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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Posts Tagged ‘Steve Shannon

McDonnell and Deeds make closing arguments in Richmond stops

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It was the kind of day you would expect from the two men hoping to be Virginia’s next Governor. Both Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds put together a blistering schedule that took them to all across Virginia. Both pulled out all the stops, with the hopes of grabbing every last second vote until the polls close Tuesday at 7.

McDonnell final richmond rallyMcDonnell made 7 stops across Virginia, alongside Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and Attorney General candidate Ken Cuccinelli. Team McDonnell started near his childhood home in Northern Virginia and finished in Virginia Beach, where he served in the House of Delegates. (McDonnell currently lives in Henrico county)

McDonnell’s second to last stop was here in Richmond where he played to a crowd of a few hundred supporters at a hanger at Richmond International Airport. McDonnell staffers were hoping of a crowd of as many as one thousand people, but  it didn’t get quite that big. McDonnell, who still had one more speech to give and will have a speech of some sort to give tomorrow night was starting to sound a bit hoarse. Something to be expected from the amount of speech the candidate has given over the past few weeks.

deeds final vcu rallyCreigh Deeds made 4 stops across the Commonwealth, starting in Roanoke and concluding in Northern Virginia, where he hopes he gets a huge turnout tomorrow.

Deeds stop in Richmond was a perfect example of the Democrat’s strategy in the final weeks of the campaign. He rallied a group of college students at VCU, along with his ticketmates Jody Wagner and Steve Shannon.  Deeds spoke specifically about how that group of voters played an important role in Tuesday’s election and that an unpredictable surge in turnout could make all the polls taken leading up to tomorrow irrelevant.  He repeated his familiar line “The only poll that matters is the one that is taken on Tuesday.”

Now that the closing arguments have been made, the get out the vote effort begins.  McDonnell bragged today on the trail that the Republicans have already made hundreds of thousands of phone calls and knocked on hundreds of thousands of doors. Deeds said that they have had a plan in place that just needs to be kicked into gear. All the effort that has been built upon over the 12 plus past months all comes down to tomorrow.

 

Deeds counting on his ground game to pull off upset

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deeds and shannon iiThe 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:

Written by Ryan Nobles

October 31, 2009 at 10:50 pm

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Bolling not concerned about reports that the race for Lt. Governor is close

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romney with gop ticketIt 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.

Written by Ryan Nobles

October 28, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Attorney General candidates debate in Richmond

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The two men vying to be Virginia’s next Attorney General will meet in an afternoon debate today (Thursday) in Richmond. Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Del. Steve Shannon (D) have met in several debates, most of which have received limited media coverage.

The debate starts at 1:15 and takes place at the Omni in the James River Ballroom. The forum is being hosted by the Richmond Bar Association as part of their Bench Bar Conference. The event is a cooperative effort from a number of bar associations in Central Virginia.

The Shannon campaign is going to stream the debate live on the internet if you can’t make it to the Omni. From what I can tell, the webcast is being produced by the Shannon Team. You can check it out by clicking here.

Much like his two Republican ticketmates, Sen. Cuccinelli leads in every single public poll that has been released in the last three weeks. However, conventional wisdom dictates that many Virginians don’t pay very close attention to the down ballot races until closer to election day. With only 12 days to go, this debate could be the first time many voters take the opportunity to get a look at both candidates.

Written by Ryan Nobles

October 22, 2009 at 12:05 pm

McDonnell/GOP Ticket opens wide lead in new poll

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While much fodder has been made over a series of polls taken in the race for Governor most of them have been open to skepticism because of their method for gathering the information. Many of these polls were conducted via automated means, which is still widely debated as an appropriate statistical gathering mechanism.

Often times, reputable national mainstream media outlets would report on the polling in the race and would use a caveat when describing the numbers, because of the use of that method. It would lead them back to the last Washington Post poll conducted last month that showed the race as a virtual tie.

That survey will no longer matter, as today the Post released another phone survey, of more than 1,000 Virginia residents that now shows Bob McDonnell and his Republican ticketmates leading by 9 points. In addition to the encouraging news for Republicans in the overall numbers, the insider numbers show McDonnell shrinking the gap he once had with female voters, increasing his lead with independents and running competitively in Northern Virginia. There is very little that could be considered encouraging for the campaign of Creigh Deeds.

This latest poll, now gives McDonnell an 8.5% lead in the new average of public polling data gathered by Real Clear Politics.

However, this by no means indicates the race is over. Deeds, you will recall trailed by similar numbers in the Democratic primary before pulling ahead in the 11th hour and the candidates have two more debates on the docket before the final vote on November 3rd.  Deeds officials continue to say that their internal polling numbers show a race far more competitive than the public polling would indicate.

Here is a breakdown in all three statewide races according to the Washington Post poll:

Governor
Bob McDonnell (R)        53%
Creigh Deeds (D)    44%

Lt. Governor
Bill Bolling (R)                49%
Jody Wagner (D)           40%

Attorney General
Ken Cuccinelli (R)         49%
Steve Shannon (D)       40%

Candidates for Attorney General Debate

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The candidates for Attorney General, Sen. Ken Cuccinelli and Del. Steve Shannon will meet tonight (Wednesday) in a debate in Northern Virginia. This will be their second debate in less then a week. The two sparred on WTOP radio last Friday morning.

The Debate is being held at the Prince William County campus of George Mason University. The event is being hosted by the Prince William Committee of 100 and is set to start at 7:30pm.

The liberal blog, Blue Commonwealth, is hosting a live stream of the debate, which you can find here.

Written by Ryan Nobles

October 7, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Shannon benefits from groups splitting endorsements

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It may not be at the point where it can be described as an outright trend, but there is certainly a pattern of Democratic Attorney General candidate Del. Steve Shannon, benefiting from advocacy groups splitting their endorsements among parties in his favor.

In general, most endorsement announcements from major advocacy groups are rarely a surprise. Pro-business groups generally get behind Republicans, pro-labor groups behind Democrats and so on and so on.  From time to time, these groups will surprise people by braking ranks, like for instance when the National Rifle Association supported Creigh Deeds in 2005 in the race for Attorney General.

However in 2009, a number of groups that can be objectively described as “pro-business” have decided to support Bob McDonnell for Governor, and then Steve Shannon for Attorney General. McDonnell has heavily touted his support from the business community and used many of these endorsements as an example of that success. In a recent release announcing the support of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, McDonnell said the endorsement was noteworthy because “This campaign is about who is best prepared to lead an economic resurgence in Virginia in the years ahead as our next governor.”

Generally these organizations who focus on the economy don’t focus as much on the race for Attorney General, but the Shannon campaign has made an aggressive push to garner that support, particularly with organizations in Northern Virginia. The results have paid off as these groups have stuck with the top of the GOP ticket, but then have reached out to give Shannon their support instead of Sen. Ken Cuccinelli.

Here are at least 5 examples where endorsements have gone to McDonnell and Shannon:
Virginia Realtors Association
Associated Builders & Contractors
Northern Virginia Technology Council
Fairfax Chamber of Commerce
Virginia Credit Union League

In addition to these 5 endorsements, Shannon also seemed to at least be in the running for the support of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, before they ultimately endorsed Cuccinelli several weeks after they endorsed in the race for Governor and Lt. Governor.  The NFIB eventually said that Cuccinelli had their “whole-hearted” support.

Cuccinelli’s campaign disagrees that there is any sort of trend and pointed to the Senator’s lengthy list of endorsements from a wide variety of groups including the NRA, The Farm Bureau and the very important nod, (especially in an Attorney General’s race) of The Fraternal Order of Police. Furthermore, Cuccinelli’s campaign claims that Shannon is working hard to play up these endorsements as a way to hide his major support from big union interests.  Shannon does have the support of the SEIU and the AFL-CIO and has received around $150,000 in donations from union based groups.

While this at first, this seems like good news for Shannon, it does come with a caveat for Democrats. If he is the only Democrat receiving that support it could mean one of two things. 1- These groups don’t support policies that democratic voters agree with but do support him or 2-If he is the only Democrat earning this support, that means the top of the ticket has problems.

It is worth noting that when touting these endorsements Shannon comes very close to tying himself to the Republican nominee for Governor.  In the press release touting the Northern Virginia Technology Council endorsement  the Shannon campaign pointed out that “The NVTC endorsement comes just two days after the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce’s NOVABizPAC announced its formal support of Shannon’s candidacy. Both groups offered endorsements to members of both parties this year, endorsing Shannon alongside Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell.”

How do Democrats feel about Steve Shannon being lauded “alongside” the current Republican standard bearer?

Shannon and Cuccinelli of course continue to fight for headlines in a hot governor’s race, but tomorrow will meet in a high profile debate on WTOP radio. The debate starts at 10am and will be streamed live on WTOP’s web site. You can listen here.

Written by Ryan Nobles

October 1, 2009 at 9:50 pm

New poll confirms competitive race for Governor (updated)

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Yet another poll released today shows the race for Governor of Virginia has become tight. Public Policy Polling, which at one point had Republican Bob McDonnell with a lead of as much as 7 points, now has his lead shrunk to only 5 points. The survey gives McDonnell an advantage only slightly outside the margin of error.

While this poll confirms a promising trend for Democrat Creigh Deeds, there has yet to be a poll that shows him with a lead.  (The Real Clear Politics average shows McDonnell with a lead of little more than 4 points)

According to PPP, Deeds has room to grow. A large pool of undecided voters describe themselves as Democrats and there is evidence that a recently lackluster crowd of Dems are finally starting to warm up to the idea of voting for Deeds in November. On the flip side, McDonnell still enjoys a wide margin of support among Independent voters and female voters do not seemed to be impacted greatly by the revelation of the candidate’s master’s thesis.

The news is not as good for down ballot Democrats. Both Jody Wagner and Steve Shannon trail Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli,  respectively by margins consistent with what they have been over the course of the campaign.

UPDATE:

Not long after PPP released the results of their poll, did Survey USA, and WDBJ-TV released a separate survey with dramatically different results. This poll shows Bob McDonnell, with a comfortable 14 point lead.  Not surprisingly, Republicans are pushing these results and finding problems with the PPP poll.

Here is the breakdown of the numbers of both polls, side by side:

Governor:                 PPP      SURVEY USA

Bob McDonnell (R)-  48%           55%
Creigh Deeds (D)-      43%             41%

Lt. Governor:

Bill Bolling (R)-          43%             54%

Jody Wagner (D)-     35%             41%

Attorney General:

Ken Cuccinelli (R)-     43%           53%

Steve Shannon (D)-    34%           42%

See the full results  of the PPP Poll here.

See the full results of the Survey USA Poll here.

NFIB now gets behind Ken Cuccinelli

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The National Federation of Independent Businesses has finally released their endorsement in the race for Attorney General and they have “whole heartedly” gotten behind the campaign of republican Ken Cuccinelli.

NFIB released their endorsements for Governor and Lt. Governor a little less than a month ago and did not weigh in on the race for AG. At the same time, curiously, Steve Shannon released a statement “thanking” the organization for their consideration after learning he was not going to be endorsed.

Strangely, representatives from the NFIB could not tell me when and if they were going to endorse in the campaign. They basically responded by telling me that would put me on their mailing list for future announcements. Today that announcement came.

Ken Cuccinelli is their candidate and despite the delayed arrival of their support the organization has promised they will do “everything in their power” to help him win. .

You can read the full statement after the jump.

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Written by Ryan Nobles

September 18, 2009 at 10:57 am

The curious case of the NFIB endorsement

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Ryan Nobles – bio | email

This week, The National Federation of Independent Businesses announced their endorsements of statewide candidates in Virginia. The endorsements came with great fanfare.  They were splashed on the group’s website, fired out in press releases and of course, touted by the candidates who earned the support.

There was only one problem, they forgot one.

NFIB, a group that represents small business owners across the country, while non-partisan, generally endorses republicans. It was not much of a surprise that they chose to get behind Bob McDonnell for Governor and Bill Bolling for Lt. Governor. But in the race for Attorney General they did not offer an opinion of any kind.

The situation got strange when Steve Shannon, the democratic candidate for Attorney General released a statement, thanking the NFIB for their “consideration”, even though he learned that he would not receive the endorsement. Privately, Shannon has been working hard to court the endorsement of pro-business groups that traditionally support Republicans. Senior campaign officials have told me “not to be surprised” when the candidate picks up the nod of organizations that go against the top of the democratic ticket. This was evident when the Virginia Association of Realtors picked McDonnell and Bolling, but then broke ranks and endorsed Shannon over his republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli.

But while this “non-endorsement” looks like a minor victory for the Shannon camp, NFIB seems to be holding on to their right to support one of the two candidates before the end of the campaign. A staff member at the NFIB told me that they hadn’t endorsed in the race for Attorney General “yet”.  So far my inquiries looking for more information regarding the endorsement have gone unanswered. If I learn more, I will let you know.

The full statement from Steve Shannon can be found after the jump..

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Written by Ryan Nobles

August 28, 2009 at 11:30 am

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