It brings me great pleasure to report that Terry McAuliffe has failed in his bid to purchase Virginia's state house. After spending more money, by far, than any other Virginia primary candidate, he's crashed hard in the polls. With Creigh Deeds surging across the southern portion of the state and Brian Moran holding his own in NoVa, it's all but decided: McAuliffe has no viable path to victory.
Creigh Deeds (D) 30 (13)
Brian Moran (D) 27 (22)
Terry McAuliffe (D) 26 (36)
Undecided 17 (29)
And that, for a million different reasons, is a very good thing. (If you want to see a few of those reasons, click over to McAuliffe's wikipedia entry. Just be sure to go through the revision history as well -- it appears that he's got someone on payroll sanitizing the entry for him.)
The only remaining question is whether Deeds or Moran will be the nominee.
Bob McDonnel (the Republican nominee) has already beaten Deeds once. And a look back at how it happened will be instructive.
Deeds is fond of saying that he lost a narrow (to say the least) election because opposition spent twice as much as he did. I'd be silly to take anything away from that; of course money matters, and of course McDonnel's 2:1 spending advantage helped a lot. But shit... McDonnel was even more closely tied to the Christian right (particularly Pat Robertson) then than he is now. The plain fact is that a Christian extremist was able to pull out a victory notwithstanding his primitive views on women, race, gays, science, etc. etc. etc.
What put him over the top? He attacked Creigh Deeds on guns -- from the left. Deeds wants gun owners to be able to carry concealed handguns in bars. He voted against a law that would have made it illegal for a wife-beater to own a handgun. And he wanted to repeal Virginia's "one handgun a week" rule. It is no exaggeration to say that Deeds is a gun rights extremist.
And that didn't play well in the bedroom communities of Northern Virginia.
And it won't play any better in 2009.
But there is another reason to vote for Deeds' won't win, and it's played out very clearly in the primary race: Deeds is a milquetoast wimp that doesn't have any fight in him.
The whole time McAuliffe ran around this state making specious claims about his profligate business background, Creigh Deeds was silent. Brian Moran, on the other hand, took the gloves off and went to work. Moran and McAuliffe traded body blow after body blow and each got bloodied up pretty well. Moran for going negative (in other words, talking about Mcauliffe's record, propensity for exaggeration and general seediness - see Telergy), McAuliffe... well... for being McAuliffe.
Now, after Brian Moran exposed McAuliffe as the less-than-honest huckster shill that he is, now that McAuliffe is tanking across the state, now that Brian Moran has shown that he has what it takes to stand up and fight for the state that he has served for 3 decades... Well... He deserves our appreciation. More than that: he deserves our votes.
Creigh Deeds has been a shrinking violet this entire campaign season. He's done nothing to distinguish himself and shouldn't be allowed to back into the nomination having done nothing to earn it.
Virginia is going to need a fighter for the next four years. Moran is the man.
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