The polls closed a little over two hours ago and it appears the Sen. Creigh Deeds has won a huge victory in his campaign for governor. According to Politico, the Associated Press called the race for Deeds when 65% of the vote was reported. At that point, Deeds had 50% of the vote. I’ve seen some speculation on Twitter tonight from “Not Larry Sabato” that our nominee may end up winning every Congressional district in the Commonwealth.
By any measure, this is an impressive victory. Sen. Deeds enters the general election campaign with the support of the majority of Virginia Democrats and he is well positioned to defeat Republican nominee Bob McDonnell in the fall.
While I didn’t support Sen. Deeds’s opponents, both of them — Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe — brought thousands of new voters into their campaigns and into Virginia Democratic politics. For that I congratulate them both. That is a contribution to Virginia that will pay dividends for Democrats for many elections to come.
Now I know for some of you who supported Moran and McAuliffe, tonight’s news is a tough pill to swallow. It’s never a good feeling to lose an election or work for a losing campaign. (Trust me, I’ve been in your shoes more times than I can remember.) I know that the Democratic Party of Virginia has organized a unity rally — that’s a good idea I suppose — but I am experienced to know that a few of you will be so disheartened, you won’t be able to support Sen. Deeds in the fall.
In my view, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad Democrat. Most of you have serious and honest policy disagreements with Mr. Deeds. The rap from his critics within the Democratic party is that Creigh Deeds is too conservative. I personally view his record differently, but I am more of a centrist Democrat.
I hope that in time, as you get to know him, you will come around. I certainly hope you won’t give your vote to Bob McDonnell. The idea of Gov. Bob McDonnell ought to give all Virginians serious pause.
As for tonight, take a break from the news coverage and the blogs. We’ve got plenty of time to pull together our Democratic coalition for victory in the fall.