In other words, the Jacksonians aren’t returning to the Democrats, at least in Virginia. Deeds might still have been able to win without them, but the Democrats are also showing weakness in the Virginia suburbs. In other words, two pieces of the Clinton-Warner coalition are starting to break away.
This is a real problem for the Democrats. If the suburbanites and the Jacksonians move away from the party, there is very, very little left for them. And there’s reason to think that the suburban weakness is real. Obama’s fiscal policy, to make an understatement, hasn’t been Clintonian. It may not be entirely his fault, but the $787 billion stimulus, the trillion dollar healthcare bill, the automobile bailout, and the budget showing trillion dollar deficits extending for the next decade make suburbanites shudder. They don’t much like debt, and they intuit this spending is going to have to be paid for at some point – probably by them. Voters still give Obama some benefit of the doubt, as they do most Presidents in their first year, but they are becoming very, very worried, and probably don’t put much stock in Candidate Obama’s promise to enact a net spending cut any more.