Creigh Deeds was endorsed by the Bristol Herald Courier this morning. The editorial board of the paper had good things to say about both Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe, but threw their support to Deeds. They write in part:
…we believe Deeds is best suited, with his 18 years of experience building relationships across Virginia and a deep understanding of rural challenges. Deeds, 51, is from Bath County, where he served as commonwealth’s attorney before being elected to the state Senate.
He puts transportation improvements high on his agenda – an obvious need across Virginia, a state that once led the nation for its quality system. Booming growth has clogged both commerce and commuters. Deeds says if elected governor he will focus on transportation improvements, including rail initiatives, early in his term while momentum is high.
We also like his commitment to making higher education more accessible and affordable for more families and his plans to invest in job-training programs that focus on technology. Both are dire needs in our region, where students need additional training and education but where funds for college and training programs often come up short.
When Deeds talks about consensus and working with other regions of the state, he does it with years of practice and the clear understanding that it involves
compromise. Building consensus is the only way to real progress, he told the editorial board. “If you never build consensus, you never move forward.”
Rural legislators need the support and clout of those in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, he stressed. We believe Deeds is the Democratic candidate with the most relationships built across the state.
The Herald Courier gets at one of things I like about Deeds — the broad level of support he enjoys across the state. While Moran and McAuliffe have both raised more money in Northern Virginia, Deeds has raised money from counties and cities in Virginia where the other two have no support.
I also think Deeds is a more of a consensus candidate than the other two. While I am confident of his ability to win over GOP and independent voters, McAuliffe and Moran would have a harder time of that. For either of them to duplicate the wins of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, they will have to drive up the turnout of the Democratic base.
Some will argue that Barack Obama’s win last November is proof that Virginia has turned Democratic blue. It hasn’t in my view.
Obama managed a win against a flawed GOP nominee by producing a massive turnout from the African-American community while coupling it with GOP and independent voters who only turn out for presidential elections every four years.
The election this November won’t be decided by the same electorate, but rather by one which is more conservative in its outlook. Meanwhile, our Democratic nominee will be running against a Republican who doesn’t mention his party affiliation in his television ads. In yesterday’s acceptance speech at the state Republican convention, GOP nominee Bob McDonnell only mentioned abortion once and failed to mention his opposition to gay marriage.
It’s clear that the GOP Bob McDonnell understands where Virginia’s fall electorate is.
The question is, do Moran and McAuliffe supporters Virginia’s Democrats?