McDonnell makes two stops in Richmond area Sunday
Republican candidate for governor Bob McDonnell comes to the Richmond area today with the wind at his back. A series of new polls, including one released Sunday morning, show him with a clear lead in the race for governor. The new Washington Post poll shows McDonnell with a 47%-40% lead over Creigh Deeds and a lead of 54%-39% when voters say they will vote for sure in November.
The new numbers for McDonnell come despite a persistent and aggressive push by the Deeds camp to paint the GOP nominee as a rigid conservative outside the mainstream. Deeds has held a series of events with abortion rights groups and has made the issue a talking point on the stump. He has also received assistance from activists in the form of press releases, web sites and web videos. Even though the strategy was unveiled about a week ago, the poll demonstrates no evidence that it is working. According to the Post story, “Deeds has sought to appeal to independents by trying to portray McDonnell as outside the mainstream on such issues as abortion, which he raised in campaign stops last week. But the poll shows that Deeds’s plan has yet to yield benefits. Fewer than three in 10 view McDonnell as too conservative, which is less than the number of respondents who view Deeds as too liberal.”
This runs contrary to the conference call that Deeds campaign manager Joe Abbey and communications aide Mo Elleithee held on Friday, where they claimed that the attacks had the McDonnell camp “reeling”.
In addition to the encouraging poll numbers, McDonnell also learned on Friday that he had picked up the endorsement of the political arm connected to the Virginia Farm Bureau. It’s an endorsement that both candidates had sought and one that Deeds appeared to have an advantage with, given his background and childhood connection to the agriculture industry. However the Farm Bureau decided to endorse a straight Republican ticket, picking Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli as well.
Certainly, if the election were held today, Creigh Deeds would have reason to be concerned. However perhaps the most revealing part of the poll showed that most Virginians are not paying close attention to this election at all. A wide group also said that they do not know much about either candidate. There is still ground to make up and plenty of time to do it in. Many lefty bloggers are reminding jubilant republicans of what the polls looked like for Jerry Kilgore at this time back in 2005.
I hope to catch up with Bob McDonnell today. The candidate will speak at two different events in the Richmond area today. I will have more tonight on NBC12 news at 6 and 11 and a complete wrap later on Decision Virginia.
The details of the candidates Richmond area visits can be found after the jump:
McDonnell Campaign Schedule for Sunday, August 16
-Events in Glen Allen and Chesterfield-
Bob McDonnell, Republican gubernatorial nominee and former Attorney General of Virginia, will spend TODAY, Sunday, August 16th, attending events in Glen Allen and Chesterfield. He will attend the College Republican Federation Fall Kick-Off and the Indian Independence Day Celebration.
All members of the media are invited and encouraged to attend any and all of these events.
What: Bob McDonnell Attends College Republican Federation Fall Kick-Off
When: 2:00 p.m.
Where: Duncroft Castlepoint Park
4901 Francistown Road
What: Bob McDonnell Attends Indian Independence Day Celebration
When: 3:30 p.m.
Where: Cultural Center of India
6641 Iron Bridge Parkway