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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Virginia’s Gubernatorial Primary: Strange and Interesting

Virginia’s Democrats are holding a primary today, and the headliner event is the contest to see who will face Republican Bob McDonnell in November in an effort to secure a third straight Democratic governorship. As Jonathan Martin of Politico explains this morning, there are scenarios under which each of the three candidates–Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran–could win, with turnout being a crucial variable. But Deeds has been the surprise leader in all four of the polls released during the last week.
I have a post up at fivethirtyeight.com that explores some of the issues we may be discussing when the returns are in, including the ancient debate between mobilization and persuasion strategies; the role of timely media endorsements; and Virginia’s relatively restrictive early voting rules, which Gov. Kaine unsuccessfully tried to change this year.
The polls in VA close at 7:00 p.m.; the whole state’s in the eastern time zone; and given the expected low turnout, we may have a result pretty early unless it’s very close.

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