thesis

Virginia News Stand: November 16, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations The Biggest Loser Strikes Again

The Washington Post is at it again . . . still! Forget Creigh Deeds, Jody Wagner and Steve Shannon, election night's biggest loser was the Post. It created Deeds with its Democrat primary endorsement of him. His campaign slogan effectively became, "Endorsed by the Washington Post" and its influence over the liberal Northern Virginia base carried him to primary victory. It then became his de facto political consultant, telling him to come clean on his tax increase plans, which he did in a Post op-ed, and coaching him every step of the way. It even gave him his singular line of attack against his Republican opponent — a thesis Bob McDonnell wrote while earning his MBA at Regent University. Now, after a couple of weeks of silence, the Post can't contain itself and is back on the hunt, trying to tie the governor-elect to a comment Regent founder Pat Robertson made about Muslims. Lesson learned number one from the campaign: Don't hire the Washington Post as your campaign advisor. Lesson two: It's a real sore loser.

Elsewhere, we're mentioned in a piece about Governor-elect McDonnell's transition team. One of our board members, Dave Barrett, was named as a transition team senior advisor. Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Jeff Schapiro speculates on whom McDonnell will name as Secretary of Finance, his most important personnel decision, according to Mr. Schapiro. Is House Majority Whip Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights) a contender? The T-D also examines the online advertising aspect of the late campaign — it was among the best, it says. No wonder, there was a lot of material to work with. Also, policies are starting to emerge from the Team McDonnell. Finally, please check out Michael Ramirez's editorial comics at the links below. He's a hoot. Maybe the Post should look them over, laugh . . . and lighten up.

News:

*Gov.-elect McDonnell announces senior advisers to transition team (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell meets House Democrats, stresses common ground (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell eyes health-care changes at state level (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Robertson's remarks put McDonnell in a bind (Washington Post)

Online ads in Va. gubernatorial race 'set the standard' (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Dates set for special Senate primaries; "Debate" held in the 8th today (BearingDrift.com)

Tickets on sale now for Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly in Norfolk (The Daily Press)

Analysis:

Budget boss atop concern (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Editorial Comics:

Pork Flu (Below) (Michael Ramirez/TheWeek.com)

Pelosi & Reid's Miracle Health Care Reform (Michael Ramirez/Townhall.com)

RINO: A Scene From "The Godfather" (Michael Ramirez/Townhall.com)

porkflu

Post Poll: Who Is Bob McDonnell And Why Is He Winning?

The Washington Post poll on the statewide races is out this afternoon, showing the three Republican candidates with rather commanding leads just a few weeks before election day. I'll leave the chest pumping and panicked spinning to the campaigns. But as someone who is fascinated by the media and rather enjoys the give-and-take we have with some of our friends in the capitol press corps, the Post article really fascinates me.

There is not a single line in the entire article about why Bob McDonnell is winning. The entire article is about why Democrat Creigh Deeds is losing . . . amazing. It's like they are stunned and just can't write from the perspective of a Republican leading. The article goes so far as to include yet another quote from somebody who won't vote for McDonnell because of "the thesis." It's as if they think if they yell it a little louder people will care. Let it go. 

Anyway, I'm not one to bash the media in Virginia who follow the campaigns and the General Assembly. Honestly, I think most of them are very good journalists who have a very challenging job. Cynical, some are no doubt. Bias? Probably, at times. But overall, compared to the national media types I've dealt with, they're a good group. 

It really is too bad about the Post, though. Their reporters are incredibly smart and they do good journalism at times. But when Terry McAuliffe is calling them out for carrying water for Creigh Deeds, it's more than just sour grapes.

It's the truth.

Inside The Rasmussen Poll

Here are some key findings of the Rasmussen Poll which shows Republican Bob McDonnell leading Democrat Creigh Deeds by 51-42 percent (see RasussenReports.com for full summary). See how, if at all, it reflects how the Mainstream Media has portrayed the campaign thus far:

» Fifty-one percent of voters now say the thesis is at least somewhat important in affecting for whom they will vote, a negligible change from the last poll.  

» Deeds' tax increase position is more poison to him than the thesis is to McDonnell. By 51-36 percent Virginia voters trust the GOP candidate more on the tax issue, which the GOP is using to hang around Deeds in conjunction with other unpopular Democrat state and national policies.

» By 45-32 percent, voters now trust McDonnell more than Deeds on Virginia's most pressing economic issue, transportation. Previously, voters were split on the two candidates. 

» Fifty-three percent of Virginians view McDonnell favorably; 46 percent view Deeds. That's one point down for McDonnell over the last poll, four down for Deeds. (Going negative brings down the instigator more than the target, sometimes, and that appears to be the case here.) 

» Among those with strong opinions, twenty-nine percent have a very favorable opinion of McDonnell; thirteen percent very unfavorable. For Deeds, it's 20 percent very favorable and 23 percent very unfavorable.

Recent Polls

Two polls on Virginia's statewide campaigns were released within the last 48 hours: one, by the Democrat leaning polling firm, Public Policy Polling, and one by SurveyUSA for Roanoke television station WDBJ-TV. It is interesting to note that the PPP poll has received exponential media coverage, lasting well into the second day after it was released. The SurveyUSA/WDBJ poll was released last night but is hardly causing a blip on the Mainstream Media's radar screen. The most likely explanation is that the SurveyUSA/WDBJ poll seems out of whack when compared to other polls. While many have the governor's race in a four to seven point range, in favor of Republican Bob McDonnell, the SurveyUSA/WDBJ poll shows him up by double digits, as it does his running mates Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, running for re-election, and Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), running for attorney general. Still, that's never stopped the notoriously out of proportion Washington Post polls from getting top billing across the state. 

In what has gone practically unmentioned in the frenzy of the tightening of PPP's poll, however, is that it also shows Lt. Governor Bolling and Senator Cuccinelli leading by eight and nine points, respectively. So, we have a Mainstream Media cherry picking news even from the one poll on which it has focused. Not only that, but by its own admission, the PPP poll's "internals" do not show bad news for McDonnell. Among the fndings (see PPP Blog here):

52% of voters say they're very familiar with the thesis and McDonnell actually has a 55-41 {lead} with that group, reflecting the fact that Republicans are more engaged this year and following the campaign more closely. Deeds is up 56-41 with the 29% of voters who claim moderate knowledge of the thesis.

(Does this mean conservative voters are more informed, or just that they don't watch MSNBC?)

In another blog post,PPP's Tom Jensen writes that Democrat candidate Creigh Deeds leads among voters who were undecided a month ago by 35-32 percent, and lists this as an advantage for him. But it's within the margin of error and not enough to close the gap.

Back to SurveyUSA. Here's a link to its methodology and complete statistical breakdown. It survey 1,000 Virginians, 886 of them registered to vote, and filtered its responses to the 631 of them determined to be likely voters this November.

40 And 50 Year-Old Deeds

Not surprisingly, in all the fuss over "the thesis" is the complete inattention given to Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds' flip flops on social issues. He's says he's not for abortion, but calls opposition to partial-birth abortion "extreme;" he was against "special rights" for homosexuals (his words in his own campaign ad), and now says anything but special rights for homosexuals is somehow discriminatory; and he voted for the Marriage Amendment twice in the General Assembly to place it before the voters, but now wants it repealed. We're waiting for the Mainstream Media to pin him down on this and/or for the senator to come clean on his own. After all, to paraphrase Senator Deeds himself, he didn't write these things when he was 34 — he wrote them, spoke them and voted them in his 40s and 50s.

Deeds Going Through Religious Experience

Not exactly. But this week Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds has thrown his fourth Hail Mary by my count. First, his lackluster campaign — a candidate whose idea of a solution to any problem is "to work together with the General Assembly" and who ducks hot issues such as cap-and-trade, card check, FOCA and nationalized health care, richly deserves the "lackluster" moniker — ran the abortion play. Sacked! Then came the "Bob McDonnell is George Bush" play. Sacked! Of course, there's the thesis play, as complicated as Al Groh's three-quarterback-spread-offense and not nearly as effective, especially since Deeds voted for the Marriage Amendment twice and has displayed his own views against (his words) "special rights" for homosexuals. Now, Deeds is running radio ads claiming that McDonnell is a tax increaser, despite the fact that Deeds has voted for almost any bill that would have raised any tax over the last eight years, including the 2004 record $1.4 billion tax increase. He also backed each one of the Tim Kaine/Dick Saslaw tax increase proposals, including a $1.015 billion increase that would have raised gas taxes ever year for five years when gas was near $3.00 a gallon (SB 713/2008).It would have cost Virginia families as much as $624 more per year in year five. 

All hypocrisy aside, if McDonnell is a Bush clone and Bush cut taxes (which ruined the economy, according to Deeds) where is Deeds' logic? According to Deeds, tax increases are good! That's why he's proposing another one if elected! Besides, if Deeds wants to throw federal issues into the race, shouldn't he answer to the above policies his party is pushing in Washington (including cap-and-trade which would shut down the largest employer in his senate district)?

Seems to me that Senator Deeds, instead of throwing Hail Mary's, should be praying them instead.

Virginia News Stand: September 14, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Leftovers

The Communications Department was out today so I scrounged up some articles it passed along last week and some I found as well that I didn't have time to post last week. But they're evergreen, mostly.

Some interesting notes: Governor Kaine's car was hit while at VITA, the agency his administration has mismanaged. Omen? Speaking of the governor, he's abandoned the "Virginia way" for the that done by California — furloughs?! Oh yeah, more on Creigh Deeds "change" of thought on certain social issues. The Washington Times documents the growing importance of national issues in the gubernatorial campaign, while a study in the Richmond Times-Dispatch provides a demographic look at state legislatures. Meanwhile, that paper's Jeff Schapiro, of all people, doesn't quite think the Deeds' thesis strategy is going to pay off. Funny, how Mr. Schapiro and his colleagues continue to beat the same tone deaf drum.

News:

National issues dominate Va. Race (Washington Times)

State legislatures becoming older, more diverse, study says (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Kaine's SUV damaged in VITA parking lot (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Kaine's budget plan includes unpaid day off for state workers (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Kaine to impose furlough for most state workers (Roanoke Times)

Deeds admits change in ideas (Washington Times)

Scott lays out case for health care reform (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Warner walks fine line on health care (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Controversy spreads before Obama's school speech (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

President's speech to schools: Pep talk or politics? (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Candidates gather in Buena Vista for Labor Day parade (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Getting to Richmond, By Way of A Parade (Washington Post)

Deeds, McDonnell at Buena Vista Labor Day Parade (Roanoke Times)

Labor Day: Deeds shines at Scott picnic (The Daily Press

McDonnell works to move past thesis criticism (The Daily Press)

McDonnell Changes Topic Amid Thesis Issue (Washington Post

Deeds uses radio, Internet to attack McDonnell on thesis (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Deeds focuses on McDonnell thesis (Roanoke Times

Deeds jumps at opening to blast foe's 1989 thesis (Northern Virginia Daily)

Deeds sticks to thesis talk (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Democrats Look For '08 Magic (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

Morrissey to pedal 74 miles through 74th to kick off re-election bid (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Will feds find more e-mails to ODU? (The Daily Press)

Analysis:

Thesis fracas may not give Deeds the boost he needs(Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Video:

Cheers and Jeers (3:53) (Richmond Times-Dispatch.com)

About 50 percent of the crowd at Third District U.S. Representative Bobby Scott's (D-Va.) health care town hall meeting was against the "reform," or about 100 percent more than he likely expected.