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Parties Ready to Spin Virginia Results for 2012

Molly Riley/Newscom/Reuters

Looking out into a crowd of about 100, Kaine remarked about the turnout and said with a smile, Will you come to some more events with me over the next year?

I will have done 50-plus events for candidates from the middle of summer through Tuesday so yeah, you learn a lot along the way, Kaine said after the event. There will be some changes next year. Sometimes an election goes one way one year, and then the next, they go differently. We see that. But I do think well learn something about Virginians desire for balance.

Democrats in the state are coming off two straight years of losses, including a GOP sweep of statewide offices in 2009 and a pickup of three Congressional seats in 2010. Party members at Sundays rally were cognizant of the possibility of losing the state Senate but remained cautiously optimistic they could hold on.

The source close to Allens campaign said the state Senate elections have offered very valuable face time with voters and were something the campaign built into its strategy this year. The source also said hell look at Tuesdays results in the context of the last few elections.

Really, the story line is whether what we saw in 2010 built off 2009 is there, remnants of that momentum still there, he said. What weve seen is [that] there is.

Joining Kaine at Sundays event were Sen. Jim Webb whom he is running to succeed and former Rep. Tom Perriello, who lost his Charlottesville-based seat last year. It was part of more than a dozen events featuring the states top Democrats during the past four days along the I-81 corridor, east on I-66 toward Washington, D.C., and then south along I-95.

Along with Sen. Mark Warner (D) and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D), they all also appeared at a rally Monday at George Mason University in Fairfax to help wake up voters about the states off-off-year elections, as they were called Sunday.

Webb made headlines last week for hesitating when asked if he would campaign for the president next year. But he was charged up on Sunday, vociferously denouncing a Halloween-themed mailer from the Loudoun County Republican Party that portrayed a zombie-looking Obama with a bullet hole in his head.

That may have been one of the few mail pieces in the state that featured the president. Republicans have taken note of the lack of Democratic candidates that have aligned themselves at all with Obama.

Far more prevalent are Democratic mail pieces featuring a Democrat embracing Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), who has an approval rating above 60 percent. That includes state Sen. George Barker (D) in Fairfax and Prince William counties, whose mail included such a picture along with a quote attributed to McDonnell that read, Ive enjoyed working with you on technology and education issues.

According to the state GOP, that message came off a birthday card, something McDonnell sends to all state legislators.

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