Virginia Governor Candidate Deeds to Attack Pro-Lifer Bob McDonnell on Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 10, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Virginia Governor Candidate Deeds to Attack Pro-Lifer Bob McDonnell on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 10
, 2009

Richmond, VA ( — Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds has devised a new campaign strategy to react to polling data showing pro-life candidate Robert McDonnell leading the race. Deeds plans to attack McDonnell on abortion in an attempt to portray him as outside the values of the state.

Deeds, a state senator who backs abortion, is joining abortion advocates today for a rally in Annandale, which is the first of three events across the state to highlight the differences on abortion.

The goal is to gain support from voters in northern Virginia, where Washington suburban voters take a more pro-abortion position than the more pro-life voters who make up the rest of the state.

"I think it’s an area that shows a clear distinction between us," Deeds told the Washington Post over the weekend. "I’m a moderate guy, and I’ve been a consensus-builder my entire career. . . . My opponent is the guy who has pursued a socially driven ideological agenda who now is masquerading as a centrist."

McDonnell said the move shows Deeds’ campaign is desperate in light of three recent polls that all show him with substantial leads.

He reminded the Post in an interview that he and Deeds had agreed to focus on other issues affecting Virginia during the race.

"While I’m spending all my time talking about jobs and the economy and education reform and transportation, he is now beginning a run to the left to try to motivate his base," McDonnell said. "He talked about not engaging in the politics of division, but, of course, that’s exactly what he’s doing."

Deeds complained that McDonnell has spoken to the National Right to Life convention last year.

There, he thanked pro-life Virginians for their efforts, saluting "all you pro-life warriors for Virginia for all you’ve done to turn Virginia around and make it a pro-life state."

McDonnell says his record is the most mainstream on the issue as, during the last session of the state legislature, he supported bills to ban partial-birth abortions and require parental consent before a minor teen girl can get an abortion.

A SurveyUSA poll conducted July 27-28 has McDonnell, a former state Attorney General, with 55 percent support from likely voters. Deeds has 40 percent of the vote.

McDonnell is winning 88 percent of Republicans and Deeds is winning 86 percent of Democrats, but McDonnell is crushing Deeds among self-described political independents by a margin of 60 percent to 35 percent.

Though McDonnell is strongly opposed to abortion, he is winning 35 percent of voters who describe their stance on that issue as "pro-choice

The election is November 3rd and is one of the few marquee contests this November.

Smith, the chair of the Virginia Society for Human Life PAC, tells that pro-life advocates in the state are squarely in McDonnell’s corner.

Smith said: "Virginia has a proud pro-life history and this election is vital to our continued efforts to protect innocent human life. Bob McDonnell has a proven record of fighting for protective pro-life laws in Richmond. Creigh Deeds is solidly pro-abortion. For pro-life Virginians, the choice is very clear — the pro-life ticket is McDonnell, Bolling and Cuccinelli."

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