Again, it's the economy, stupid! Focus.

Not John S. Mosby

As long as Deeds doesn't make stuff up - like Republicans do - he'll do fine with this strategy. McDonnell's history and political record speaks for itself. Letting everyone know, accurately, what that history is is a great strategy. Deeds isn't going to parse some procedural vote in a subcommittee and amplify it 500 times and make his case on that. That would be a bad strategy because a lot of voters do see that for what it is - bullshit distortion.

Telling everyone that he was a graduate of Christian Broadcast Network University and has spent the bulk of his professional and political life pushing the standard fundamentalist christian agenda is not desperation. Minus the CBN ties, the story for Crazy Cooch is the same, just worse. It's accurate and people will not view that as an attack.

There is a difference between a negative smear campaign - like swift boating or calling Obama an African Arab Muslim Marxist Terrorist - and bringing up the broad negatives of your opponent. Republicans don't like it when Democrats do it, since most of them feel that's a tactic only they should use.

novamiddleman

What the hell. This is a perfect example why I will never be a Democrat

"I'm a moderate guy, and I've been a consensus-builder my entire career.

Bullshit NARAL is not a moderate organization.

Rowhey

Isn't it a little late in the game to be worried about turning out the base? But if that's your only chance, I guess that's your only chance. Deeds has wasted considerable time by not setting forth a coherent agenda. Now, when voters are starting to pay attention, the first glimpse of Deeds brings an issue more suited to 1989 -- not 2009 in the midst of a recession.

Facts

Novamiddleman: He's still taking the position that is likely favored by 70% of the electorate that will be voting.

Hate NARAL etc all you want, but your in the minotity, not them.

see recent elections in South Dakota if you disagree.

notsophialoren

Deeds is finally having a meeting to organize women and it is tomorrow.He had to do this so they would come. He has to show women he cares about issues like this.

RicJohn

"It is because Deeds CANNOT beat McDonnell on the important issues of the day that he is having to take this approach. Anyone who has watched Deeds' career closely knows how poorly situated he is for this type of race. Frankly, it's why I'm still stunned (and thrilled) that McAuliffe is not the nominee.

Posted by: Salem Republican"

What in heavens name are you talking about? Deeds is NOT poorly situated for the gubernatorial race. I know the Republicans always love to tout that their candidate is currently ahead in the polls, but that means little at this point. McDonnell is peaking and will eventually fizzle out once his radical record is exposed--Deeds has just waited for the right time to highlight this, and once he does, McDonnell's favorability rating will be average, if even that.

Creigh Deeds is a strong candidate and one of the most decent guys in politics, plus he is willing to compromise on the issues. At the end of the day, Virginians will not want a bigot and a committed Pat Robertson disciple in the Governor's Mansion like McDonnell.

manycrepes

It seems to me that there is a crucial distinction between running ON the abortion issue and highlighting Bob McDonell's lunatic neanderthal social positions. Creigh isn't trying to propose some particularly liberal change in laws himself with this strategy, he's simply making it a line of attack. Given this distinction, I don't understand at all why this has to be construed as a move away from Tim Kaine style issues.

Who knew Janet Howell was a right wing extremist?

Ben is right about the judgeship. Bob McDonnell worked with Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw (Fairfax) and Senator Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) to remove Judge Verbena Askew.

Judge Askew happened to be a lesbian, but she was not re-elected because "I think that in several instances she showed poor judgment with her responses to the commission with the question of judicial ethics and with how she gave leave to an employee," said Howell.

So again Ben is right, Bob McDonnell joined 100% Equality Virginia Democratic legislators to remove Judge Askew.

Not Larry Sabato

FYI- the week after that vote in 2002 the Fairfax County Democratic Committee passed by a 10-1 margin a resolution strongly condemning Howell and Saslaw for that vote- and praising the House Democrats who all stood against what McDonnell was doing.

Not PWC - GOP Gay Sex 24-7

People need to know Bob McDonnell's record on social issues and his linkage to Pat Robertson:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XygUZghkgc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NtPn9zX2Yc

Rob McDonnell = Pat Robertson. No difference.

Gnarly

Deeds is using the Jerry Kilgore playbook. It's crazy.....but crazy fun to watch!

Martin Lomasney

Ben -

Sen. Howell explained her vote regarding Judge Askew to the Hunter Mill Democratic Committee. It was clear to those members that her decision was heart rendering but necessary in light of the dishonesty of the Judge in answering the questionaire that all the judicial candidates were required to answer.

Certainly the dozen or more members of the Hunter Mill Democratic Committee, including several minority members present, were satisfied with their Senator's answer to their concerns and did not introduce nor vote any motion of condemnation of their Senator's vote on Judge Askew.

I have no memory of an FCDC 10-1 vote especially since FCDC had then, and has now, more than 11 members. If only eleven members voted, there wasn't a quorum. So to what vote your referring, Ben?

Not Larry Sabato

Martin- it was a 10-1 margin, not a 10-1 vote. Something like 118-11 as I recall it. Larry Byrne introduced the resolution. It was whatever year they bounced Judge Askew at the January or March FCDC meeting while they were still in Richmond. I bet the HMDDC meeting was after that- as I recall the vote was literally the day or two after the vote.

Larry Sabato's Hairpiece

I happened to sit in the Askew hearing when it happened, awaiting another piece of business before the Committee--which, because the hearing on Askew went on for hours, never came up that day.

When I walked in there, I knew Askew had some sort of controversy but did not know the details. I remember two things about the hearing.

First is that, if I remember this correctly, she was under fire for not disclosing that the City of Hampton (I think it was Hampton anyway) had to settle a sexual harassment suit filed against her and she did not disclose that, as she was required to do, on her judicial questionnaire. While, as I recall, the person making the complaint was female, I don't recall that fact being a real issue of discussion. The issue that came up repeatedly is why she had not listed the settlement.

Second, is that when she appeared that day, Askew was a disaster. She looked like she had just rolled out of bed. She came across as unsteady, confused and even sort of spacey. If I had been on the Committee (or a legislator at all), I would have never voted for her just because she looked and sounded like a complete train wreck. She just did not look she was up for the job--or much of anything, that day. Now maybe that appearance was an aberration or out-of-the-ordinary for her. I don't know. But if all I saw was how she handled herself that day, I would have wondered if she could even handle practicing law, never mind serving as a judge. She was a mess.

SE VA MWC Alum

NLS et al - Askew was not reapointed because of the harrassment case, the lying, and numerous concerns for members of the bar. While Deeds is getting my vote, the Askew non-reappointment should not be held against McDonnell. He did make a comment that might make some people question him but that was a response to a question asked of him!

Hairpiece-Yes it was the city of Hampton. Her judgeship was actually Newport News but she was working with a Hampton employee on something or other (drug court is possible but cant be certain).

Lastly I think Creigh needs to concentrate on quality of life and economic issues-jobs, schools, roads etc. Remember Carville from 92'

Rtwng Extrmst

If NLS's post above is anything like what we will see in this campaign tactic of Deeds' it will be one more example of Democrats making things up. It seems clear to me that McDonnell's vote on the judge had nothing to do with her sexuality. Secondly, it seems now that the Dems are the ones making abortion the issue in this campaign. Amazing when you hear them preach over and over that that issue is not one we should focus on in elections. It appears NLS has joined Steve Shannon in twisting the facts to try to smear Republican candidates.

And what the heck does any of this have to do with Ken Starr? When in Mr. Starr's life has he ever shown a personal proclivity to be interested in delving into the private lives of others?

Anonymous Is A Woman

It's amusing to watch all the Republicans insist that Deeds is desperate simply because he is pointing out McDonnell's actual position on abortion.

But if it didn't matter to them, they wouldn't consistently refuse to support pro-choice candidates, who agree with them on very other issue but that one. They have hounded moderate, pro choice Republicans out of their own party, both nationally and in Virginia. And now they are claiming that the issue is irrelevant and should not be brought up?

It's not irrelevant to them. And it's not irrelevant to voters who disagree with their position on it, which according to today's Washington Post story, is about 60 percent of Virginians.

I agree that it will not be the main issue dominating the election in the fall. But August is exactly the time to raise it because those who care most, in both parties, are the ones listening now.

Further, voters do deserve to know where candidates stand on this issue. They can make up their own minds as to how relevant it is to them, but they deserve to hear and know the truth, not just the rebranding measures of political consultants.

BTW, nova, you are actually not moderate. And you are very pro-life. I would also doubt that you vote Democratic very often. Please stop masquerading as a moderate because you think it makes your conservative talking points sound better. Very few people are fooled by it anymore.

VA Blogger

AIAW, I think that while Creigh Deeds still hasn't bothered to put together a transportation plan, answer direct questions about it, or even address the issue on his website, talking about abortion represents misplaced priorities.

If you think that abortion is a more important issue than transportation, then by all means continue. We're not claiming the issue is irrelevent, just not as important as more pressing matters, particularly in the middle of a recession. That Deeds has nothing to offer but attacking McDonnell on social issues is clearly a sign of desperation.

Larry Sabato's Hairpiece

Maybe Deeds needs to talk about social issues because he doesn't know much about state government.

Today Deeds came out with some plan that included annual audits of state agencies. Now no one (I don't think) opposes some accountability. But between the Auditor of Public Accounts, the Department of Accounts Division of State Internal Audit and the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee, state agencies are audited frequently (more frequently than once a year in many cases) and reports are made to the General Assembly by the Comptroller on a quarterly basis.

Now if Deeds doesn't think the auditors aren't getting the job done, then he ought to call them out and say what he would change. But to say he has a plan to "audit" agencies annually, when it's already being done and when the results are reported to the General Assembly might say he doesn't have a clue as to what is happening in the Executive Branch he wants to run. He's a member of the General Assembly and gets the Comptroller's audit reports quarterly. Where did he think the data came from, the flying spaghetti monster? Or has he not bothered to review the audit results all these years? And if so, what makes anyone think he would start to pay attention to them as Governor?

Brian W. Schoeneman

Social issues? Are you kidding?

We're in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression, tens of thousands of Virginians out of work and you think NOW is the time to be arguing about abortion and gay rights?

Did I just enter some bizzaro world where Karl Rove became a Democrat?

GOPHokie

I think its probably a good move on Deeds' part. Obviously it remains to be seen how he will address the issue without coming off a proud pro-choicer.
I have always though McDonnell's biggest weakness is his social issue history. Deeds has to hope that if he focuses on social issues that McDonnell will change focus of his campaign to those social issues.
As long as McDonnell sticks to his current strategy, I think he will be fine.

VA Blogger

GH, and the Democrats biggest strength in recent Virginia elections have been moderate stances on social issues.

TruthMeter

LOL, I'm calling the race for McDonnell by double digits. I like Deeds too. He was the type of Democrat I was hoping the party would produce in the future. But to tack left on social issues to appeal to people who you already should be winning? I'm still laughing.

Desperation move
By Michael Barone
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Desperation-move-52833167.html

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds is going to use the abortion issue against his Republican opponent Bob McDonnell. I think this is a desperation tactic. It contradicts Deeds’s statement in a debate two weeks ago that he would not emphasize social issues, but that’s almost beside the point. The main thing is that 2009 is a year of economic distress, and voters’ minds are mostly on economic issues. McDonnell has been campaigning on jobs and economic growth, and in the process has emphasized his opposition to national Democrats’ position on the unions’ card check bill and the various Democratic health care plans.

This has evidently been working. The most recent polls show McDonnell leading Deeds by 50%-40% in the realclearpolitics.com average. The same metric showed the race tied after Deeds’s impressive come-from-behind victory in the June primary.

Putting on my old hat as a pollster, I have some idea of what inspired this move by the Deeds campaign. You ask respondents to indicate their priorities on various issues and you ask them separately which candidate they favor on each of them. You array the results, listing the issues in priority order and then next to each you show whether your candidate is ahead or behind on that issue. I think the Deeds people had to go pretty far down the list before they saw a + next to abortion.

I suspect the percentage indicating a priority for abortion was in single digits. Voters know that if they elect Bob McDonnell he is not going to criminalize abortion. The Virginia legislature has passed limits on abortion which McDonnell has supported, and nothing much changes for most voters. In addition, I think the enthusiastic pro-abortion rights constituency is tilted toward the older end of the age scale. For many Baby Boomer women “choice” (the brilliant euphemism for abortion rights) is a proxy for the personal choices they have made in their lives which go contrary to what they were told when they were growing up—that they should stay home with the children, downplay a career, etc. For Millennial Generation women “choice” resonates less strongly, because they were never told those things. And they don’t see how a Governor Bob McDonnell can prevent them from making the choices that are important for them.

Deeds is not the only Democrat to make this desperation move. New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine has an ad ticking off his and his opponent Chris Christie’s positions on abortion, gun control, global warming and renewable energy. It hasn’t helped much yet; he’s down 51%-38% in the realclearpolitics.com average of recent polls.

TruthMeter

Here's another narrative from the PPP poll derived by the media. Don't blame me, I'm just quoting others.

Poll: Virginia Voters Prefer Palin to Obama
http://washingtonindependent.com/53884/poll-virginia-voters-prefer-palin-over-obama

http://politics.theatlantic.com/2009/08/the_invisible_primary_85.php

"According to a Public Policy Polling survey (automated, via telephone), Virginians say they'd react better to Sarah Palin campaigning for a candidate in their state than to President Obama doing the same."

Martin Lomasney

ben

The HMDDC meeting was the week after the session ended.

So Larry brought a condemnation motion on a weeknight during the General Assembly session when neither Senator Howell or Saslaw could attend to explain their vote.

Wow, Larry, what exactly was the rush on that FCDC vote at that point?

No organization condemns a member without giving the member an opportunity to be present and explain themselves. It's called regular order and personal privilege.

Of course, HMDDC had no opportunity to consult with each other or Senator Howell before that vote. Way to be respectful of the DDC's, Larry.

Way to sucker punch elected officials from your own party, Larry; you are my hero; don't let Roberts Rules get in the way of your grandstand play.

That's why you're so beloved among us D's.

HMDDC waited until Senator Howell could attend its meeting and explain her actions before considering any action, and chose to take none.

GOPHokie

VAB, I would actually argue the democrats success has less to do with their stances on social issues and more with the GOP unabashed stances on them.
At the end of the day, few people who are pro-choice vote based on that issue (unlike the large group of voters who do vote based on pro-life). They are willing to vote for GOPs if they propose good issues, but when the election becomes all about abortion; they have no choice but to vote for the pro-choicer.

I.Publius

Once again, Ben Tribbett opens his pie hole without knowing jack shit about the facts.

Verbena Askew was denied a second term as Circuit Court judge because she unethically failed to disclose a sexual harassment suit filed against her. The fact that she is a lesbian had nothing to do with it.

But, then, Ben's never been one to let the facts get in the way of a dumbass blog post.

Anonymous Is A Woman

Actually, I don't think Creigh is going to make the campaign all about abortion. And if he did so, it would be a foolish move.

But I think by raising the issue, he gets to question McDonnell's authenticity and that's what matters to voters. It matters because it is a character issue.

McDonnell is trying to rebrand himself as the moderate. If Deeds can puncture holes in that carefully crafted image and show that McDonnell is not what he claims to be, it will be potent ammunition. I also think it's probably true.

McDonnell is a social conservative who has spent a great deal of his time in office pursuing limits to abortion rights and opposing gay rights. Now he is tacking toward the center, and his supporters are claiming those positions don't matter to the general electorate.

They might be right. But what does matter is whether voters can trust him. If he will say anything to get elected, what should they believe?

Further, don't expect Deeds to be harping on abortion or other social issues in September or October. To the degree that those are base issues, now is when a candidate plays to the base. Again, we are the only ones paying attention now.

Both sides will try to fire up their base in August so they have the volunteers they need knocking on doors after Labor Day. All of us on here actually know this.

This whole discussion is a war of words between two sets of base voters.

One set, the Republicans, is savvy enough to know that social conservatism is McDonnell's weakness in voter rich NoVa. The other set, the Democrats, is savvy enough to know that the real issue is who is more honest and authentic.

jack or lantern

hey

Stonewall Brigade

Gov. elect McDonnell in 85 days!

jack or lantern

This is a bad policy on Creighs part. The end result ends up making him look like a far left liberal and McDonnell a middle of the road moderate. Even though McDonnell is a conservative he doesn't wear this issue on his sleave. Poor creigh.

Not Bentard

Hmm,

I've learned on this site that whenever AIAW goes over 20 words, it is usually an attempt to make a lemon magically taste like an apple.

I'm still voting for Creigh, but I am also not surprised by the fun time the McD supporters are having with this.

I'll concede, the NARAL+Deeds=loss of Indy voters. Not good, and the whole weekend was not a good weekend for Creigh.

Not PWC - GOP Gay Sex 24-7

jack or lantern, WTF!! McDonnell opposes aborton in all cases (even in acts of rape or incest). That is hardly middle of the road.

Truth Meeter, you effin' troll, Michael Barone is paid by Fox News. Enough said.

change

Aiaw,
“But what does matter is whether voters can trust him. If he will say anything to get elected, what should they believe?”

I think this is the most significant sentence of your post.

Voters are trying to understand who will tell them the truth.
Unfortunately Deeds is saddled with the fact that those promoting him are proven liars; (ie. We will keep unemployment below 8%, we will be the most transparent administration, gitmo closed immediately, out of Iran by February etc..ect.. ad nausea)
He can not distance himself from national politics, and the democrats in congress are a train wreck.
He is actually being pretty smart by attempting to bolster ROVA support because NOVA is so intuned with Washington. The democrat stench wafting across the bridge is harder than a skunk to get rid of.

Abortion will not cut it, in fact the repub’s should be selling the AARP on the benefit of more future workers to pay for their healthcare and the democrat’s growing national debt.

You are correct that truth is important, but the dem’s are either avoiding it or running from it; and having the most obvious liar campaigning for you is not the way to bolster your integrity.

Also… seems to me that Mosby is really out of his mind scared in his recent posts, a bit of a “telling sign” for radical leftists.
My advice is to take the “blue pill”.

change

In case Mosby, or any others missed the symbolism of the blue pill choice, remember the Matrix movie:

“Morpheus contacts Neo just as the machines (posing as sinister 'agents') are trying to keep Neo from finding out any more. When Morpheus and Neo meet, Morpheus offers Neo two pills. The red pill will answer the question "what is the Matrix?" (by removing him from it) and the blue pill simply for life to carry on as before. As Neo reaches for the red pill Morpheus warns Neo "Remember, all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more."”

And remember Obambi continues to suggest we all take the “blue bill”. (I bet he either loses that metaphor or changes it to the red pill.. newspeak)

Not John S. Mosby

Here's the McDonnell plan for this election - tell Republicans he's a fundamentalist in every way imaginable, while telling the general public that he's a moderate. Now, if Democrats tell the general public that McDonnell is a fundamentalist in every way imaginable, how is that either desperate or a bad strategy? There's no distortion here at all. It's not nitpicking, it's simply telling everyone not in the Republican circle who Bob McDonnell is.

Janie

This is just dumb, dumb, dumb. The vast majority of Virginias are not focused on abortion. It's way down their list, after jobs, roads, kids, education, health, prisons, parks, etc. Creigh just looks desperate when he does this stuff.

Why must democrats always focus on race and abortion? It gets old. When will they move on to more important things?

kelley in virginia

janie, i am pro-choice myself. however, you would be surprised at those who vote with abortion as their #1 issue. i was shocked.

Larry Sabato's Hairpiece

Disagreement on an issue is not necessarily a deal killer. Most voters do not agree with their candidate of choice on every issue. But the bigger question is for how many of them is the issue important enough for them to becoming a decision point?

The bigger question is how long he sticks with this sort of messaging. If he is talking about this heavily in six weeks, he is doomed.
Abortion is an issue that makes about 30-35 percent of the electorate really tick. Most of them are in the base of one party or the other and are not persuadable anyway. The balance of voters pretty much all have an opinion on the issue, but that is not the issue on which they are going to decide their vote. If Deeds is having trouble energizing his base--which it seems he is--he probably needs to hit on the issue to fire up some of those folks. Of course, in doing so, he fires up those in the GOP base who feel strongly the other way, but that's probably not a big deal given that the GOP base appears to already be fired up generally speaking and this will not add much more.

Larry Sabato's Hairpiece

OK...that last version of my comment got screwed up in posting...Take two...

Disagreement on an issue is not necessarily a deal killer. Most voters do not agree with their candidate of choice on every issue. But the bigger question is for how many of them is the issue important enough for them to becoming a decision point?

Abortion is an issue that makes about 30-35 percent of the electorate really tick. Most of them are in the base of one party or the other and are not persuadable anyway. The balance of voters pretty much all have an opinion on the issue, but that is not the issue on which they are going to decide their vote. If Deeds is having trouble energizing his base--which it seems he is--he probably needs to hit on the issue to fire up some of those folks. Of course, in doing so, he fires up those in the GOP base who feel strongly the other way, but that's probably not a big deal given that the GOP base appears to already be fired up generally speaking and this will not add much more.

The bigger question is how long he sticks with this sort of messaging. If he is talking about this heavily in six weeks, he is doomed.

southside dem

How is this different than Kilgore going after Kaine on the death penalty? Its a social issue that everyone already has a position on, but generally view at as a topic they don't really like to discuss. The candidate getting attacked can cite his religion as the basis for his stance, making it more of a character attack and driving sympathy toward him and making the attacker look bad. This is exactly what happened in 2005 and will happen if Creigh goes down this path. Bad strategy.

RacerX

The problem with this type of attack is timing. MceDonnell had the time and the warchest to present himself to voters on his terms. He has already defined himself as the pro-business military vet who's focused on economic development. Creigh waited WAY too long to try to rebrand him. By allowing McDonnell to basically own the airwaves through earned and paid media they may have beaten themselves.

Plus, if he wants to, McDonnell can always pull a mea culpa and say he's changed his mind on the issue- just like Deeds did with Marshall Newman.

The fact is that they've both said what was convenient to get elected.

Chocolate Chip Cookie

I thought a blue pill meant Viagra?

gooch22

Wilder played pro-choice to his advantage vs. Coleman in 1989

Per NYT article 11/8/89

"Mr. Wilder campaigned for the right to abortion more aggressively than any candidate to date, while Mr. Coleman, a 47-year-old former Virginia attorney general, centered his campaign on attacks on the Democrat's integrity and promises to hold down taxes. Mr. Coleman opposes most abortions.

Nearly one out of three voters leaving the polls today said abortion was the issue that mattered most, more than education, crime, taxes or any other issue, according to the Times/ CBS News Poll."

Coleman scared the daylights out of me and many other women I talked to. Good move for Creigh

change

CCC,
Viagra is the pill most radical progressive liberals take right before they vote on Pelosi’s legislation. (it takes some time to screw the entire public)

Objective observer

Feels like 1993 all over again. President's approval ratings tanking. R candidate defines self and D opponent. D opponent tries to use social issues .. unsuccessfully ... to motivate base ... loses own identity and authenticity. Undecideds all break for R. Unless something happens ... McDonnell by double digits. Only questions ... does he carry Cooch and Bolling with him? give R House candidates a boost in VA Beach and NOVA?

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