Seven in 10 Virginia voters said their views of Obama will not be a factor in their choice for governor, according to the poll. The rest are about evenly divided between those who say their vote will be motivated by their desire to express support for the president and those who want to voice opposition to him.In other words, only about 10 to 15 percent of voters are likely to vote against Creigh Deeds because they oppose Obama. Furthermore, the majority of the voters who fall into that category were not going to vote for a Democratic candidate to begin with which means that opposition to Obama has an even smaller impact than those numbers suggest.
In another sign that this isn’t a referendum on Obama is the plain and simple fact that even after George Bush overwhelmingly won Virginia during his reelection campaign in 2004, Jerry Kilgore still lost the gubernatorial campaign to Tim Kaine in 2005. As the Post points out, this is despite the fact that Bush had stumped for Kilgore in the final weeks of the campaign. This ultimately means that while it doesn’t hurt to have a popular president as a member of your party, recent history suggests it still isn’t going to have a strong influence on the outcome of the gubernatorial campaign.
All that being said, don’t be surprised when all of the Republicans try to claim Virginia rejected Obama. Members of the GOP’s leadership have a history of ignoring what’s actually taking place, so this will just be another example of how their arguments are clearly contradicting the facts on the ground.