Waldo, Blueweeds, McAuliffe goes negative, Moran will win

There's nothing more that I like than a truth teller, even in the face of the odds being against you. We've got less than two weeks before the Virginia election.

Two Virginia bloggers tell it like it is today.

Waldo Jaquith:

There's really nothing about McAuliffe's candidacy that I like. That he's made it this far boggles the mind. That he's leading the polls makes me fear for the sanity of the populace.

It's particularly stunning to me that some of my friends are supporting McAuliffe, and would like me to do likewise. It's as if they've discovered Scientology, and are trying to recruit me. If you'd just go to an auditor, I could get you right with Xenu, I just know I could! It's totally incomprehensible to me. Maybe there's a form of Toxoplasmosis native to McAuliffe?

Brian Moran I like. Creigh Deeds I like a lot. There are a bunch of reasons why I think Deeds would do better in the general election than Moran, and I won't belabor those, but the point is that I'd be proud to have either of them as the Democratic nominee, and I could get behind either one of them. The point here is that I'm not demonizing McAuliffe as a political opponent. I genuinely think he's an ass. Because he is.

Vote for Creigh Deeds. Failing that, vote for Brian Moran. Failing that, don't vote. Instead, consider Scientology.

And Blueweeds, following his enthusiastic endorsement of Brian Moran:

Another point. I have closely followed the posts of my colleagues in the "progressive netroots blogosphere" and attended campaign events targeted specifically at the blogging community.  I found most of their endorsements and arguments particularly un-compelling.  Too often the arguments were written from a political operatives point of view.  That is, the positions taken were focused on who could win the election and why ... rather than on the much more important point of who should win and why.  One of the benefits of being a grassroots truth-as-you-see-it blogger is that you do not (and should not) give a rip about campaign operation realities.  Just tell your readers what you see as a progressive advocate and leave operational work to the campaign drones and wannabes.

Last point, which I am intentionally understating.  I have seen the political elephant (figuratively and literally) and very little shocks me about politics.  But I find myself deeply disquieted by the political tactics used by a small but important group of "progressive netroots" bloggers who endorsed and/or work for the McAuliffe campaign.  Look.  No virgins here.  But I saw what you did, and I believe it has done real damage to the Democratic Party of Virginia.

Yes, Terry McAuliffe, who promised an all positive campaign, went negative this week, sending out a deceptive and dishonest mailer attacking both Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds. He's desperate, and we can beat him. Politico has three stories on it today, one of which I linked to on Twitter while swatting off the McAuliffe hustlers.

Brian Moran had a terrific fundraiser over at Ethel Kennedy's famed Hickory Hill estate. My WebStrong partner had 'the quote' in the WaPost about it: "The Kennedy mystique--this is it," said Moran supporter and website designer Todd Webster, as he stood on the home's back porch, drink in hand, gazing down the home's sloping green lawn. "Imagine playing touch football on that yard."

And via Salon (McAuliffe offered money to get me off ballots--whoa!), from Ralph Nader, in an interview with the Washington Post, said that then-Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe approached him with a deal: Money that would help him campaign in 31 states in exchange for a promise to get out of the race in 19 other states. Who you gonna believe, Ralph Nader or Terry McAuliffe?  I wouldn't put my money near the huckster, that's for sure.

I went out with a few fellow colleagues and put up Brian Moran signs in NoVA between the Potomac and the Richmond Hwy yesterday, from old town Alexandria to Mt Vernon. I haven't done that since '04 in Iowa for Dean. I love working for Brian Moran. I read crap put out by detractors about how he's not a great candidate, which is a bunch of bs. I know the guy pretty well, and he's in a select class with Mark Warner and Howard Dean as far as I'm concerned, because he actually just wants to govern well, not just sell himself off like some cheapass political celebrity stunt to win an ego-fulfilling election.

Speaking of Mark Warner: I believe he needs to come out and be the Big Dog of Virginia that he is, and endorse for Governor.  

So do a lot of national bloggers. It's time to get off the fence (or just notice there's a battle going on over here) and tell your Virginia readers the truth about Terry McAuliffe; because while many Virginians have figured out this guy over the past few months, we've had a history of in the netroots against his brand of politics the entire decade to date, and that needs to be reminded.

Update [2009-5-29 0:1:27 by Jerome Armstrong]:

John Nichols: "McAuliffe is asking the Democrats of Virginia to nominate him for a position of public trust. If he does not have a better explanation than the one that has so far been offered, there can and will be serious questioning of whether he's got that ought to be expected of major-party nominee and a governor."

The Operative Word: "I’d call this the worst day of the Terry McAuliffe campaign for governor."

Jim Severt: "Why Moran Will Win It on the 9th …and November 3rd"

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PPP poll out for Virginia: single-digit race

New PPP poll, via New Dominion Project:

               05/22   05/05   03/30   03/01   02/01
McAuliffe   29       30        18        21        18
Moran       20       20        22        19        18
Deeds       20       14        15        14        11
Undec.      31       36        45        46        53

Its getting closer, and can get closer, as I think it will. McAuliffe got a bump from going up on the air, Deeds has now followed, and is Moran next?

The overall trend happening in the VA Gov race:

Also, while almost all the polls have Brian around 20%-22% and Terry at 29%-37%, they're all over the place for Creigh, ranging from 13% (Research 2000) to 26% (SurveyUSA), with the PPP poll right in the middle. Who knows?

The analysis by Kenton Ngo, as well as Joel McDonald, are both worth reading up on. As for Deeds, well, his supporters like Waldo Jaquith are estactic today... but Moran supporters will have their day on June 9th.

The thing that I notice in this PPP poll is McAuliffe's sky-high negatives with the young and the Democratic base. Among voters younger than 45, McAuliffe's negatives are a whopping 53 percent. Among the voters that voted in either of the '05, '06, or '07 primary, McAuliffe has a 33% positive to 41% negative ratio. That's just abysmal.

Also among those same '05-'07 voters, the race winds up being:

Deeds     26
McAuliffe 23
Moran     21
Its the voters that only participated in '08, where McAuliffe has a strong lead (which gives him the overall advantage):
McAuliffe 34
Moran     20
Deeds     16
The sample of this poll has 52% of the electorate being those who only voted in the '08 primary, which is very high, and that favors McAuliffe. It's tough to see McAuliffe going any higher given he's already saturated coverage, and has such high negatives, which is why he depends on a group of voters outside the typical Democratic primary voters (which only he has had the money to influence for poll standing).

For Deeds, outside of NoVA, he captured undecideds that could go to McAuliffe or Moran with this bounce, but how does he get into NoVA where he trails so badly? It seems a stretch to think Deeds has a lot of upside in NoVA, given he has no presence or paid media in the region to date. Word of mouth of the conservative Democrat's endorsement by the WaPost is not going to be a viral typhoon either. But he's certain to go a bit higher than 11% you'd think.

Moran leads in NoVA (40%), but trails in third everywhere else. The good news there though, is that paid media is starting for him now, and its much cheaper to buy outside NoVA-- Moran has a lot of upside that's in reach during the last two weeks.

I could see this race having all three candidates in the 30's with the final margins.

There's more...

R2000 poll of VA Dem primary

Markos blogged the results from the R2K poll, in which McAuliffe has taken a fair lead:

Democratic Primary

Brian Moran (D) 22 (24)
Terry McAuliffe (D) 36 (19)
Creigh Deeds (D) 13 (16)

It basically mimics the other findings of the recent SUSA polls, that had McAuliffe at 38, then 37. Understand that McAuliffe was able, because of his fundraising, to start running ads and mailers, for the past two months.

The poll is terrible news for Creigh Deeds, because he began running heavy television two weeks ago, after laying off half his staff. For Moran, his numbers are hopefully in line for a bounce, with the campaign starting its running of ads this week. The best hope for beating McAuliffe is with a bounce by Moran with his ads and mailings now starting.

No doubt, Terry has a lead, but the fact that he has spent more money than anyone in VA for a primary ever, already, and that he hasn't been able to put this away, shows that he has a clear ceiling and Moran has plenty of room to grow his numbers and catch him by June 9th.

There's a trend beginning to show across all the polls that McAuliffe may be peaking too early, as his lead slipped from 16% to 11% from April to May, in the SUSA poll. With 29% still undecided in the R2000 poll, its still up for grabs.

We'll have one other poll out this week; PPP is due with results soon. I've read that it will show the race even closer, and it will also highlight the difficulty of polling the turnout for this election.

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Moran: the Truth about the McAuliffe Record

Here was the line in the VA Democratic debate that I live-blogged earlier, from Brian Moran toward Terry McAuliffe:
"You said you have created a hundred thousand jobs, but the truth is you haven't. You say you built five Virginia businesses, but the Washington Post said they were run out of your home and never created a single Virginia job. You claim you'll look out for people's jobs, but as a consultant to Global Crossing's CEO and as a Board Member of Telergy, you walked away with 20 million dollars while over 10,000 people lost their jobs."
All true.


Terry replied by preaching about how any discussion of his record was "divisive politics" and "personal destruction" to talk about his past.


Huh? It's his record! As Brian Moran closed out by saying: "We each have records that tell you not just how we will govern, but about our character as well."


The Moran campaign put out a PR backing up that quote with the facts about Terry McAuliffe's record mentioned above (in the extended).

This TV ad just went live in Virginia:

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VA Gov Thread

I'll be blogging here (and twittering) during the final VA Democratic Governor's primary debate.

Live video of the event is on the Washington Post.

btw, yesterday we launched the phonebanking tool on OrganizeVirginia.com, which allows supporters to call from anywhere, and get points for the actions too.

Update [2009-5-19 14:19:40 by Jerome Armstrong]:
This debate is sponsored by the Washington Post, they've got the whole front row of the press here. But, I can tell you already that its not as free-wheeling a debate as the Netroots sponsored one a few weeks ago, still over on UStream.
Update [2009-5-19 14:19:40 by Jerome Armstrong]:
Questions about jobs dominates the early going. The WaPost is also live-blogging: 2:10 p.m.: Okay, 10 minutes in and we're getting our first Moran push back to McAuliffe. To McAuliffe's claims that he's created 100,000s of new jobs: "C'mon, Terry." Seriously. Q: how many jobs has McAuliffe created in Virginia? Answer here.
Update [2009-5-19 14:51:29 by Jerome Armstrong]:
Back and forth on Marshall-Newman Amendment, Terry McAuliffe will claim he's for civil unions but then says he doesn't have the time to repeal the bad laws; "lets be honest" says Terry, more or less saying that civil union issues don't matter to voters. Equality for all does matter to voters though, especially in the Democratic Primary-- I think a bit more than McAuliffe thinks it does.
Update [2009-5-19 14:51:29 by Jerome Armstrong]:
On the issue of taking donations from Dominion Electric, its classic McAuliffe. He boasts about how he doesn't take their corporate money. What he doesn't tell you is that he takes money from Dominion Electric executives through fundraisers at their homes! Got that?
Update [2009-5-19 14:51:29 by Jerome Armstrong]:
McAuliffe is trying to say that its "devisive politics" to talk about his record of not creating any jobs in VA, and in fact walking away from companies like Global Crossing & Telegy with millions while thousands lost jobs. We know that McAuliffe was lying about creating businesses with jobs in Virginia. The Washington Post does a fact check: no jobs.
Update [2009-5-19 14:51:29 by Jerome Armstrong]:
Deeds finally goes after McAuliffe about the multiple promises that he provides on the campaign trail. Apparently, it includes things like a "gymnasium in Fredricksburg". Lordy. Terry says he'll fulfill the pledge.

Recap: The debate was just one hour, and the format of cutting off the candidates after what seemed like 15 seconds was horrible. It seemed tough for the candidates to get anything across. Aside from the back and forth, I came away from it getting a message from Brian Moran, along the lines of 'I have the Virginia experience to make the big changes' and from Terry McAuliffe of 'out of the box big ideas to solve the problems' but of Creigh Deeds, I don't recall a single memorable thing he said, and came away with no distilled campaign message. Deeds just doesn't cut through in another debate dominated by the back and forth between Moran and McAuliffe, while they both push across their campaign messages.

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