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Observations From the Virginia Race That is in No Way a Referendum on Obama

1:20 PM, Nov 3, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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The Virginia governor's race has a history of going to the candidate of the party out of power, so a McDonnell win there is not as big a win as a Christie win in New Jersey would be, but the sheer dominance of McDonnell in this race- in almost all demographic groups, on almost all issues, and on energy, tone, and style, where the Obama influence should have lifted Deeds-utterly refute the idea that Obama was able to move the state from red to blue for the long haul. And further, that smart Republican candidates are learning lessons from 2008, and adopting practices to capitalize on the political climate.

In a reversal of last year, it will be the energy of the Republican electorate, right-leaning Independents, and McDonnell's campaign this year that likely will lift Republican down-ticket candidates to wins. PPP reported numbers that portend a sweep for Republicans in the gubernatorial, Lt. Governor (Bill Bolling), and Attorney General (Ken Cuccinelli) races.

Given all that, it's not surprising the Obama White House has been going to great lengths to distance itself from the Deeds campaign even as Obama was doing a rally in Norfolk for the Bath Democrat.

For his part, Deeds says he didn't push the president away:

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds said Monday that he hadn't distanced himself from President Obama, even as senior Democrats in the state complained about the difficult political winds blowing in from across the Potomac River.

"I absolutely did not push the president away," Deeds said before addressing a vote-rich retirement community in the northern Virginia suburb of Springfield.

Just two data points while you're listening to Democrats say this race had absolutely nothing to do with the president. 1) This mailer:

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And, this TV ad. Now, let's play a little game called, "Find Creigh Deeds in his own ads:"

Good luck! It may take a while. The bottom line is Deeds and Obama asked Virginia to elect a Democrat just because they did it last year. And, Virginians are probably going to say, "no thanks" three times over.

Update: And, another one for you. "Stand With President Obama" in this election that has nothing to do with Obama.