As I noted on Twitter, the two Democrats running for governor this year, Jon Corzine in New Jersey and Creigh Deeds in Virginia, have run almost entirely negative campaigns since the primaries ended. Complaints from the usual mainstream-media suspects aren’t completely missing, but they seem pretty quiet this year.
Despite lacking any real fireworks, much less a discussion of the important issues facing Virginia, the gubernatorial campaign between Republican Bob McDonnell and Democrat Creigh Deeds has been a dirty one.
And mostly, the camp to blame for the grime has been Deeds.
After a come-from-behind victory over frontrunner Terry McAuliffe in the party primary primary in June following his surprise endorsement by The Washington Post, Deeds has run a lackluster campaign devoid of any real discussion of any real issues.
He ignored multiple requests from McDonnell for an expanded series of debates across the commonwealth, and he tried to change the ground rules of the debates he did agree to at the last minute.
A 20-year-old grad school paper emerged as his main avenue of attack on McDonnell, rather than McDonnell’s own record as a legislator and attorney general. The thesis was an easier weapon to wield than the weighty issues Deeds has consistently ignored in his relatively few broader conversations with the Virginia electorate.
The Republican, McDonnell, is starting to run on this; we’ll see if it has any impact on the polls.