I think any of McDonnell’s aides will tell you they felt the wind at their backs in this race because of what was happening at the national level. But to reiterate what I wrote here, the most important thing is that McDonnell has been flat-out beating Deeds on the issues. First Read recounts the data from the Washington Post poll the other day:
Per that Post poll, likely voters trusted McDonnell more on the economy (53%-39%), transportation (49%-37%), the budget (52%-36%). education (51%-40%), and even health care (44%-42%). The only subjects that Deeds outscored McDonnell were on women’s issues (47%-41%) and abortion (44%-42%) — and that’s after all the scrutiny on McDonnell’s controversial 1989 thesis.