Virginia governor race heats up


It appears that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds has unlocked his campaign warchest and is ready to start investing heavily in broadcast advertising as the campaign goes into its final two months. And Republican opponent Bob McDonnell is responding in kind. Both have support coming in from outside the state.

Deeds has decided to try and bind McDonnell to George W. Bush, according to RealClearPolitics, and is using television to do it. He has also used President Obama to his advantage, but with carefully targeted radio buys aimed at African American voters, as Obama’s approval rating has wavered among the mainstream electorate in the state.

For his part, McDonnell is making an appeal to voters in the center by discussing jobs and green issues.
According to Northern Virginia Daily, both campaigns have been using radio for general purpose ads underscoring their television messages. NVD also says the negative advertising has kicked off much earlier than usual.

Deeds has managed to get time on news programs in the Northern Virginia area, welcome free exposure in the contest’s most expensive media market, Washington DC.

Meanwhile, McDonnell has benefitted from advertising purchased by the Republican Governors Association — $2M worth according to NVD.

A Washington Post poll released 8/17/09 gave McDonnell a 47%-40% lead with a 3% margin of error.

RBR/TVBR observation: If this race stays close, there is always the chance for more national money to flow in – both national governors associations, along with the RNC and DNC, have few distractions in an electoral off-year. And with redistricting time coming up, those with a special interest in the House of Representatives may also want to influence the outcome.