NY Times — Two State Races May Put Lens on Obama

He was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win this state since 1964, assembling a coalition – independent voters, economically distressed rural Democrats and blacks – that his party saw as evidence that it could take and hold Republican-leaning areas across the nation.

But things are different today. At a time when Mr. Obama’s national approval ratings have declined, a Democratic candidate for governor, R. Creigh Deeds, is struggling to keep Virginia in the Democratic column.

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