Democrats face defeat in Virginia as Barack Obama becomes liability

President Barack Obama is facing defeat in his first electoral test since he won the White House, with the Republicans leading the polls for the governor’s race in the swing state of Virginia.

By Alex Spillius in Manassas, Virginia
Telegraph [UK]
11 Oct 2009

Just nine months into his presidency, Mr Obama has proved more of a hindrance than a help to the Democratic candidate, Creigh Deeds. Unlike Democrats across the country in 2008, the state senator is keeping a very loose grip on the president’s coat-tails.

“Frankly, a lot of what’s going on in Washington has made it very tough,” he said at a recent forum, adding that voters were “just uncomfortable with the spending, they were uncomfortable with a lot of what was going on”.

Mr Obama has made only one appearance with Mr Deeds, and will probably make just one more before polling day. The Democrat is trailing his Republican rival, Bob McDonnell, by nine points in a poll published in the Washington Post last week.

Mr Deeds, 51, may have earned the displeasure of the White House with his honesty, but no one has contradicted his assessment that Mr Obama’s massive stimulus bill, and the cost of proposed health care and energy reforms, have raised concern among Virginians.

At the Deeds campaign office in Manassas, there was no sign of Mr Obama in the dozens of posters and banners lining the walls.

Campaigners admitted that Mr Obama is a liability for their candidate. “People assume Creigh is just like Obama and that every Democrat is the same, but they are two different people,” said Katya Paige, a 20-year-old student. “Obama is more liberal to my mind.”

The article continues at the Telegraph.

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