Sunday, March 29, 2009

Creigh's path to victory

Jeff Schapiro has a good column in today's RTD that sums up the state of the primary contest nicely. Reading between the lines, he seems to be saying Creigh is the guy to watch, but, hey, I'm admittedly biased.

Here's the nut graf:

Deeds has been nearly invisible, focusing on fundraising, including a big-bucks throwdown with coal barons, and delaying some of the public manifestations of a campaign until mid-April.

Look then for the position papers and advertising. Deeds must, by necessity, husband dollars for the best -- and only -- opportunity to grab the attention of voters: the closing half of the primary season.

If we get to mid-April and the undecided vote is still at 50% + (which seems likely to happen), then Creigh will have his opening, and the next month will determine whether he can take the nomination. From mid-May to election day, he will be swamped in NoVA by McAuliffe and Moran's millions, but if, during that mid-April to mid-May 4-week period, he can get his NoVA numbers up to 25% or so (assuming he is right now at about 13% based on the Connolly party straw poll, which I think may actually have accurately measured Creigh's current support), then the nomination is within his reach reach. Here's why.

If Creigh gets to 25% in NoVA, he would need about 43% from the remainder of the Commonwealth to reach 37% and victory. Assuming he would take 55% of the "rural" vote (2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th), he would only need 16% of Richmond/Tidewater/HR. Even if takes only 50% of the rural districts, then he needs 27% of the Richmond/Tidewater/HR areas -- certainly doable.

More importantly, though, if Creigh is able to reach 25% in NoVA. it puts McAuliffe and Moran in a bind, because it means that for either of them to win, they will have to soundly defeat the other in NoVA. If Creigh takes 25%, and those guys split the rest of NoVA evenly, it will do neither of them any good, because at worst Creigh will win with 37% or so of the statewide vote. So, if Creigh reaches 25% up there and is able to turn NoVA into a "must win" for both McAuliffe and Moran, it will suck up money and time, leaving Creigh relatively free to campaign in Richmond/Tidewater and, of course, concentrate on GOTV in the rural areas of the Commonwealth where he is well-known and popular.

If Creigh doesn't reach those levels, however, then both Moran and McAuliffe have numerous paths to victory. Obviously, regardless of how Creigh does, netiher McAuliffe nor Moran can afford to lose NoVA, but if Creigh takes, say, only 15% in NoVA, then McAuliffe and Moran can, in theory, afford a "push" in NoVA where they each take 42% and fight for victory elsewhere, probably Hampton Roads and Richmond. This would essentially knock Creigh out of the race and create the two-man election the M & M boys seem to want.

Sure is lucky for Creigh it worked out that all those debates and joint appearances fall within that key month for him.

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate this in depth writing and analysis.