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Deeds can win by dropping out

by: Joel McDonald

Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:59:04 AM EDT

Let me start this by saying that I don't harbor any animosity toward Creigh Deeds or wish him failure. I've heard him described as being a "salt of the earth" kind of guy. I believe he serves the people of Virginia the best way he can, but politics being as it is; he has stumbled here and there. I think we need leaders like Deeds, and I hope he'll continue his service in the commonwealth.

We now have three polls spanning 12 weeks in the current Democratic primary. By now, candidates and activists should be thinking about the best way to maneuver for a victory in November.

Joel McDonald :: Deeds can win by dropping out
These things need to be considered:

1. From the first poll to the last, only Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran have made significant progress with Moran leading by 7%.

2. Terry McAuliffe's unfavorables are 14% higher than Brian Moran's, and is actually higher than both Moran and Deeds combined. McAuliffe's unfavorables are high, and increase at a greater rate than both Moran and Deeds as the candidates gain greater exposure.

3. While Deeds has been able to increase his favorables at a greater rate than both Moran and McAuliffe, this is unlikely to generate a win for Deeds. There just isn't enough time.

4. According to the Public Policy Polling blog, 41% of respondents who have an unfavorable view of McAuliffe support Moran, while 31% support Deeds.

In light of the polling data, knowing that it's likely that McAuliffe's unfavorables could be approaching 40% at the time of the primary election on June 9th and "and still win the Democratic nomination with 35-40% of the vote if the anti vote is split too evenly" (PPP), I think it's time for Deeds, who trails both Moran and McAuliffe, to consider pulling out from this race to unite the party around Brian Moran as the Democratic nominee.

The nomination of Brian Moran, who's favorables should be 35% at the time of the primary election should increase the likelihood of a Democratic win in November as we will have nominated a more popular candidate and be able to better sustain momentum through the primary and into the general election.

The polling projects a win by Moran over McAuliffe with extremely slim margins. Deeds can decide the outcome of this primary, right now. He can win this election for Moran, strengthen the Democratic Party of Virginia, and better enable us to beat Bob McDonnell in November.

X-Posted from Virginia Beach Progressives

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Interesting, but I strongly disagree
Using your logic, can't the same argument be made that Brian Moran should drop out? In fact, given all the factors, I would argue that is the more compelling scenario.

As the PPP blog notes, there is a question whether Democrats can unite around McAuliffe if he wins. But there is a similar question, now, regarding Moran, given the nastiness of the conflict between him and McAuliffe.

Deeds, on the other hand, has mostly stayed out of this battle, and seems to be the only candidate everyone can get behind.

You are urging to wrong man to drop out for the good of the party.

But, Joel, I realize that is an absurd proposition, and Brian Moran would never do it. In fact, I am hard-pressed to understand why any candidate would withdraw froma  race where nearly 50% are undecided, no one is near a majority, much leas a plurality, all have sufficient money, and we have not had a single debate yeat, although five are scheduled for the next month.

I actually agree with your last paragraph..
..that it is too early and there are too many undecided.  But your contention that Deeds is the only candidate everyone can get behind is absurd.  In your world Creigh is winning because almost no one is paying attention to him.  If he continues to fail to engage in this campaign and is only waiting around for someone to make a mistake there is no way he could gain the support we would need to win in November.

As Paul Wellstone put it "Sometimes you have to start a fight to win one."  Part of the basis for Brian's campaign in November will be that in the primary he took on and beat the big money, corporate insider with real grassroots support and now has the standing to win over independents, who typically vote against big money, corporate insiders.   Deeds only possible lead into November is that he stood on the sidelines until someone made a big mistake and then everyone had to settle on him.  That is a losing strategy for November.

Among the undecideds (likely to vote in June), there is a large group who dislike McAuliffe but are split between Deeds and Moran.  If they are split, many of them will likely go with the one who can beat T-Mac and B-Mac.  Deeds support around the state is anemic at best.  Brian's is overwhelming by comparison.

The House of Delegate members are all running campaigns this year and Brian already has a decisive majority of them endorsing and helping him around the state.  Brian also has an overwhelming number of mayors and county board members, who have the local networks to turn out voters.  I don't see where Deeds makes up any ground but if the current trends continue into May, I do hope he will drop out and avoid being labeled a spoiler.

[ Parent ]
Big Money, Corporate Insider
So, how is Moran not a big money, corporate insider?  You and RenaRF keep throwing this around.  But I have yet to see an argument demonstrate how Moran is this anti-establishment candidate.

This Moran-McAuliffe face-off seems more like Clash of the Titans to me rather than David v. Goliath.  

[ Parent ]
No, not really
Moran's favorables to votes is more balanced than Deed's, in other words: Moran has been able to translate those who think he's a good guy into those who will vote for him. While Deeds has been able to generate some good feeling toward him (or perhaps just avoided the possibility of ill feeling), this doesn't seem to be translating into votes.

Should he get out now? No, I don't think so. This isn't an immediate call to action for Deeds; however, is the trend continues, dropping out and enthusiastically endorsing Moran would be of great benefit to the party.

[ Parent ]
So, this is a poll of Democratic Primary voters.  From the questions asked, how can you deduce that Moran has been able to translate people who like him into votes implying that Deeds hasn't/can't?  How is this the sole possibility for explaining the poll?

I think the problem in both this analysis and the subsequent request is that we are still 90 days out.  Only the hard-core are interested at the point.  The rest are experiencing continuous-campaigning fatigue.  As the campaigns ramp up closer to primary election day when more people start paying attention, these dynamics will change.  Then who is to say that your assertion will still hold water then (assuming, of course, that it does now).  

[ Parent ]
This is all my personal opinion
but at times I really wish Creigh would run for LG this year. I really really like Creigh and these poll numbers have been really sad for him...despite my support for Brian. If things keep up this way I wonder what the future looks like for Creigh...

I hope...
...that he'll continue to be a strong voice in the senate.

[ Parent ]
Your points 1 - 3
On point one, you indicate that Moran is leading by 7%.  But Terry is at 18%.  So, that is only 4%.  Where is the 7 coming from?  If you are talking about the spread with Deeds, that doesn't seem to be an accurate representation of his position in the poll.  And the 3.6% margin of error, doesn't make that lead very meaningful.

On your point 2, how did you arrive at McAuliffe's unfavorables increasing at a faster rate than anyone else's?  Looking at the results reported in Kenton's diary on this poll, Moran's increased from 10 to 15, McAuliffe's from 24 to 29, and Deeds' from 11 to 12.  So, both Moran and McAuliffe's have increased by 5% since the February poll. The only true statement you could make about the progress is that Deeds had the lowest rate of increase in unfavorables.  Also, on unfavorables for Moran and Deeds over half of respondents didn't have an opinion.  That could hold either a lot of upside or a lot of downside for either of the two candidates.  What people feel about Terry is already baked into his number.  And I think aznew makes a good point here, if those 51% without an opinion get to know Moran and his campaign through negativity, there's a lot of downside in those numbers.

On point 3, Moran's favorables have remained the same since the February poll (34 then and 34 now).  Deeds has increased most rapidly and then McAuliffe less so.  If Deeds continues on an average increase of 4% for every subsequent poll, then he should have by far the highest favorability going into the actual vote.  The 3 polls only demonstrate that Moran can maintain 34%.  Taking this to mean that Deeds can't generate a win is quite a stretch.  Maybe if he needed to do that on his own.  But Terry's entrance into the race makes it very possible that Deeds could pull off a win.  

Overall, I think three data points is insufficient to establish any trends or base any judgments off of.  The only thing we can really garner from these polls is that people basically know Terry and already have an opinion one way or the other.  Looking at this limited data, I would be most happy if I were Deeds.  There are a good number of respondents in NoVA and Hampton Roads that aren't sure about Deeds.  That sounds like a perfect opportunity to impress upon these people a favorable image of him whilst Moran dukes it out with McAuliffe.  And thus, he could outflank both Moran and McAuliffe.  

tx2vadem, for a different perspective on the PPP poll...
see here:


I would argue that the later deciders are more likely to break for Creigh than for Brian or McAuliffe, and in this article, I argue that is what the data shows so far.

The debates will make or break Creigh in this race, IMHO, and that is fine with me.  

[ Parent ]
tx2vadem, for a different perspective on the PPP poll...
see here:


I would argue that the later deciders are more likely to break for Creigh than for Brian or McAuliffe, and in this article, I argue that is what the data shows so far.

The debates will make or break Creigh in this race, IMHO, and that is fine with me.  

[ Parent ]
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