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Monday, August 17, 2009

McDonnell Takes Clear Lead Over Deeds

The Washington Post published the results yesterday of their most recent poll in the Virginia Governor's race. According to the poll, among registered voters, McDonnell holds a 47%-40% lead over Deeds but among the all important "likely" voters McDonnell holds a commanding 54% - 39% lead. According to the poll, McDonnell is doing well even in the Democratic stronghold of Northern Virginia.

In vote-rich Northern Virginia, where President Obama and other successful Democrats have won large majorities, the two run about even, 45 percent for Deeds to 42 percent for McDonnell among all registered voters. Even in the innermost Washington suburbs -- which the Democrat from rural Bath County won handily in his party's primary -- the candidates are running about even. McDonnell, who lives outside Richmond, leads by nine points in the rest of the state.

Anything can happen between now and election day which is a little over two months away. Regardless of the polls, this is going to be a hard choice for gun owners because both candidates have good records on issues important to the pro-rights community. Deeds has split with us on two votes recently - the very publicized "gun show loophole" bill and a lesser reported bill - HB 2528, that would have provided some much need sunshine on local compensated confiscation schemes (gun buy-backs). Deeds voted against the original bill, for the amended bill that neutered it considerably, then voted to uphold Governor Kaine's veto of the amended bill for which he voted. Kind of a "John Kerry Moment" if you will - "I voted against it before I voted for it before I voted against it again."

For McDonnell's part, after voting for Governor Doug Wilder's handgun rationing law (one gun-a-month) in 1993, he has had a very good record supporting gun owners rights, and has said on several occasions during this campaign that he would sign a repeal of handgun rationing if the bill passed.

Gun owners should consider this - Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen , who had a very good pro-rights record, campaigned saying he would sign a bill to repeal the restaurant ban on concealed carry, only to veto it when it passed this year. The Tennessee legislature later overrode the veto. Bredesen said he was persuaded by law enforcement arguments against the bill.

Deeds says he was persuaded by the pleas of the Virginia Tech families impacted by the 2007 shooting on the campus when he decided to vote for the "gun show loophole" bill. So, is someone else going to be able to persuade him to veto a bill he has supported in the past if he is elected Governor? Gun owners need to ask Senator Deeds this question.

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