Democratic candidate for Governor Creigh Deeds has quite a dilemma. The polls are showing him down by large margins. Double digits, in fact. The latest Washington Post poll has Deeds down by 15 points! So, what exactly is the problem?
We are all keenly aware of his lack of any comprehensive plans for … well, anything at all. He mostly wants to wait until after he is elected to decide what to do.
Deeds faces a huge dilemma. And he serves two masters this time.
In 2005, Bob McDonnell defeated Deeds by just over 300 votes in their race for Attorney General. A race so close it required a recount.
If you will recall, in 2005 then President Bush was a rallying cry for Democrats everywhere. And, let’s face it. Jerry Kilgore was an OK candidate, but not exciting enough to pull enough Republicans off of the sofa to vote for him. Tim Kaine benefited from the anger towards Bush in a big way.
In 2009, however, we have a different picture. There is still anger involved, but it is now directed towards President Obama. And then we have Deed’s balancing act with two masters.
Deeds is well aware that without his home base votes in Bath County, he likely can’t win. In order to win votes in Bath, he must be careful with gun rights, property ownership, taxes, gay issues and abortion, among other issues. And religion. See, many of the voters in Bath County count themselves as Christians, they love to hunt and there are never enough jobs to go around, so taxes are not something they are willing to see increase. And Bath County, while hardly backwards, does reflect a simpler time and lifestyle. It is a great place to raise kids (provided you can make a living) and is the envy of most city folk. But this lifestyle tends to be very pro family, and gay issues are not a big topic in Bath. They are in no way gay bashers, it is just not a big concern. And the less said the better.
Contrast this with the so called “progressive” liberals in NoVa. These people hate the mention of God, the sight of guns, are proponents of bigger government and higher taxes and believe you should marry within your own sex first.
Without the votes of either group, Deeds will lose. So he is trying to walk the line between radical “progressive” socialists and old time Southern Democrats who are more conservative than many Republicans.
So, in trying to appease both groups, he has managed to turn his campaign into a mush mouthed, non committed conglomerate of dodging questions and trying to be all things to both groups. No wonder the poor boy stutters and stammers during interviews. The only way he can keep both ends of his spectrum happy is by saying nothing. Which is what he has been doing.
The problem is, those voters who will swing the election, the moderates that have no particular strong allegiance to either party are demanding answers and ideas.
There is but one candidate providing both answers and ideas. Bob McDonnell. On jobs, taxes, the economy, transportation, education and every other voter concern, Bob McDonnell is free to give a complete and honest answer without fear of offending one faction or the other among his supporters.
Deeds problem is, if he is honest with his constituents, he will lose the election.