Archive for October 2009
The intense sprint across the Commonwealth ended in Richmond Saturday night for Democratic nominee for Governor Creigh Deeds. Sen. Deeds greeted an active group of volunteers at his coordinated campaign headquarters on Broad Street, with Attorney General nominee Steve Shannon. A visibly tired Deeds, still seemed upbeat and positive and did not seem all that concerned polls show him behind. Instead he focused on a plan that his team has had in place for sometime that he believes has the potential to push him over the top, despite what the polls have to say.
I asked Deeds about a renewed focus on the so-called “surge” voters, people who came out to vote in the historic election of Barack Obama, but that don’t seem as inclined or enthusiastic to come out to vote for him. Deeds said that they have always worked to tap into that group, but starting October 1st they began the process of specifically identifying them and finding ways to get them to the polls. He said that both volunteers and paid staff members will have their boots on the ground getting Deeds voters to the polls.
Here is my entire interview with him, uncut:
I also talked to Steve Shannon, the Democratic nominee for Attorney General, he and his campaign are pushing a story involving his opponent Ken Cuccinelli, where Cuccinelli discussed the AG’s office discrimination policy with the editorial board of the Virginian-Pilot. Their endorsement of Shannon led to a Washington-Post called Cuccinelli’s remarks “bigotry”. Shannon reminded me of that, but wasn’t prepared to call Cuccinelli a bigot himself.
Here is the clip:
Republican candidate for Governor, Bob McDonnell and his GOP ticketmates drew a crowd of more than 300 people at an event in Chesterfield County today (Saturday).
The event was part of the Republican “New Jobs, More Opportunities: It Starts Now!” Statewide Tour. McDonnell and Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and Sen. Ken Cuccinelli all addressed the crowd, encouraging them to continue to keep up their efforts through election day and to not rest on the confidence of polls that show the ticket up by wide margins.
Later tonight, Sen. Creigh Deeds the Democratic nominee will host a similar rally with Attorney General nominee, Steve Shannon at the Democratic Coordinated Campaign office in Richmond.
The crowd was excited to greet McDonnell as his “New Jobs, New Opportunities” RV rolled into the parking lot and remained enthusiastic throughout all the speeches given by the candidates. McDonnell’s speech didn’t reveal much new information, instead just sticking to his traditional campaign talking points, as well as dishing up some key red state rhetoric, for the clearly Republican crowd.
Here is an example of what McDonnell talked about to get the crowd fired up:
Note the excitement McDonnell created when he hammered the federal government and proposed the idea of drilling offshore for oil.
McDonnell will stump in a number of different corners of the state tomorrow and won’t return to the Richmond area until Monday, where his team is promising the biggest rally of the campaign that is expected to be held at an airport hanger at Richmond International Airport.
It is a classic line from a politician, and like clockwork, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling found the perfect opportunity to deliver it, as reports emerge that of the three statewide races in Virgina, his might be the most competitive.
During an event today in Richmond with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his Republican ticketmates, Bolling told our Tara Morgan that the only poll he is concerned about is the “final poll” that will take place on Election Day.
With more and more evidence that the chances that Creigh Deeds will pull off an amazing 11th hour comeback are unlikely, frisky Democrats are looking at their down ballot races hoping that Jody Wagner or Steve Shannon might be able to benefit from Virginia’s history of splitting tickets in statewide races. Their hunger has left them pointing to a little read private poll from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) that shows the race for Lt. Governor between Wagner and Bolling within a couple of points of each other.
Despite that fact that virtually every public poll has shown Bolling with as close to a comfortable lead as McDonnell has at the top of the ticket, many on the left are holding on to hope that voters have not taken the time to closely look at the LG’s race and that perhaps, in an effort to balance the ticket they will choose Wagner. Democrats took heart in a recent transfer of $25,000 from the McDonnell to the Bolling campaign as evidence that Republicans were getting nervous. (McDonnell has since transferred another $10,000 and Bolling has also received more than $130,000 from the RPV and another $54,000 from the Republican Leadership Committee) Bolling told us today that, he is working hard up until the last day, but hasn’t seen this mysterious poll and he wouldn’t put much stock in it anyway.
Here are his remarks:
As for the Democrats, Wagner stated to me emphatically last week that she is not distancing herself from the Deeds campaign, despite the fact that she reached out to a liberal blogger, looking to clarify where she stands on the public option portion of the proposed health care reform plan. (A stance that even now still seems a bit murky) She continues to be advertising heavily on television and spoke at the rally on Tuesday featuring President Obama.
The Wilder School of Government at Virginia Commonwealth University just released a poll that gives Republican Bob McDonnell an 18 point lead in the race for Governor, with less than a week to go.
Here is the breakdown:
The numbers include so called “leaners”, who have yet to say they are definitely voting for a candidate, but are leaning in on direction.
One nugget from the poll that I found interesting: “Nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) likely voters see McDonnell as conservative or very conservative, while 16 percent call him moderate.” Yet, despite McDonnell’s clear conservative leanings, independent voters, according to this poll, are breaking for the Republican 56-29. It is perhaps even more evidence that the Deeds camp attack of McDonnell’s controversial masters thesis, never stuck.
The full release from the poll can be found after the jump..
They may not have the swagger or will bring the kind of crowds that the President of the United States can, but today Republican Gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell should get a pretty good injection of free media from GOP heavyweights Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. The former Mayor of New York City and the former Governor of Massachusetts are both former and potential candidates for President and they have the potential to excite die-hard Republicans as we head down the homestretch.
It appears that in the waning days of the campaign, national Republicans are doing whatever they can to be a part of McDonnell’s success. Both Giuliani and Romney have stumped for McDonnell in the past and both have multiple events planned today. Giuliani, won’t even be with the candidate himself. McDonnell has appeared with at least 5 different prospective GOP presidential nominees over the course of the campaign. Yesterday he got another boost from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who raised $75,000 at a breakfast in Newport News. (Huckabee was in town to deliver the keynote address for a Virginia conservative political action group)
The closest Giuliani will be to Richmond is Fredericksburg, Romney will make a stop with McDonnell here in the Capital City. Their full schedules can be found after the jump.
Here is my report from NBC12 News at 11 on President Barack Obama‘s visit to Norfolk on behalf of Creigh Deeds.
It is perhaps the last chance for Creigh Deeds to turn around his campaign for Governor. This afternoon, the President of the United States will headline a rally for the Democratic nominee at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. Despite Barack Obama‘s visible support at a rally that is certain to get heavy media attention, Deeds is still running uphill against polls that show the race slipping away and indications that the White House isn’t interested in tying itself too closely to his campaign.
Yesterday, the Washington Post released a poll that showed the Republican Bob McDonnell with an 11 point lead. A poll released by Survey USA this morning, shows McDonnell up 17 points and finally Public Policy Polling‘s numbers have the GOP nominee up 15. The latest Real Clear Politics average has McDonnell up by double-digit margins and it doesn’t include the two polls released this morning.
In addition to McDonnell’s commanding lead, all three polls show healthy leads for the down-ballot Republicans as well.
But it is not just ugly poll numbers that the Deeds campaign woke up to this morning that threatens to put a damper on what should be a key moment in the campaign. In addition to a heavily read story last week by the Washington Post that featured anonymous White House staffers distancing the President from Deed’s troubles, today many Democrats are pushing the internal data from the Washington Post poll that indicates that Virginia voters don’t blame Barack Obama if Creigh Deeds isn’t successful.
It is not the kind of story, you’d expect Democrats to be touting if they thought today’s rally with the President was the key to the Deeds comeback with only one week to go.
The Deeds/Obama rally is set to start around 5pm this evening. We will have complete coverage on NBC12 during our early evening newscasts and a wrap of the event tonight at 11pm.