And McAuliffe lost…big time.
Even with all that money spent and Bill Clinton campaigning for him…he only got 26% of the vote.
The Clinton era is officially over.
Running with the least money and fewest ties to vote-rich Northern Virginia, State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds has won the three-way Democratic primary for governor, paving the way for a rematch with Republican Bob McDonnell in the fall.
Deeds, 51, a country lawyer from Bath County in the western part of the state, was viewed as an unlikely winner against two Northern Virginians with entrenched political ties.
Known for his moderate views on such issues as gun rights, but also appreciated for his folksy style and attention to the Washington suburbs’ cry for road improvements, Deeds was leading in Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun and Prince William counties.
Deeds had almost doubled the vote totals of each of his opponents, Democratic activist Terry McAuliffe and former Del. Brian Moran.
So how did he win?
Some are suggesting that a savvy internet marketing strategy involving Google played a hand…
Starting at 3 p.m EST Monday, hours before polls opened across Virginia, Deeds’s campaign bought what’s called a ‘Google blast.’ Or, more appropriately, a Google attack. If you live in Northern Virginia (or, like many voters, work in D.C. but live in NoVa), Deeds has been almost inescapable on highly-trafficked sites such as washingtonpost.com, the blog Talking Points Memo and Oxygen.com, which is popular among women. Capitalizing on his Post endorsement, he peppered those sites with banner ads reading ‘The Washington Post endorsed one Democrat — Creigh Deeds’ until polls closed.
Regardless of how Deeds won this race, my guess is that the general election will be a tough one. However, the likelihood that Virginia will elect a Republican Governor is perhaps much lower after successful terms by moderate Dems Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.