Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Deeds Wins in Virginia

The Clinton connection has worked well in some states, but Virginia isn't one of them.

Last year, for example, Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton in Virginia's presidential primary by 25 percentage points. And Bill Clinton did better in Virginia in 1992 and 1996 than most Democrats have done in the last 40 years — but he still lost the state both times.

Close does count for something in political races, whether good or bad, and, even though Terry McAuliffe, Mrs. Clinton's former campaign chairman, was leading his rivals in polls I saw last month, state Sen. Creigh Deeds has won the primary.

He will face state Attorney General Bob McDonnell, the Republican who beat him in 2005 by 360 votes.

Turnout, while still low, was higher than expected, reports the Charlottesville Daily Progress.

As I wrote last month, for more than 30 years, the party that lost the White House has won the Virginia governor's office the following year. If that trend continues in 2009, then that will mean good news for Republicans in general and McDonnell in particular.

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