RGA congratulates McDonnell
From the Republican Governors Association…
RGA Congratulates Bob McDonnell
The Republican Governors Association congratulated Bob McDonnell for winning the Virginia governor’s race tonight.
“Bob McDonnell’s victory gives Republicans tremendous momentum heading into 2010,” said RGA Chairman Haley Barbour. “Virginia is an important swing state that had been trending blue for twelve years.”
“Bob McDonnell proves that when Republicans campaign on solutions to the challenges on voters’ minds, we win,” Barbour continued. “His focus on ideas and pocketbook issues will serve as a model for Republicans running next year.”
Virginians last elected a Republican governor in 1997. Since that time, the state has added one million new residents, nearly half of whom reside in Northern Virginia. Between 2006 and 2008, Democrats picked up both U.S. Senate seats and control of the state senate. Their gains culminated in President Obama winning the state in last year’s presidential election – the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Virginia since 1964.
“The RGA knew winning Virginia was essential to the rebuilding of our Party,” RGA Vice Chairman Tim Pawlenty said. “That’s why we invested nearly $5.5 million in this race and made it a top priority.”
The RGA contributed $2 million directly to Bob McDonnell’s campaign last spring, allowing him to air positive television ads during May sweeps. In September, the RGA invested $1.5 million in television ads in all the media markets except Washington, D.C. that highlighted Creigh Deeds bragging about being the biggest spender in Richmond, and his plan to hike taxes. After flipping Deeds’ image by close to twenty points in all markets except D.C., the RGA began executing a $1.8 million ad campaign in October in the Washington, D.C. media market. The Washington Post called the RGA’s ads “devastating.” The RGA also contributed $100,000 for critical get-out-the-vote efforts in the campaign’s final days.
“The pressure was on the Democrats this year to hold onto Virginia, but Americans are wary of their massive lurch to the left,” Pawlenty said. “Bob McDonnell proved that a positive, idea-based, message works, and that voters in a swing state will follow someone who pledges to keep taxes low and keep the free enterprise system intact.”