Final: VA Primary Election Post

Now we know the answer to that question: Not Virginia.

Though I have to admit that playing a role in the defeat of Terry McAuliffe feels sinisterly good, there's nothing worse than working on a losing campaign, election night. It'd been a while since I had to feel that sting of defeat-- since losing while working for Howard Dean in 03-04. Over the past 3 cycles and about a dozen candidates I've worked for to elect in primaries and GE elections, it was all winning. Last night felt like Iowa in '04 with Dean again.

But the online campaign for Brian Moran had it successes. Yea, we torpedoed McAuliffe, but we also developed a social activist platform at that added the activism of personal fundraising pages on ActBlue and online phonebanking, alongside social networking & groups and blogs. OV was a huge success for online mobilization around Moran's campaign. We'll have more progressive candidates using the platform soon enough, along with SEIU. WSG just hired another stellar Rails developer to push the activist platform even further-- yes, eventually, leading here to

As for the Moran campaign strategy, I think we were a bit shocked at how shallow the support for McAuliffe was in depth, and rather than going nuclear on him for a couple of months, both online and throughout the media, a more short-lived and stealth strategy could have sufficed.

The Moran campaign definitely took its eye off of Deeds while taking down McAuliffe. Ultimately, there was a swing group of about 15% that wanted, above all else, to defeat McAuliffe, and when the momentum and polls started breaking for Deeds, those voters strategically swung behind his candidacy without little regard for the issues.

There's a really well-written post that describes the difficulties ahead for Deeds vs McDonnell, from 2005, Attorney Generals Race. I'm sure we'll have time to delve into it more in the coming months.

The campaign of Creigh Deeds was very well run. While Brian Moran's campaign did the grunt work of taking out Terry McAuliffe, they watched and waited. Yes, they got a huge stroke of luck with the Washington Post endorsement, but luck is only half the equation of a win like this to occur. The Deeds campaign took the opportunity and executed a perfect strategy. Congratulations to all those involved in the Deeds campaign.

Now, Creigh Deeds, lead the Democratic Party to victory in Virginia in 2009!

There's more...

Final PPP poll before the VA vote

The PPP model is expecting a turnout of 300K for Tuesday's primary in Virginia. There are others whom are modeling a turnout of 165-185K (here's one credible source). Now, those present radically different models to base an election on, here's what PPP has:

Deeds is now at 40%, followed by Terry McAuliffe at 26%, and Brian Moran at 24%. Since PPP's last poll Deeds has gained 13% while his opponents have each gone up by just 2%.
The story goes something like this: Moran has been in the range of the mid 20's throughout PPP's polling, with a slim lead over McAuliffe and Deeds way back; then McAuliffe goes up and Moran takes him on & cuts him down to size; Deeds has waited and then gets the WaPost endorsement to start moving up as McAuliffe falls; Moran upticks a bit.

Three-way races can be like that, but the big caveat here is that PPP is relying on a lot of Independents and Republicans voting in the Democratic primary, and that Deeds leads among voters in NoVA over Moran. That's certainly not what the Moran campaign is finding with its huge ongoing effort of phone-banking:

Yesterday, the Moran campaign received some of the best results of the campaign and saw a notable uptick in support while phone banking likely primary voters. The campaign made 36,478 calls to highly likely primary voters in Northern Virginia and saw Moran's consistent lead there surge after information about the records of his two opponents was made clear. In Hampton Roads, Moran's canvass calls reached 23,454 likely primary voters and found that Moran's support has increased significantly, moving the race into a virtual three-way tie.

In Richmond, Moran's canvass reached 22,399 likely voters and found that Moran is now within the margin of one of his opponents, while leading the other by several percentage points. And in Roanoke, where Moran just last week began his advertising campaign, his support has risen 150 percent among likely voters.

I really am not too excited about the conservative Democrat Creigh Deeds. Deeds has really come out of nowhere, and is a blank slate to most voters. He's not very environmental, being in favor of offshore oil drilling and new coal plants, and he's backwards on gay marriage. That said, he's better by far than Terry McAuliffe and way better than Bob McDonnell. As PPP shows, he captured the huge anti-McAuliffe vote here in the state in their polling, which he owes to Moran for creating. Without Moran beating the shit out of McAuliffe, there is no Deeds surge in the polls, but that's 3-way primaries. It's not issue-based at all, with the poll finding liberal NoVA Democratic voters backing the conservative-- just a surge of electability vs McAuliffe.

A 14-16% lead seems unbeatable, but remember that PPP is predicting a huge turnout too. I know both McAuliffe and Moran have much better field organizations than Deeds, by far-- its not even close. Deeds has gotten all the breaks in the polls; now, does he have the votes? The turnout will tell. There may also be a final SUSA poll out Monday.

The updated Pollster graph has a still very close race with Moran within 6% of Deeds.

VA-Gov: PPP says Deeds will win primary

It's finally out. PP_Release_VA_6074983.pdf

Deeds is now up 40-26-24, with Brian Moran in third place.  So the WaPo endorsement did it.  Not the only reason but it helped.
At least it won't be McAuliffe.

So why did Jerome's guy Brian Moran failed to catch on?  He never took off outside of Northern Virginia.  Also I think he never gave a compelling reason why he should be the nominee.  Jerome may disagree, but I never saw it.  He was the "non-McAuliffe" candidate, but that was it.  Another issue that may have tripped up Moran was Gitmo.  He seemed on the defensive.  All those local endoresements didn't help either.

With Deeds, while the WaPo endorsement legitimized his candidacy in NoVa, benefitted by being from "real Virginia." Deeds had the highest favorables of the three candidates, and leads in all regions except the 757 area code.  And PPP found 50% of the likely primary electorate are moderates.  But most importantly, Deeds was considered the "outsider" in this race, even though he has been in the legislature and ran for attorney general in 2005.

McAuliffe's decline was certainly accelerated by his fibbing on how many jobs he created.  He had real credibility and ethical issues, in addition to the "carpetbagger" issue, even though he lived in the state for 20 years.  Support from Bill Clinton and the national Democratic establishment hasn't helped.

There's more...

VA-Gov: Even more tied up

The latest Research 2000 poll shows McAuliffe slipping into 3rd, but its all within the MOE:

Deeds: 30
Moran: 27
McAuliffe: 26

The average of the last 5 polls from different pollsters has moved from a difference of 6% to an even closer 3% difference:

Deeds: 28.4
McAuliffe: 27.4
Moran 25.4

Here's the Pollster average:

The falling of McAuliffe is nearly the identical inverse of the rise of Deeds. Meanwhile, Moran keeps upticking away. I think McAuliffe will wind up taking a bit of that back from Deeds, because he's got a big paid staff and Deeds laid off his staff to buy ads. Moran will wind up gaining above his final poll standing the most, due to having the largest and deepest Democratic activist GOTV operation.

There's more...

VA Gov: All tied up

I told you this was going to come down to the final week with all three candidates tied up, and here we are. The three latest polls show Deeds, McAuliffe, and Moran all within single-digits of each other. If you are willing to bet on a slim lead within the MOE of a poll, you better be playing with the money of someone else.

The average of the last 4 polls from different pollsters puts the race at:
McAuliffe 30
Moran 25
Deeds 24

Politico has a good 40 something minute spot to watch:

Yes Politico, Moran is the progressive Democrat in the race.

Terry McAuliffe is betting on spending the most money.
Creigh Deeds is betting on a newspaper endorsement.
Brian Moran is betting that being the proven progressive, along with having the majority of the state's Mayoral endorsements (besides hundreds of other officials), and the largest online-offline grassroots campaign team, will push him over the top next Tuesday.

There's more...


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