1. The Post Makes It Official
That the Democratic ticket is trailing badly entering the campaign’s homestretch. The paper’s latest poll has the entire GOP ticket up by 9. It also shows that a clear majority of voters believe that the Deeds campaign has been far more negative than McDonnell’s. This finding undermines the central premise of the Deeds campaign that exposing the “real Bob McDonnell” would be sufficient to carry him to victory. Deeds has a little more than three weeks to construct an affirmative case and carry it to the voters.
2. Whispers Getting Louder
Is a good description of what is happening inside Democratic circles in reaction to Deeds’ falling poll numbers. All the private comments I’ve been hearing for the past month from party activists wound up in front page stories this week. Is there a Democrat who didn’t comment on Deeds’ shortcoming as a candidate- The Governor, Jim Moran, The Obama White House, and Terry McAuliffe all chimed in, none of it laudatory. The prospect of a dispirited Democratic Partycould have extraordinary consequences in Virginia. It’s not even clear that the Democrats understand….
3. How High the Stakes Really Are
If the election was held today, The Democrats would lose all three statewide offices and the Republicans would retain control of the House. In fact, the GOP would be one seat in the Senate away from controlling the entirety of state politics in Richmond. The Senate GOP would immediately begin negotiations with possible Democratic defectors. And Bob McDonnell would be looking for the next Charlie Waddell, a Democrat Senator sitting in a GOP leaning district whose pension could be seriously enhanced by taking a position in a McDonnell administration.
4. Will He or Won’t He?
Come to Virginia again to campaign for Deeds. That’s the question Democrats are asking about President Obama this week. The mere fact that the question is being asked is a good indication of the tensions now exist inside the party about the Deeds campaign. 10 days ago, Lionel Spruill observed that the Wilder non-endorsement was meaningless because people would be saying “Doug Who” when Obama started to campaign extensively for Deeds. As recently as three months ago, it would have been unimaginable that the Virginia Democrats could have had a week as bad as the one they’ve just had.
5. Nervous Confidence
Seems to be the mind-set of Republicans close to the campaigns. Their head tells them that Deeds won’t be able to overcome the deficit in the final three weeks, that all the good options have been foreclosed. But they’re continually pinching themselves. As one high-level Republican told me this week, “we haven’t won anything in so long it’s hard to believe that it is really going to happen.”
6. Webb Calls for Health Care Bill to Be Posted Online
Jim Webb was one of eight Senators that signed a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid asking that any health care bill and its costs be posted online so the public could read it 72 hours before the Senate considers it. The letter observes that “at a time when trust in Congress and the U.S. government is unprecedentedly low, we can begin to rebuild the American people’s faith in their federal government through transparency and by actively inviting Americans to participate in the legislative process.” BRAVO!
7. Too Big To Fail: The VITA Mess
A JLARC report notes that even if the state wanted to respond to the VITA mess by ending its contract with Northrop Grumman it might cost the taxpayers up to $400 million that would have to paid to the company for early termination. During the federal bailout of the financial system, we heard of banks that were too big to fail. It seems that Virginia state government has a contract that’s too big to fail.