Deeds Edging Closer to McDonnell in Va. Governor's Race

Controversial thesis, Obama may be helping Deeds close the gap

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    Deeds speaks at Northern Virginia Community College and announces the formation of "Women for Deeds," a group of Virginia women backing the Democrat's campaign for governor.

    Days after questions arose regarding a thesis that Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell wrote while at Regent University in 1989, a new poll shows that McDonnell's lead over Democratic nominee Creigh Deeds has been cut in half, from 14 points last month to seven.

    The thesis espoused socially conservative views regarding feminists, homosexuals and contraceptives.

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    Republican candidate for governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell calls the controversy around a master's thesis he wrote in 1989 is a desperate ploy from Democrats. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009)

    The poll, commissioned by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling and conducted mostly after the thesis story was published by The Washington Post, shows McDonnell with a 49-42 lead over Deeds. The poll also shows that Deeds has increased his share of the black vote from 64 percent last month to 81 percent this month, indicating that an appearance with and endorsements by President Barack Obama helped Deeds' cause.

    The thesis issue has gained traction online, where both campaigns are waging war with Google ads attempting to spin the reaction to the story.