NEW JERSEY: Per the Washington Post, the Republican Governors Association is courting environmentalists and Hispanics, traditional left-leaning Democratic voters in the state. One new TV ad, running on cable stations across the state, says, "The Sierra Club says Jon Corzine has the worst environmental record in New Jersey history."
NEW YORK: Will some state Dems begin "drafting" Andrew Cuomo to run for governor? The New York Times: "Democrats are concerned that the election prospects of the party's candidates will be undermined with Mr. Paterson prominently on the ticket, as he is hobbled by plunging job-approval ratings and missteps that have raised questions about whether he should even run next year."
VIRGINIA: As we mentioned yesterday, Creigh Deeds (D) launched his abortion rights tour, in an attempt to pain Bob McDonnell (R) as too conservative for the state. The Washington Post: "Deeds's message could energize a Democratic base that has been showing signs of sluggishness since last year's overwhelming victory in the presidential election. It could also chip away at McDonnell's campaign promises that he would focus on education, jobs and transportation if elected governor."
But: "Republicans seized on Deeds's new message, convinced that it will prove to be a strategic blunder for the Democrat to force the difficult social issue into the forefront of the campaign. They say the Deeds push is a departure from the approach of his Democratic successors Mark Warner and Timothy M. Kaine. Neither made such an early, high-profile foray into the topic during their campaigns for governor in 2001 and 2005."
The Deeds camp tells First Read, however, that Kaine ran an advertisement on abortion in 2005, and that the Obama campaign distributed lots of mail on the subject last year.