Let’s start with the poll’s likely voter model.
31% of the electorate is Democratic and is overwhelmingly supporting Deeds.
30% of the electorate is Republican and is overwhelmingly supporting McDonnell.
34% of the elect0rate is independent and is supporting McDonnell 61% to 36%
What Can Deeds Do?
The bad news is that the independents are essentially lost. Their minds are made up.
On almost all issues related to fiscal responsibility, taxes and the handling of the economy, McDonnell has an insurmountable lead.
Deeds gambit that he could support a tax increase for transportation as the first initiative of his governorship has turned out to be a colossal misjudgment.
Essentially, it’s become the No Car Tax campaign in reverse.
At a time when the public is increasingly anxious about the overall economy and worried about excessive government spending, Deeds’ position of potentially supporting Taxes Now for roads (described by many state editorial pages as realistic and courageous) has been a disaster and the harm among independents is irreparable.
But there is one glimmer of hope.
The poll’s internals show that Democrats retain a large 9 point advantage over Republicans in the party identification of registered voters in Virginia.
Yet because of the enthusiasm gap in the election, the poll shows that the Democrats have only a 1 point advantage over Republicans in likely voters.
If the Democrats GOTV effort resulted in an electorate that reflected the partisan dispositions of registered voters, this would be a much closer contest (and make the downticket races very interesting).
To be candid, there has not been much evidence to date that this will occur.
But’s it is Deeds’ final option.
And he has to hope that Barack Obama can get it rolling on Tuesday.