Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Virginia: Could McDonnell lead first GOP sweep since Gilmore's '97 victory?

Bob McDonnell, Republican gubernatorial candidate in Virginia, has led in the polls since June and, if his 19-point lead in Tuesday's Survey USA poll is any indication, November 3 may be the first time since 1997 that Republicans sweep the Commonwealth's top three offices.

Remember 1997? Jim Gilmore's 56%-to-43% coattails led to a sweep for Republicans, landing John Hager in the Lt. Governor spot and Mark Earley as Attorney General. That election was historic for Virginia's Republicans.

The Washington Post reported at the time:
Jubilant Republicans came ready to celebrate the historic night, propping a broom against the elevated podium, cheering when Hager broke out of a tight race, erupting when Earley was declared the winner, and breaking out cigars by 9 p.m. The GOP victories mean that for the first time since Reconstruction, no Democrat will hold any of the three statewide offices in Virginia's government.

"It's the most impressive showing by Republican candidates in modern times in Virginia," said Merle Black, political scientist at Emory University. "There's no other southern state where Republicans hold all statewide positions. . . . It's historic. It's a breakthrough."
Could history happen again?

Creigh Deeds, who came from behind to win the Democratic Primary in June after a surprise endorsement by the Washington Post, enjoyed a brief bubble of popularity ... and then fell behind in the polls. Even a flap about Bob McDonnell's long-ago thesis that was the subject of continuous coverage by the Post couldn't get Deeds' numbers above the Republican nor this week's endorsement from the WaPo. Mr. McDonnell has led all polls since June.

Democrat President Barack Obama may be helping to push the Republican numbers higher as he and his Democratic Congress jam ever-expanding government programs down the throats of unwilling, freedom-loving Virginians. Independents who are upset at both Parties are turning to Republicans as the better choice.

So are Virginians sending a message to the Democrats in Washington?

Political Wire hints at a blowout in Virginia. Deeds' last debate Tuesday night with Bob McDonnell left disgruntled Democrat bloggers when he did not agree with some issues proposed by the president.

Mike, likening Deeds to the Titanic, links to Jeffersoniad bloggers who opine about the poll numbers. DJ McGuire takes time out of campaigning to study the internals of the Survey USA poll.

Even Ben Tribbett's Tuesday tweet was ominous:
"Creigh Deeds is going to lose this election so badly that Democrats downballot will wish it was Mary Sue Terry on the ticket."

Polls the past week have consistently shown Bob McDonnell with a solid lead. From Real Clear Politics:
Oct. 8 - WaPo: McDonnell +9
Oct. 11 - Mason-Dixon: McDonnell +8
Oct. 13 - Rasmussen: McDonnell +7
Oct. 20 - Virginian-Pilot/CNU: McDonnell +14
Oct. 20 - Clarus Research: McDonnell +8
Oct. 21 - SurveyUSA: McDonnell +19
And so we enter the final days of Campaign 2009.

Bob McDonnell for Governor
Bill Bolling for Lt. Governor
Ken Cuccinelli for Atty. General

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