President Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Vice President Biden, and a nearly $15 million edge in campaign cash couldn’t get the big victory Democrats were hoping for in Virginia. Terry McAuliffe “hauled in $34.4 million in campaign contributions, roughly $14 million more than Cuccinelli, including $8.1 million in the final month.”
For the past few months McAuliffe was said to be 10 or more points ahead of Cuccinelli. Even though McAuliffe won, he did not get 50 percent of the vote. There’s still a great deal of voter dissatisfaction.
ObamaCare did not get the endorsement that the Democrats were hoping for. When Obama came to Virginia to support McAuliffe, he did not mention his signature policy program – the Affordable Care Act.
Cuccinelli hammered the ObamaCare debacle: “I’m scared to death about what ObamaCare is doing to Virginians, and Terry McAuliffe is scared to death what ObamaCare is doing to Terry McAuliffe.”
There was a so-called Libertarian in the race who was not a Libertarian who had the backing of the Democrats:
“A major Democratic Party benefactor and Obama campaign bundler helped pay for professional petition circulators responsible for getting Virginia Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert C. Sarvis on the ballot. . . .
“Campaign finance records show the Libertarian Booster PAC has made the largest independent contribution to Sarvis’ campaign, helping to pay for professional petition circulators who collected signatures necessary to get Sarvis’ name on Tuesday’s statewide ballot.
“Austin, Texas, software billionaire Joe Liemandt is the Libertarian Booster PAC’s major benefactor. He’s also a top bundler for President Barack Obama.”
This seems to be the new tactic of the Democrats. Put a competing non-establishment candidate in the race to siphon off votes from the Republicans.
I suspect that establishment Republicans had mixed feelings about the McAuliffe win. On one hand, they would have liked to have seen a GOP victory. On the other hand, they did not want to see a Tea Party-backed candidate win. It won’t be long before we hear the GOP brainiacs pontificating on TV interview shows that the Tea Party is a dangerous movement within the party that can’t win the big elections.
Virginia could have gone to the GOP if Republicans had turned out. There’s still a lot of dissatisfaction among conservative voters with the Republicans. They don’t trust the party leaders. McCain, McConnell, and Graham have damaged the party’s prospects with their anti-Cruz attacks and their disdain for the Tea Party.
There’s another factor. The GOP establishment did not fully behind Cuccinelli either in campaign support or donor money. In the 2009 election, the Republican National Committee “spent $9M to win VA by 17 points. Looks like it’ll have spent $3M in 2013 to lose by a hair. Dummies.”
So if you want someone to blame, it was the GOP establishment.
Watch for the GOP to tout the victory of “moderate” Chris Christie as the shining example of how to win an election.