Creigh Deeds pulled off a stunning victory in last night’s Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary. He won a whopping 50% of the vote.
This was despite his closest opponent Terry McAuliffe’s celebrity and money. Not to mention the fact that he was endorsed by Ed Rendell and Brian Schweitzer, two prominent Democratic governors from Pennsylvania and Montana respectively.
There are two big losers tonight. One is of course McAuliffe. He failed to prevail despite all of his considerable advantages. Maybe if he decides to become active in Virginia politics for several years he can one day try for state office again.
The other big loser is Rendell. He put some of his prestige on the line in endorsing McAuliffe in hopes of influencing the primary in Virginia. I have a feeling this will embolden Joe Sestak to run against Arlen Specter. Rendell has said in unequivocal terms that he does not want Sestak to make the race. He went as far as to say that “Joe should not run for the Senate in the Democratic primary. He would get killed.”
Seeing how little Rendell was able to influence the outcome in Virginia could give Sestak confidence to buck him. Of course, Rendell will be investing more time and money in a Pennsylvania Primary. Also, Specter has the backing of the Obama administration and the rest of the Democratic establishment in Pennsylvania.
Still, I’m excited to see how this all influences Sestak’s thinking.