A new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling (click here), released today, shows the quiet candidate, Senator Creigh Deeds, (D-25, Bath), leading the field of three in the June 9 Democrat gubernatorial primary for the first time. He has 27 percent of likely Democrat voters and leads former Democrat National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe (24 percent) and former Delegate Brian Moran (22 percent). The poll indicates that 26 percent of likely voters remain undecided. Last month, the same poll showed McAuliffe with 30 percent, Moran at 20 and Deeds at 14. McAuliffe had been the frontrunner, aided by unprecedented television advertising spending. However, he became a target of Moran while Deeds was racking up newspaper endorsements, most notably from the Washington Post, which apparently has enabled him to eat away at the margins on the home turf of his two opponents. However, it's hard to believe that McAuliffe's attack dogs don't already have something ready to broadcast about Deeds.

The poll's margin of error is 4.1 percent, so it's still close. Additionally, the Moran campaign showed Julian Walker of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot a private poll that shows all three in a statistical dead heat with McAuliffe drawing the highest unfavorables. Moran's problem, however, is that by attacking McAuliffe, he drove up his own negatives (see ads and comments here). As Deeds has learned, maybe staying quiet isn't such a bad strategy.