Bob McDonnell – Guinea Pig?

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Voting has begun in Virginia and Democrat Creigh Deeds enters today a severe underdog – trailing by 13.4 percentage points, according to the latest realclearpolitics average of Virginia polls.

While much has been made of the GOP divisions in the NY23rd race, Virginia is shaping up to be their best hope for a recipe for success. Here’s a look at Bob McDonell’s strategy and how he’s taken Obama’s populist, positive message of change and applied it to conservative principles. Of course there are other factors here: Deeds’ mismanaged campaign where he courted rural, conservative Democrats at the expense of his Northern Virginia base and far too late turned to Obama for help. But, as conservatives are ignited by likely wins in NY23 and Virginia — and seek to launch challenges across the country — the GOP leadership is increasingly looking at McDonnell as the prime example of how to harness this energy.