Virginia Democrats say they are fully behind their party’s candidate for governor, despite reports that indicate growing anxiousness about Creigh Deeds’ chances in November.
But Gov. Tim Kaine (D), who serves as party chairman, said Democrats recognize the difficulty that lies ahead.
“This is a race that’s challenging,” Kaine told reporters Tuesday after an event at the State Capitol.
Earlier this week, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, told Politico that he was less-than-certain about his party’s prospects in the Commonwealth this fall.
Kaine said Schweitzer’s comments could be motivated by the fact that the Montana governor took “the unusual position” of supporting a specific candidate in this year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary.
“He had a favorite,” Kaine said.
Schweitzer campaigned for Terry McAuliffe in the final days of the primary contest.
Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics said there’s not an “open rebellion” against Deeds among Democrats.
But he said there exists “a lack of enthusiasm generated in part by a string of victories that have left Democrats too satisfied.”
Deeds strategist Mo Elleithee says financial contributions to the campaign prove the party, and specifically the DGA and DNC, are behind Deeds.
“Both have made record investments,” Elleithee said Monday. “They don’t throw money away.”
Kaine expressed similar sentiments.
“It’s not just dollars,” Kaine said, later adding that the party “wouldn’t be doing it” unless leaders believed in Deeds.
This week, the DNC donated another $1 million to Deeds’ campaign. The national party plans to spend at least $6 million on the Virginia race.
Kaine also said he believes President Barack Obama will make another visit to Virginia to stump for Deeds before Election Day, though he said he didn’t know specific details.
“The White House is very engaged,” Kaine said.