Thursday, June 11, 2009

Why Bob McDonnell WIll WIn

Fred Malek: Why Bob McDonnell Will Win Virginia
What it Can Mean for the Republican Party
Bob McDonnell is a young polished lawyer and an Army veteran who grew up in liberal (though much less liberal back in the day) Northern Virginia and lives with his family in conservative Virginia Beach, so he can connect with young suburban families in a way that Jerry Kilgore had trouble doing in 2005. McDonnell is a great example of the kind of candidate who doesn't have to "choose" between sticking to his values and appealing to moderate voters.

That gives him a real advantage over Creigh Deeds, whose economic platform is more of a populist shtick targeted to the United Mine Workers than a sensible roads and schools plan for I-95 commuters. McDonnell cares about the issues Virginians care about, like transportation funding, college tuition costs, energy policy, taxes, and, of course, job creation.

So Northern Virginia will be something it hasn't been in recent elections: A battleground leaning Republican.

And Republicans will be more excited about McDonnell than the Democrats are about Deeds. It's clear where he stands on the issues that are important to the Republicans Party, including taxes, religion and honoring our troops.

Deeds, on the other hand, is going to have to activate his base and crank up the turn out better than he did last time around. In doing so, he is going have to walk the line between Prius drivers in Arlington and NASCAR fans in Bristol. He's not an anti-gun zealot, which won't please pastors in Hampton, and wants to soak the entrepreneurs and businesses on taxes, which won't impress technology executives in Reston. And there should be no forgetting that Virginia is the new battle ground in big labor's battle to expand its power. In a state that appreciates the right to work and still tilts conservative, the advantage goes to Bob.
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