Creigh Deeds is in trouble. Obama comes to Virginia and doesn’t appear with him. Democratic officials are criticizing him in public. Liberal activists are saying it’s curtains. And now comes word that his opponent, Bob McDonnell, has tons more cash. “According to finance reports due to the state Thursday, McDonnell began this month with $4.5 million to spend before the election Nov. 3, compared with $2.7 million for Deeds.” As the Washington Post (which tried its best with in-kind donations of multiple front-page stories) explains:
Money doesn’t guarantee electoral success — Kilgore outraised Kaine in 2005, and Deeds won the Democratic nomination despite being significantly outspent. But McDonnell’s advantage has been extended by an aggressive independent effort on his behalf by the Republican Governors Association, which has aired $4 million worth of ads for the former attorney general in recent weeks.
That is not to say that Deeds hasn’t been showered with Big Labor money. He has. (“Deeds got $500,000 last month from the Democratic Governors Association — which also ran a multimillion-dollar ad campaign in the spring to ding McDonnell while the Democrats were occupied with their primary.”) In fact, he has hauled in $1.9 million from organized labor, a stunning figure in a state still covered by right-to-work legislation.
The telltale sign of impending defeat, however, is the absence of prominent national Democrats willing to campaign for Deeds. Aside from Joe Biden (vice presidents traditionally get funeral duty), Deeds is a lonely figure these days. That’s politics. No one wants to be very close to an imploding campaign.