November 1, 2009

SERIOUS TIMES REQUIRE THE GROWN-UP PARTY:

Independents flocking to McDonnell: Centrist message helps GOP candidate for governor attract support (Sandhya Somashekhar, 11/01/09, Washington Post)

Sixty-one percent of self-described independents in a recent Washington Post poll of likely voters responded that they will cast their ballots for McDonnell, helping him secure a comfortable 11-point advantage over Democrat R. Creigh Deeds. Those unaffiliated voters make up more than one-third of McDonnell's supporters, and in Northern Virginia such voters have responded well to his message about taxes, jobs and the economy.

Grimes is in good company. Nearly 1 in 4 Kaine backers in the poll support McDonnell, and the Republican is also benefiting from their largesse. As of Oct. 27, McDonnell had attracted nearly $500,000 from 87 individuals and organizations who had previously donated to Kaine, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign financing. Among those donors is Sheila Johnson, a Northern Virginia businesswoman who was one of Kaine's biggest backers but whose support for McDonnell led her to appear in one of his TV ads.

Some of those who have switched their allegiance say McDonnell has done a better job of talking about the pragmatic issues that also propelled Kaine -- transportation, education and the environment. But they also say his vow not to raise taxes particularly resonates amid economic uncertainty.

"The last governor's race, the state was flush with cash, things were going great, the economy was zooming, houses were popping out of the ground, home values were through the roof," said Purcellville Mayor Robert W. Lazaro Jr., a Republican and McDonnell supporter who also approves of Kaine. "Now it's a totally different economic picture, and the state is being challenged differently. We have to consider how to do business differently."

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 1, 2009 8:23 AM
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