From the DailyKos, of all sources, via The Hill, August 6:

1. Obama is absolutely, obviously a drag on democrat governor wannabes in Virginia and New Jersey, both up for grabs on November 3

2. The Kos has VA Republican McDonnell with an 8 point lead, but the RCP average poll of polls has the ex AG leading Creigh Deeds and his donkey by 10.0, with recent findings of +15 and +14 in SurveyUSA and PPP polls

3. Either way, the Republican's advantage is growing big and fast

4. Disaffection on the part of Old Dominion dems for Deeds is ponderable, ex Governor Doug Wilder has yet to endorse him

5. And Independents, reflecting a strong national trend, are leaning right in VA, 55 to 40 (according to the Kos)

6. The point is, tho---little has occurred within the state to explain the CHANGE, while so much has gone on NATIONALLY, specifically the president's plummeting popularity in all polls

7. Incumbents EVERYWHERE have hell to pay, the voters are collectively in a REALLY BAD MOOD

8. Obama and his party currently "enjoy" practically ONE PARTY RULE (good for them, congrats!)

9. On June 9, democrat Deeds stunned the political world by walloping bigname Clintonista and ex DNC Chair Terry McCauliffe, 50 to 26 in a 3-way race

10. What happened to McCauliffe is also indicative of the trends Kos is discussing

11. An extremely strong historical tendency as well favors the GOP candidate in VA---for more than 30 years, the top job in Richmond has gone to the party NOT in the White House

12. McDonnell is being promoted as a rising red star, this Saturday he will deliver the national party's rebuttal to Obama's radio address

13. New Jersey, which also has a gubernatorial election on November 3, is even more ready to go red, incumbent Corzine trails state prosecutor Chris Christie by 10 to 15 points in multi-polls for months

14. And that was BEFORE the July 23 arrest of dem mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus and 40 other Jersey pols in a corruption scandal that included the trafficking of human body parts

15. The upshot---just when the cowards in congress are most crucially called to carry Obamacare out of committee, key commonwealths on the coast are expected to change colors by scary quantities

16. At the worst possible juncture for Pelosi/Obama's health care - Obama ratings may be aiding GOP in Virginia

Former Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell (R) has opened up a statistical lead over his Democratic rival in the race for governor, according to new polls out of the Old Dominion, and some political observers say a public souring on President Obama could be the cause.

The latest poll, conducted for the liberal DailyKos website by the independent polling firm Research 2000, shows McDonnell with a 51 percent to 43 percent lead over state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D). That's up from a statistically insignificant one-point margin between the two in a mid-June poll.

In the new poll, both men have healthy leads among their bases, though McDonnell does noticeably better among Democrats than Deeds among Republicans. McDonnell also sports a 55 percent to 40 percent lead among independent voters.

In total, though, little has happened within the Commonwealth to suggest a McDonnell surge. That leads some to conclude that Obama's souring approval ratings are dragging his party down as well.

"For better or worse, the president is perceived as being the leader of [his] party, and as goes fortunes of that presidential leader, often go the political fortunes of the people below them," said Michael McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University.

"There's really not much going on in the race. There's not a lot of advertising that's out there, and there's been no big news," McDonald said. "We're too far out from the election yet for people to really have picked up that there's even a governor's race in Virginia."

"These poll numbers are reflective of bad moods, one against Democrats, the other against the incumbent party in Virginia itself," McDonald said. Deeds is running to become Virginia's third consecutive Democratic governor.

McDonnell did not face a primary contest, unlike Deeds, and the Republican's favorability rating is much higher than that of his Democratic rival. In all, 57 percent of Virginians view McDonnell favorably, compared with just 46 percent who see Deeds the same way.

Republicans have long been optimistic about off-year elections in Virginia and New Jersey, places they believe will give them the necessary footing to launch assaults on Democratic majorities in Congress in 2010.

And historically, the GOP is on solid footing. It has been more than three decades since a president saw a member of his own party win the governorship in Virginia the year after the president was elected.

National Republicans are doing their best to spotlight McDonnell, as well. On Saturday, he will deliver the party's response to Obama's weekly radio address.

The Prof