Like Moran, McDonnell is counting on his roots in Northern Virginia to help him. But, like McAuliffe, he’s directing his ad spending toward pricey D.C. markets. This means that by the fall, he’ll be better positioned in voters’ minds than either Democrat was. ~Amy Walter

Put another way, McDonnell is not necessarily very strong outside of northern Virginia, and he will end up wasting his money in a media market where he will likely be trailing for the entire election. A McDonnell-Deeds race is not what the Virginia GOP could have been hoping for. All those rural areas of the state filled with registered Democrats who have grown weary of the GOP are much more vulnerable to Deeds. Republicans should reflect on what happened in MS-01 when they ran the suburbanite against the better-known small-town Democrat. Virginia Democrats who run in statewide races have relied on the D.C. suburbs in the north to put them over the top; Webb just squeaked by thanks to their support. Deeds hails from the southwest, which should give him a better chance of making inroads in the Valley and the Southside than Webb managed to do. At first glance, it seems as if all the advantages–name recognition, money, support in the north–belong to McDonnell, but Deeds is starting out modestly leading the AG (and that according to Rasmussen) and he has something of the same profile as the outgoing Tim Kaine. During the Warner and Kaine years, Virginia has been moving more reliably into the Democratic orbit, and it is not clear what McDonnell can do to change this. In the end, governors’ races can turn on local issues and the individual candidates, so McDonnell may not necessarily be burdened by his party affiliation,