We don't pay enough attention to Virginia politics here, but since it's such an important day in Old Virginny, we had to cover this story.
Virginia and New Jersey hold their governal elections on off-year 1, that is, 1 year after presidentials. From surveys, it seems that the Republican candidates are going to win, altough liberal media sources are not willing to accept that.
So this is exactly how republicans win in red states: An unpopular democrat runs for reelection. He/she wins the party primary, hence the battle, but loses in the war*.
This is the case in New Jersy, but in Virginia, there are no second terms, so change of party in power is the way the cookie crumbles.
McDonough- hurt by ultra-conservative Master's thesis- Republican
Deeds- hurt by running smear campaign- Democrat
*I made a prediction a while back that this is what is going to happen in Maryland in 2010. Let's see what happens.