The Campaign Spot, Monday: “This week, former governor Douglas Wilder is expected to endorse Deeds. Two other endorsements to watch are the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and the state Fraternal Order of Police.”
It is Thursday afternoon, and I emerge from a meeting on the Hill to learn that not only is Bob McDonnell 2 for 2 in endorsements this week, Creigh Deeds is 0 for 3. “Despite a personal phone call from President Obama urging him to do so, former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder said Thursday he will not endorse his fellow Democrat Creigh Deeds in this year’s gubernatorial race.”
In and of itself, this won’t decide the race. But I said on Twitter this felt like a nail in the coffin. African-Americans are still largely Democrats, but they’re largely unfamiliar with Deeds and enthusiasm has been lacking. It’s hard to see how a refusal to endorse from the first African-American governor in the nation will help Deeds in that community. It’s also not unthinkable that McDonnell will outperform the traditionally low level of support among African-Americans; when Richmond billionaire Sheila Johnson endorsed McDonnell, it turned some heads.
Beyond that, Wilder just finished a term as Richmond’s mayor this year; one would think he has little reason to slight the next governor of Virginia. In short, Doug Wilder doesn’t think Creigh Deeds is going to win. That perception is likely to be contagious.
Could Creigh Deeds win? Sure, there’s about six weeks left and the Democrat could, say, successfully land a passenger airliner on the Potomac or something. And he’s obviously made the race closer. But right now, there are just too many good indicators for McDonnell and too many bad indicators for Deeds.