VA-Gov: Deeds Surge Continues in New R2K Poll

Research 2000 for the Great Orange Satan (6/1-3, likely voters, 5/18-20 in parens):

Terry McAuliffe (D): 26 (36)

Brian Moran (D): 27 (22)

Creigh Deeds (D): 30 (13)

Undecided: 17 (29)

(MoE: ±5%)

This is the third public poll (of the last four) to show Deeds grabbing the lead, but with the number of undecideds as high as they are and the primary voter ‘verse as uncertain as ever, the nomination is effectively a three-way jump ball right now. It would be quite the Cinderella story if Deeds could pull this off.

Meanwhile, McAuliffe is rolling out an endorsement from a surprising source: Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer… who is also serving as the chair of the Democratic Governors Association this cycle. The DGA, in case you’re not familiar, is the campaign and fundraising arm for Democratic gubernatorial candidates across the country. While Schweitzer’s people are claiming that he’s only making a personal endorsement, doing so while serving as DGA chair is misguided and unacceptable — especially when the chances are very real that McAuliffe won’t end up being the Democratic nominee on Tuesday. When you’re in the position that Schweitzer is in, the only smart and sensible move is to remain neutral until the nominee is decided by the primary electorate.

And I won’t even begin to get into the issue of McAuliffe being about as antithetical as possible to the populist, DC-despising image that Schweitzer has carefully crafted for himself over the years…

35 thoughts on “VA-Gov: Deeds Surge Continues in New R2K Poll”

  1. I like Creigh but figured he never had a chance so I never considered voting for him (If I was a Virginia voter) and would have voted for Terry.

    Now that it is ready to go and Deeds looks like he can win, I’d change my vote from Terry to Creigh.

    Once again, anyone but Moran is my choice.

  2. This last minute come from behind third-to-first in the polls by Deeds is quite exciting to be witnessing.

  3. who has spent more than half of 2009 in VA for business reasons (SW of Richmond) I can tell you I was confident that if Creigh could get his message out he would win this thing.  VA is almost a perfect shade of purple and everyone South of Richmond and West of Norfolk have a certain discomfort and unfamiliarity with “big city folk” (seriously, the folks I work with out there act like people like me, from the Bay Area, are from another country).

    I have been supporting Creigh for a while (I sent him another $100 last week), but honestly never thought he would have the time or money to get his message out.  I am thoroughly excited to see these latest polls.  Everyone at work knows I am politically obessesed and Ive been pushing Creigh on all of them whenever they ask me a question about who I would vote for if I had the chance.  I haven’t met the man yet, but if you ever get a chance to see him speak, its worth it.  The man is seriously wonkish and just captivating enough to hold your attention.

    I never had a problem with Terry or Brian’s politics, but their style on the stump and their campaigns immediately turned me off.  Creigh is engaging and his folksiness works in the areas of VA with which Im most intimately familiar.  I would probably never volunteer my time for Terry or Brian, but if I keep travelling out there and Creigh wins this thing I will definitely put in my 10 hours at work and go do another 8 for Creigh.

    Im sure you guys have heard enough of my love for Creigh by this point, but I will say one last thing: Creigh is the real deal (so is Joe Abbey for that matter) and I am truly thrilled to see how this has developed.


  4. this race would have been if a few hundred people had voted the other way (or voted) in 2005; Deeds would be AG, and probably the presumptive nominee, and McDonnell might not even be running.

  5. I’m filling out my absentee ballot right now.  I am voting for Creigh Deeds.  But I looked on his website and couldn’t determine who he was supporting for Lieutenant Governor.  Does anyone know who is the best of the 3 candidates?  I am trying to decide between Michael Signer and Jon Bowerbank.  I am not voting for the woman because she is guaranteed to lose like the female Democrat LG nominee did in 2005 (VA voters won’t vote for women…see Hilary Clinton as well).

  6. The Schweitzer endorsement reminds me that, although he was neutral during the Democratic primaries last year, he also seemed (at least to me) a bit more hostile towards Obama and more favorable towards Clinton, and I’d always wondered about why. At the time, I guess I thought that Schweitzer simply didn’t like Obama (for political or personal reasons) but couldn’t actually endorse him for fear of annoying the Democratic electorate in Montana (Obama would ultimately go on to win Montana by close to 20 points in the primary).

    This has me thinking that, for whatever reason, Schweitzer seems to be fond of Clinton (and perhaps, by extension, Clinton’s people). But that’s just a passing thought on my part.

  7. …McAuliffe.

    Is he trying to win a primary election, or just collecting friends to brag about how much the cool kids love him?

    I’m a Virginia Dem primary voter and a campaign activist (albeit not volunteering for the Gov primary), and even if I weren’t I have enough political sense to know that these endorsements from other states’ Governors, who are not even in neighboring states, only rub some voters the wrong way and are completely ignored by the rest.

    Terry should’ve told Schweitzer “just write me a fat check and keep quiet.”

    I’m a Deeds voter now after having been undecided until a month ago and still only leaning until this week, and crap like this only reinforces my view that McAuliffe doesn’t understand the Virginia electorate.

  8. I can see Virginia from my house (in the winter anyway, when the leaves are off the trees); a street in my neighborhood is named “Virginia View Court.” Even though I’m not a Virginian, I’ve followed the campaign closely.

    At the start of this race, I had ranked my preferences as (1) Moran, (2) MaAuliffe and (3) Deeds. Now, if I were a Virginia voter I’d go with McAuliffe. Moran has just run a horrible campaign, and Deeds is just too conservative for my taste.

  9. Crafted image or not, I’ve always seen him as one of the good ones. Leaving aside the McAuliffe’s history and his myriad problems, I just hate the idea of these party honchos playing kingmaker, whether it’s in this race, on either side of the Pennsylvania Senate keruffle… heck, I even understand the complaints of Marco Rubio’s followers in Florida. Let the people decide. If things are getting hard, cowboy up and get the job done already. That’s how you become a better general election candidate…

    On the other hand, it would be classic Terry not to have learned that lesson from 2008. Hey, if he wins the nomination, maybe he’ll bring in Mark Penn as his polling guru! Awesome.

  10. If I had been a VA voter, I would have picked Deeds from the start – he’d be the most electable and the best option to keep the seat, and that matters a lot to me. There was a short period when I genuinely thought Terry was changing minds around the state and could possibly get elected, but that has all but disappeared, and I certainly don’t like the Moran tactics. So perhaps I’m part of the “Anyone named Deeds” camp.

  11. It’s all style. He comes across to me as just a guy in a suit with no real specific goals. I don’t really see a distinct line defining who he is. Terry is a suit but you know what he wants to do (and dammit, his positive attitude works when he is the candidate). I really didn’t want to like Terry after meeting him a year ago and got the impression he was a sleezeball, but his PR has been good.

    I’m also not a fan of candidates resigning to run for higher office, makes me wonder how well they can multi-task on the job.

    That and his primary campaign has not been a very well run operation, IMO, ranging from his video or Terry’s ridiculous amount of signs at Shad-Planking turning into an attack ad to him giving out his cell phone # in last night’s forum.

    I feel like Moran is the “It’s my turn to run” candidate.

  12. if I could vote in Virgina. He’s a brilliant campaign operative. Terry has put together a much better team for himself then he did for Hillary but he can’t match Joe. His campaign manager Mike Henry is best known for his memo advising her to not campaign in Iowa (that sure helped) and while his Virgina smarts are a bit better I’m not as confident in that team as I am in Team Deeds to win in the general election which is mostly what I care about.

  13. Schweitzer’s endorsement is weird.  Not only because of the candidate and because of his leadership position but because of the timing.  What does he think he can do with less than a week to go?

  14. But Im not surprised. As the Gov. cant run for 2 consecutive terms, meaning every 4 years there will be an open race. Although, in 2013, Tim Kaine could very well run again and be massively favored. Its like hed be the incumbent, given his popularity. Assuming his popularity holds strong for the next half year.  

  15. that Bolling would run for re-election and McDonnell would run for Governor. It would have been reversed had Kaine been appointed to an Obama administration post, though, as then Bolling would have been the quasi-incumbent.

  16. I could see Kaine being picked for a Cabinet position (any number of ones) sometime in the future.

  17. For what it’s worth, Bowerbank dropped out and endorsed Jody Wagner (though his name still appears on your ballot, I guess).

  18. argument.  Hillary didn’t win VA for a multitude of reasons, not because she’s a woman.  Same for the Lt. Gov. candidate in 05.

  19. That’s odd. He dropped out. So don’t vote for him. And don’t not vote for Wagner beacuse of that.

    But I’d highly recomend Signer. He’s very smart and worked on Tom Periello’s campaign. Here are a few better written endorsements from Virginans.


    Also as a interesting sidenote, when Deeds was running for AG Signer was preparing a run for his seat should he win and thus resign.

    So yeah. Vote Signer for sure.  

  20. I don’t think either candidate has much of a chance at beating Bolling, but Wagner is going to have much better resources, as Signer’s fundraising has been pretty bad.

    Leslie Byrne lost in 2005 because she was outspent 2-1 and because she’s, well, Leslie Byrne. She doesn’t have that great a track record at winning.

  21. Thanks for the replies.  I just mailed my ballot and voted for Michael Signer!  I read the information on his website and he seems like a really smart guy who could fix a lot problems the government has.  Also I liked how involved he was with environmental groups when he was growing up.

    I still can’t get over Leslie Byrne losing the LG race in 2005.  I just don’t understand why people would split a ticket for a Governor and Lieutenant Governor.  It would seem that no matter what you would always want to vote for the same party for Governor and LG because they need to work together.

  22. Virginia has elected three women, all recently, to the US House.  JoAnn Davis, Thelma Drake and Leslie Byrne.  The three come from different parts of the state.  I would not let one loss by a relatively weak candidate color your view on women and Virginians.

    There are only two states that have never had a woman as US House member, US Senator or Governor.  That’s Iowa and Mississippi.  Iowa has repeatedly nominated candidates on both tickets and although electing Cabinet members has not hit one of the big three offices.  Two of the five losers for the US House in Iowa last time were women.

    Based on past record, the only state where I’d hesitate to nominate a woman would be Iowa (sorry DesMoinesDem).

  23. twice-elected Attorney General Mary Sue Terry would disagree with your assertion that Virginia doesn’t vote for women.

    Oh, and Bowerbank is still on the ballot because he withdrew after absentee balloting began.

  24. but he knew he’d lose to McDonell in the primary so he figured he’d stay and run in 2013.

  25. in that the nomination will be decided by a microscopically small percentage of the electorate.

  26. when it comes to FL is that Crist is a slam-dunk win for the GOP while Rubio will be expensive and may still lose.  But I havent quite decided if that trumps what I think the NRSC should be doing as well, keeping it’s business out of primaries.  They could’ve at least have waited til polling or something, ya know?

  27. Well Schweitzer was a Clinton appointee in the 90s in some capacity, right?  Ag Department or some such?  That would explain it perhaps.

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