In a few hours, we will likely learn that prolific Democratic fundraiser Terry McAuliffe has been elected Governor of Virginia.
And much as we can predict that result, we can alos predict the reactions. The Democrats (and their allies in the mainstream media) will depict it as a repudiation of conservatism, a rejection of the ideas espoused by the Tea Party. Certain Tea Party conservatives will fault the GOP establishment for not adequately supporting Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli. And some establishment Republican will contend that McAuliffe’s victory proves that Tea Party conservatives cannot win in swing states.
And that will all be wrong. Should Cuccinelli as expected, lose, there will be a number of reasons for his defeat, with standing out. First, he was a lousy candidate who ran a lousy campaign, never really putting forward a positive message. And, second (somewhat related to the first), McAuliffe is a prolific fundraiser, able to raise millions of dollars to run a nasty campaign against the Republican. In other words, he basically followed the Obama ’12 game plan. He out-raised and outspent the Republican, going early to the airwaves to smear his opponent.
It’s all the Democrats have left–demonizing the Republicans.
And Cuccinellli made an easy target. Sean Trende explains:
Cuccinelli’s problem in a nutshell is this: The Old Dominion would probably vote for a candidate who had sued a professor at the University of Virginia over his climate science research. It would probably vote for a candidate who referred to homosexuality as unnatural. It would probably vote for a candidate who tried to limit no-fault divorce. It would probably vote for a candidate who covered up an exposed breast on the state seal. It would probably vote for a candidate who wasn’t sure if the president was born in the United States. It would probably vote for a candidate who told colleges and universities to strip protections for gays and lesbians.
What it won’t typically do is vote for a candidate who holds all of these positions, and is unapologetic in them. [Read more…]