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by
Rick Moran

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November 2, 2013 - 2:00 pm
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While the polls for the Virginia governor’s race have narrowed somewhat over the last fortnight, there are signs that a kind of pre-post-mortem on the race is underway among national Republicans, with the two factions who are currently at each other’s throats over everything else  blaming one another for what many experts predicted should have been a Republican victory.

Politico reports:

Well before the last votes are cast in the state’s off-year governor’s race, GOP leaders are already engaged in a spirited debate over why, exactly, a fight against a Democrat as flawed as Terry McAuliffe has turned into such a painful slog of a campaign. Even Republicans who haven’t yet counted out their nominee, state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, view the governor’s race as a profile in frustration for the GOP – an election that should have leaned toward the Republicans, but where Democrats have held a persistent lead in polling, money and tactical prowess.

The GOP’s internal discussion about the race mirrors much of the broader national tug of war within the conservative coalition, between officials and strategists who want the party to trim back some of its most confrontational tactics and hard-edged rhetoric, and activists bent on drawing the starkest possible lines of contrast with the Democratic party of President Barack Obama.

The clearest battle lines will emerge after Tuesday; but the Washington community has groused for months about Cuccinelli’s history of incendiary, ultra-ideological stances, while rank-and-file activists have watched with horror as well-tailored GOP donors have defected to McAuliffe. Everyone in the party – establishment and tea party alike – has fumed over the ongoing ethics controversies that have rocked outgoing Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration and undercut Cuccinelli’s anticipated advantage over McAuliffe on personal integrity.

A Cuccinelli defeat, in other words, would have a thousand fathers. But this much is already clear: the GOP’s accumulated problems in Virginia have brought the party to the edge of a historic defeat in a nationally pivotal swing state, potentially producing a Republican shutout of all five statewide offices (governor, attorney general, lieutenant governor and two U.S. senators) for the first time since the Nixon administration.

Republican Governors Association executive director Phil Cox, whose group has spent nearly $8 million boosting Cuccinelli, firmly rejected the idea that the Virginia race reflected any limitations of conservative ideas. But he allowed that there may be lessons to learn about how you go about delivering a conservative message.

Most observers agree that the polls have been particularly unhelpful in determining the state of the race. Last week, the Quinnipiac and Emerson College polls both showed former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe ahead by just 2 points. But two other polls showed McAuliffe comfortably ahead by 7. All the polls show Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis at or near 10%, pulling slightly more support from Republicans than Democrats.

Conventional wisdom says that Cuccinelli was undone by the government shutdown — a logical, but largely unproven thesis. The problem with it is that while it’s true that government is hugely important to the Virginia economy, and that Tea Party Republicans were generally blamed by Virginians for it, there’s no indication of any lasting damage as a result of the circus in Washington. McAuliffe is ahead by the same percentage now as he was before the shutdown — a 7% edge according to the RCP average.

What about those polls showing a narrower race? The Quinnipiac and Emerson surveys polled respondents during the time that the blow-up over Obamacare hit its peak with the president’s lies about Americans being able to keep their insurance if they liked it exposed. One would think that if Cuccinelli could be damaged by the government shutdown, McAuliffe might have taken a hit due to the imbroglio over Obamacare.

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Top Rated Comments   
It is very interesting that Conservative's comments on their belief in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are almost always referred to as having a "history of incendiary, ultra-ideological stances" while Marxist misfits, malcontents, and criminals are almost always referred to as moderate or middle of the road.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"black people" don't always cheat, but the vote can and does get artificially inflated through democrat vote manipulation.

And why America's black population is so dedicated to the democrat party, THE party of racism and segregation, defies rational understanding.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Can Cuccinelli Pull Off the Upset?"

Wrong question.

Can Cuccinelli pull off the upset against the amoral, shallow democrat guy who will say anything for votes ?

Maybe not, given all the Latinos molycoddled by the democrats in VA and all the women who think the crook McAuliffe is the cats pajamas 'cause he supports abortion.

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (29)
All Comments   (29)
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44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
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44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
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45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree that Cuccinelli's ideas are incendiary. His ideas are from the 18th century. He won't get votes from intelligent, well-educated men or women. The GOP in Virginia ALWAYS shoots itself in the foot. This gave the Democrats an opportunity to win with this terrible candidate.I lived in Northern Virginia for many years and remember when they ran a "stealth" candidate against Jim Moran in the year when Moran had gotten himself in kinds of trouble. Stealth didn't even bother to put out publicity brochures.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
One of the factors I think is going to play out is the fact that, while the rest of the County has been suffering through an anemic economy, the DC area has had no such issues and has been prospering.

So right off the bat residents of the Virginia areas neighboring DC are going to be quite happy with how Democrats are running things.

Then you have the massive influx into that same region of Hispanic immigrants - quite a percentage of them illegal. They are likewise going to instinctively vote Democrat despite the best efforts of Rove & Co.

And of course you have voter fraud.

These three factors alone may be enough to swing the state into the Democrat column despite the best efforts of the rest of the state before ever even getting into issues such as his stand on abortion or birth control, or how he has run his campaign.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Many of the people attracted by the Libertarians are economic conservatives but social liberals, especially on abortion and pot. We have to do a better job with the kids.

And we have to push some of the Donks into the Libertarian camp, if we can.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Two names play a big role in what happened to Cuccinelli: McDonnell and Bolling. I think the issues with current governor Bob MdDonnell (the tax issue and the gifts scandal issue) really hurt Cuccinelli. And Bolling's sore loser act also hurt. (Bolling has probably lost my vote for good in future elections.)

Had McDonnell finished his term as strongly as he started, I think Cuccinelli would have been a shoe-in. Had Bolling been a gracious loser, well, I don't know if it would have made a difference, but it wouldn't have hurt Cuccinellie's chances.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think you are right on with your comment. I also was disappointed with Bolling and Gov McDonnell has done really well. Another attack by the Dems at a key point in time, just before this election. They are a slick and dangerous operating political machine. Voters in other parties need to unite to fight this Democrat Party and not allow them to keep dividing the parties and dividing the people. Splitting parties and people is how they survive. I really feel like Cuccinelli has been slugging it out on his own, and still is neck and neck with McAuliffe, and without lying to the Virginia voters. No help at all for Cuccinelli from the GOP. Shame on them. They used the Tea Party to win the House and then act like we are a part of the family they disown until it is convenient. I'm getting tired of that treatment.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I live in Virginia, and am voting for Cuccinelli because by and large I like his principled stances, and even on the stances of his that I disagree with, I respect that he fights for them.

But the point of this response is that I screen my phone calls, and I have seen Quinnipiac on my caller ID several times. When I do, I don't answer.

Frankly, I have better things to do than waste my time with some private polling firm once...let alone dozens of times.

I don't think I am alone in this practice, so when you look at polling data, bear in mind the kind of people who talk to telephone pollsters and the kind of people who do not.

This reminds me of the primary season in 2008. I saw a Lexus minivan on the Baltimore beltway driven by a 40-something White woman with a "Hillary Clinton" sticker on it...spoke volumes about Hillary's support.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
f the Quinnipiac poll is inaccurate, its because of people like you.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is very interesting that Conservative's comments on their belief in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are almost always referred to as having a "history of incendiary, ultra-ideological stances" while Marxist misfits, malcontents, and criminals are almost always referred to as moderate or middle of the road.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
'It is very interesting that Conservative's comments on their belief in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are almost always referred to as having a "history of incendiary, ultra-ideological stances"' .... it's called "projection".
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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