Tuesday, November 11, 2008

McAuliffe Files...Dems Have a Problem

Former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe has filed his committee papers and looks to be throwing his hat into the ring as a potential Democratic Party nominee for the governor's race in 2009.

So now, you've got McAuliffe (potentially, and most likely), running against Del. Brian Moran and Sen. Creigh Deeds in the Dem primaries...meanwhile, current state Attorney General Bob McDonnell will being going unopposed for the GOP nomination.

This could create a real problem for the Democrats in this state, as now you've got a bit of a division. Moran would have had NoVa sewn up in the primary voting, but McAuliffe eats right into that base. Also, most of your Blue Dogs and rural Democrats will be going for Deeds.

The key is which one of these 3 will snatch up the vote in the Tidewater area? I believe that's going to be up to Deeds or McAuliffe, as well. Also, the Richmond/Petersburg area will be key, and I would imagine that area will lean towards McAuliffe or Deeds as well, as Moran will probably be seen as too liberal for these more conservative, albiet left-leaning, areas.

Deeds and Moran will lose votes as McAuliffe occupies the space between them on the "center-to-left" spectrum. Also, while I thought that Governor Tim Kaine might implicitly back Deeds, now you can't be so sure. Remember that McAuliffe funneled $5 million in DNC funds to Kaine when he ran in 2005, which is a record sum for a non-Presidential race. Basically, Kaine OWES McAuliffe a LOT...which will hurt Deeds in the process.

Hurting Deeds will hurt the Dem's chances with swing voters if he isn't nominated. Kaine and Mark Warner were seen as centrists, and Deeds fits that mold. However, neither Moran or McAuliffe can be classified as such. While Virginia is a purplish-blue state right now, it is still more of a Blue Dog than a Deep Blue state, and the Dems cannot afford to move too far to the left in a statewide campaign such as this.

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