Deeds Slipping in Polls, Losing Traction With Thesis Issue

By: Matt Holmes Email
By: Matt Holmes Email

October 2, 2009

Some of the top political experts in the state of Virginia have a strong message for the Democrat candidate for Governor Creigh Deeds: come up with a new strategy.

Experts with the University of Virginia Center for Politics says the Deeds campaign has put too much time, money, and effort into spreading the word about the controversial thesis Republican candidate Bob McDonnell wrote while a graduate school student at Regent University. In the paper written 20 years ago, McDonnell came across as against working women, birth control, and divorce.

Pundits say that issue has played out, and new polls back up the opinion.

McDonnell held double-digit leads over Deeds throughout the summer, but after the thesis hit, the polling gap shrunk to a couple points.

Now, a new Rasmussen poll has McDonnell up by nine points, which signals a major change in momentum.

"It definitely is a new stage in the race. It shows that you can't have just one item like Bob McDonnell's thesis, and just expect to ride that all the way to election day," says Isaac Wood with the UVa Center for Politics.

In one TV campaign ad that began airing across Virginia Friday, the McDonnell campaign fights back against Deeds' attacks on his views towards women.

McDonnell is outspending Deeds almost two-to-one on advertising, and some experts say we could see that trend continue.

There are only two governor races in the country in 2009: Virginia and New Jersey.

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