Deeds gambles on riding Obama’s coattails

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In the past months, poll numbers for Mr. Obama - the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Virginia since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 - have fallen below 50 percent.

In the most recent Rasmussen Reports poll, released Sept. 17, Mr. Obama polled at 49 percent in Virginia - the same percentage he received Monday in the firm’s survey of the nation.

But Mr. Deeds is confident that the hope Mr. Obama brought to Virginia during his campaign still resonates with voters.

President Obama, he said, offered optimism and leadership at a time when Virginians were frightened by an economy that was “almost in free fall.”

“He said, ‘I’m going to tackle some serious challenges. I’m going to take on some serious work.’ He was a great messenger,” Mr. Deeds said of Mr. Obama. “You know, Napoleon said, ‘A leader is a dealer in hope.’ I think Obama epitomizes that to a large extent. He was able to be that dealer in hope that people invested in, invested their votes in last year.”

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