Another poll confirms that Creigh Deeds’s campaign is in a downward spiral. Public Policy Polling shows Bob McDonnell up by 12 points, 7 points higher than he polled just three weeks ago. The pollsters explain:
McDonnell’s standing is largely the result of two things: considerable support from independents and a disengaged Democratic electorate. With independents, who tend to split pretty evenly, the Republican leads 60-31. And while Barack Obama won Virginia by six points last year, the voters planning to turn out this fall supported John McCain by six points, a clear indication that many Democratic voters are just planning to stay at home.
And one further bit of data: 56 percent of McDonnell’s supporters are excited, while only 34 percent of Deeds’s voters say they are.
The lack of enthusiasm for the top of the ticket may affect the rest of the ballot. Republicans lead in the other two statewide-office races, and by 5 percent in the generic poll for the House of Delegates.
Here’s an example of the problems Deeds faces. In another hapless debate last night, Deeds seemed to say that he didn’t support the public option in health-care reform. In a press cluster afterward, he did his usual hem-and-haw routine. Not Larry Sabato, the top state Democratic political blog, shoots back with a headline: “Is Creigh Deeds a Suicide Bomber?” (Note: Bad language alert.) Yikes! And the comments below the post are even more biting: “He’s the worst Democratic candidate for governor … since before the Civil War,” remarks one. Another: “Seriously — why do his press people let him get anywhere near a gaggle of reporters with mikes? Every single time he’s done one of these he’s lodged his foot completely in his mouth.”
One can see why Deeds is falling further and further behind.