Yesterday, I offered my first impressions about why Republican Bob McDonnell is so handily beating Democrat Creigh Deeds in Virginia. Here are some additional lessons that Republicans and Democrats are learning.
1. Culture Warriorism Don't Work.
At least not in this environment. Deeds's internal polling showed that
the number one issue, by far, for voters across state but in Northern
Virginia in particular, was the economy, jobs and infrastructure
improvement. This is no different than in previous elections, but the
salience of these issues were all the more acute. Virginia remains the
best place to do business (says CNBC) and its unemployment rate is the lowest in the nation. No surprise that Bob McDonnell focused his
ads, like a laser beam, on these issues without referring to the
2. Don't Bite The Hands That Feed You. Deeds's campaign was upset at national Democrats who endorsed Terry McAuliffe during the primaries and resisted their offers of help early on. This help might have given Deeds some momentum in the early summer, when his campaign went virtually silent. True, there was some bad blood between Deeds's campaign and key statewide Democrats and strategists in Virginia because Deeds believed that these Dems played a hand in helping to recruit Terry McAuliffe. True. Deeds should have gotten over this.