Annotations & Elucidations  Polls, Debates And Third Party Ads

It's all about the race to Richmond now (except for a new twist on the Senator Norment situation). Even CBS News is jumping into the coverage. With two weeks left there's a bombardment of polls by every pollster this side of Minsk who wants to play Kreskin. Today, two more were released: One from Christopher Newport University and one from Clarus Research Group. In the campaign for governor, CNU has Republican Bob McDonnell up by 14 (not likely) but his running mate, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, up by just a few (even less likely), while Republican attorney general candidate, Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), up by something more than a handful (we'll buy that; it's consistent with other polls). Clarus is more in line with the Mason-Dixon and the Washington Post polls: McDonnell up eight, Bolling up seven (still seems light) and Cuccinelli up eight, but with many more undecideds in the latter two races.

If there aren't enough polls for you, the third party ads are in high gear now: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the NRA have jumped in on McDonnell's behalf, though not likely offsetting the big labor putsch for Democrat Creigh Deeds. Debates are also in high gear as tonight's last gubernatorial version should be fun, especially since it is not on statewide television (embarrassing). Democrat Jody Wagner and Lt. Governor Bolling got into it last night. A math test for Ms. Wagner would've been more fun, though.

But will any of this matter? The Dems don't think so. Virginia Democrat Party Chairman Dickie Cranwell says his side's get-out-the-vote machinery will do the trick. That's why President Obama is coming in for Senator Deeds. Of course, the last three elections the Republicans bragged about their turnout operation as well. Ask Governor Kilgore. But if the Dems can confound the pollsters, it'll be because of their newfound and robust voter rolls and sheer force of numbers. Right now, it's their only chance. 

News:

McDonnell Pulls Away in Va. Gov. Race; Tie in N.J. (CBSNews.com)

CNU poll: McDonnell holds double-digit lead in Va. gov race (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell Expands Lead in Virginia Governor’s Race: GOP tops all three statewide elections in new Clarus Poll (ClarusRG.com)  

NRA's New Ad: McDonnell Protects You From "Them" (TheAtlantic.com)

Deeds campaign to focus on getting Obama supporters to polls (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Deeds races to hook true-blue Democrats (Washington Post)

Deeds, McDonnell to debate for last time tonight (Washington Post)

Lieutenant governor hopefuls' debate becomes heated (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Lt. Gov. candidates spar over attendance (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

In Sept., Dems outspent GOP in Va. House contests (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Garrett and Valentine spar on taxes, transportation, tuition (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Economy, jobs key issues in 7th District (Roanoke Times)

Sen. Norment and Attorney General's office release opinion on W&M job (The Shad Plank Blog)