When State Senator R. Creigh Deeds defeated Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic Party chairman and confidante of Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, to be the Democratic nominee for governor of Virginia, the argument among many Democrats was that Mr. Deeds -- an easy-going, moderate Democrat from rural Virginia -- would be the stronger candidate in a general election.
But with this closely-watched election less than a month away, and Mr. Deeds struggling against Robert McDonnell, the Republican former attorney general, it is hard not to forgive some Virginia Democrats for thinking that they might have been better off with Mr. McAuliffe at the top of the ticket. This is no small thing since a defeat for Democrats in Virginia would be a decided setback for this White House, particularly after President Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state last year since 1964. Democrats have held the Virginia governor's seat for eight years.
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