Deeds' Win in Virginia Means Trouble for the Republicans

Republicans would have been much, much better off against Brian Moran or Terry McAuliffe.

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By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Were I a Republican strategist, I would not be happy at all this morning about the results of yesterday's Democratic gubernatorial primary in Virginia.

The Democrats pitched a big tent by nominating a R. Creigh Deeds, a state legislator from rural southwest Virginia who talks with a drawl and defends gun rights and was the most conservative Democrat in the race.

Deeds will face Republican Robert McDonnell, a social conservative and onetime protégé of televangelist Pat Robertson.

McDonnell beat Deeds four years ago by a few hundred votes in the race for state attorney general. But I'm thinking that McDonnell would have had an easier time defeating the more liberal Brian Moran or Terry McAuliffe in November.

Instead, the GOP will face Deeds, who has the potential to match what Sens. James Webb and Mark Warner and Gov. Tim Kaine have done in winning statewide office in the commonwealth recently: sound sensible and genuine, in the suburbs and the outback.

Every wave crests, and it's possible that, after an amazing decade of moving from Right to Left, Virginians will pause to take their breaths, and look to a polished Republican like McDonnell to restore some political balance.

But it says a lot about the Democrats that they are still working hard at expanding their coalition, and making it clear to the sons and daughters of the Appalachians that the party of the little guy still hears their concerns and wants their votes. 

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