Deeds brings in Obama, kicks off organizing effort
Democratic candidate for Governor Creigh Deeds will welcome President Barack Obama to Virginia tonight, hoping to inject new energy into a campaign that has suffered a series of setbacks. Two separate polls show the State Senator trailing Republican Bob McDonnell by double digit margins and he has been forced to respond to criticism within his own ranks.
While things look bleak for Deeds, astute political watchers will recall that the never-say die politician was in similar straights during his primary run and trailed McDonnell by a healthy margin during their race for Attorney General, before losing by only a few hundred votes.
The Deeds camp, aware that the race is far from over seems poised to respond to a number of these setbacks. Most importantly the perception generated by polling that his campaign is lacking “enthusiasm” amongst Democrats and more importantly supporters of Barack Obama. According to Public Policy Polling, Virginians who are planning to come to the polls in Virginia voted for John McCain in 2008 by a margin of 52%-41%. That shows, that at this point Deeds has not garnered the same type of excitement for his campaign that Obama did just a year ago.
To combat that problem, Team Deeds launched a new online grassroots initiative to get voters informed about the campaign and compel them to support the Democrat. The effort combines radio ads, text messages, and social networking sites to recruit volunteers and spread the Deeds message.
The new strategy will launch in cooperation with the President’s event Thursday night in McLean. In addition to the public face of the President, one of the radio ads will feature Governor Tim Kaine. While even just a few months ago those brands were considered solid gold in the Old Dominion, new polling indicates the shine on both Obama and Kaine is starting to wear off. According to PPP, Both President Obama and Governor Kaine have approval ratings is only 42% in Virginia. Furthermore, Mr. Obama has a disapproval rating of 51% percent.
It is only August and the President is currently embroiled in a fierce fight over health care that has hurt his image. By November all of this could swing right back to where it was last year. Right now, Senator Deeds has to find a way to fight through it.
We will have complete coverage of the President’s visit to McLean on NBC12 news at 11. I will also be joined today by NBC12 Political analyst Dan Palazzolo to discuss the state of the race during First at Four.
The full release announcing the new Deeds organizing initiative can be found after the jump..
“JOIN DEEDS” CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES
~ Rally With President Obama Helps Kick Off Online Grassroots Organizing Drive ~
MCLEAN – In conjunction with President Barack Obama’s rally in McLean today, Deeds for Virginia is launching new components to its organizing campaign. The campaign will launch two new radio ads – one featuring Gov. Tim Kaine – and a new online hub at http://www.deedsforvirginia.com.
“President Obama became the first Democrat to win Virginia in 44 years because of a grassroots network driven by a strong online presence in every community,” said Deeds Campaign Manager Joe Abbey. “Creigh Deeds’ come-from-behind victory in June produced double the usual turnout for a statewide primary. With less than 90 days remaining, we are ramping up our online capacity to organize and activate the grassroots in every community of the Commonwealth toward victory on November 3rd.”
Highlights of the campaign will include
• Radio ads driving grassroots activists to join the campaign online and sign up for text messages.
• Text messages encouraging existing activists to sign up 10 of their friends and family
Today’s message: “Welcome President Obama and help win Virginia! Fwd this message to 10 friends and ask them to text DEEDS to 94553. Yes We Can.”
• A new, redesigned online campaign hub at http://www.deedsforvirginia.com
• A steady stream of information about campaign activity through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr, including full coverage of Creigh Deeds recent “Deeds Country” campaign swing and tonight’s rally with Barack Obama.
Virginians seeking to keep the Commonwealth moving forward can now join and follow the Deeds campaign the following ways: