This is what's unfolding in Virginia. "It's still a pretty conservative state, with a lot of people inclined to vote Republican who maybe only voted Democratic last year," an administration official acknowledged to the Post. It's as if the Democrats are saying that Obama's Virginia win last fall was a fluke.
Deeds agreed in a recent debate. "Frankly, a lot of what's going on in Washington has made it very tough," he said. "We had a very tough August because people were just uncomfortable with the spending; they were uncomfortable with a lot of what was going on, a lot of the noise that was coming out of Washington, D.C." In other words, I can't hold on to the independents because of liberal policies coming out of Washington. And if you look at the congressional approval numbers, neither can any of the other Democrats in Washington.
If Republicans were smart, they'd see the lesson Deeds is learning the hard way: Stay away from the extremes of the culture war and stick with the issues important to families trying to make ends meet. If they do, the midterms will be an easy win for Republicans.
Corrected on 10/22/09: An earlier version of this article misstated the location of AOL's headquarters. As of April 2008, AOL is headquartered in New York City.