Virginia Governor's Race

I’ve met people on both sides who seem very excited about the candidates. They seem to be more of a minority though. I’m more of a pox on both their houses type. If only they could both lose.

I don’t mean to prejudice debate though. Tell me why they measure up, or why you hate the other guy.

TMac is dirty, sleezy and corrupt. In corrupt deals where he’d invest money to give money up front to dying folks in a pinch to get their death benefits. And leaving his wife and newborn on way from hospital to fundraise/hobnob is just repulsive.

Ken Cuccinelli is a big government extremist. Sued a UVA professor which is crazy. Then not resigning as AG. Then the social stuff. then the weird cover teh flag prudery. Ugh.

I completely split my ticket voting for 3 different parties with sarvis at the top.

BTw, a Big story to today is that Dems blew away R’s in spending. TMac outspent KC by what $15 million? Dems outspent R’s down ballot by over $14 million.

I think this Dem big money coming to play big time and R’s sitting out since 2012. But the idea that R’s will outspent Dems is a fallacy that today should lay to rest. Most of the recent elections, Dems have a big money advantage.

Race is a lot closer than the polling indicated. Looks like McAuliffe will win by about 3-4 points.

I think he’ll win by 2 and be under 50%. Not good for him. R’s will take AG and hold onto massive house of delegate margin and R’s will likely take the Senate as well since Northam will lose his seat.

Edit: AG is too close but R might squeak by. i’d guess a recount

There’s a lot of money in Northern Virginia and McAuliffe was able to tap that. The other factor as you note, the major Republican donors stayed out of this race. Cuccinelli has little support in the upper reaches of the party.

I think he’ll win by 2 and be under 50%. Not good for him.

From my view, that’s ideal. Let him win, but deny him the mandate and string him up in the House of Delegates. If he sits on his hands for the next four years, bully and all the better.

I think the Dem’s best fundraiser this time around was Cuccinelli.

Absolutely true. Bolling would have beaten McAuliffe handily.

Honestly, I’m saddened that the margin of victory was so slim – not because I wanted McAuliffe to win in a landslide, but because I wanted the Tea Party to be handed its ass so that the larger GOP community could point to Virginia as an example of why moderate candidates are the way to go if they want to compete with the Democrats. Because of the narrow victory the Tea Party can still point to Sarvis as the spoiler, or point to the spending disparity, or point the current governor’s scandals, all as reasons that Cuccinelli should have won but didn’t.

And the hell of it is, they are probably right – the Tea Party ideology is still vibrant enough to get hard-core supporters to the booths, and in off-year elections their candidates will win.

The finding thing is a bit of a red herring though – it wasn’t so much that McAuliffe raised more, or that Cuccinelli was starved-out by regular GOP donors. They were at equal levels of funding through most of the summer and early fall and McAuliffe was actually further ahead in the polls back then.

If Bill Bolling was the Republican nominee, he’d be Governor elect this morning.

This is absolutely true. Unfortunately, the Republican party doesn’t seem likely to internalize that lesson.

No offense that makes no sense to me. Funding is a huge thing. Cuccinelli closed very strong likely b/c of ACA and Obama was probably neutral in this election. Extra funding at the end matters a lot.

I think Herring will likely will AG since recounts tend to go Dem.

I don’t think VA is a good test case for that, though, because Cuccinelli didn’t have the broader support of the national GOP. Had the “big guns” come out in his favor, who knows how much filthy lucre would’ve filled his coffers? Which in turn is a reflection of the intra-party fighting between the ultra-conservatives and the merely mostly-conservatives. Ironically, the only people who the GOP are uniting these days are Democrats. :)

The fact he seems like neither a political extremist nor a total asshole probably would’ve worked in his favor, yes.

I suspect the gov’t shutdown played a role, too, at least in those parts of VA dependent on Uncle Sam: NoVA, ofc, but also parts of SE VA too (e.g., Norfolk shipyards area). Not that “The Cooch” was directly involved with that, but the Taint of the Tea Party is strong in this one.

Still, never let it be said I can’t take the glass-half-full view: it’s a triumph of cynical opportunism over batshit insanity!

From the time the first families arrived in the 1640s Virginia has been a very top heavy place. Decisions were made by a small group of older families and the outcomes always favored those settlers. In later years as Virginia expanded and new counties formed on the frontier, the first families chose to subdivide the old Tidewater districts. For every new county, an old one turned into two, thus preserving their control over the house of Burgesses.

Virginia has changed over the centuries but the Party in Richmond still carries that old political tradition. Decisions are made behind closed doors and carried out quietly. Radicalism is not tolerated, comity is prized. Cucinelli realized that he was an outsider, and his little coup d’etat was the only way he would ever get ahead of the Richmond machine. That gamble didn’t work though. The party froze him out instructing donors to close their checkbooks. As someone who likes the status quo, that’s a good thing.

What will the next candidate look like? He’ll look like Bob McDonnell, or Bill Bolling. He will be a loyal member of the party and a moderate candidate. He may touch upon Tea Party themes but he will not be a Tea Party candidate - and he will not build a campaign around social issues.

That’s why I also cited NJ where Dems have a 10+ million advantage on down-ballot races(Per NYT it was $14 mil) as well as the various Colorado elections. You’re seeing a ton of liberal superpacs (bloomberg and that climate guy in Cali) that are outspending conservative pacs by 7 digits in 2013. It’s more than just VA.

I would have won at the top of the Republican ticket. Lemon would have won. I think there are 3 that couldn’t. Cooch, ollie North and LaRouche.

Be clear: I’m not saying that funding doesn’t matter. It does. If Sarvis had as much cash for ads as Cuccinelli did, he would have done better than 7%.

That said, funding is often over-cited as a reason for victory. Analysts usually point to the total fundraising done by both sides, and the larger pile usually belongs to the victor. BUT… in US politics, the money usually follows success rather than the expected converse. The larger portion of money coming in for a candidate is in the last couple months of a campaign when it is typically all over but for the voting. If you’re doing well in the polls, your contributions generally shoot up as business leaders and even your own party start to see you as a probable winner and invest in you.

This was the case for Cuccinelli/McAuliffe: the DNC saw that Cuccinelli was a weak candidate and poured money into McAuliffe’s campaign both because it was a good bet and also because they wanted to ensure that those numbers were not starved for funds. On the other side, the RNC saw Cuccinelli’s weak numbers and which way the wind was blowing and elected not to invest in what they saw as a sinking ship. I’m sure they are kicking themselves now, but I personally don’t think that any additional funding on either side would have tipped the balance – both sides had ample name-recognition and there were few who didn’t know who stood for what.

tl;dr: If Cuccinelli had been leading in the polls three months back, the funding numbers would probably have been reversed.

That’s a tough one to measure. In the areas cited above, McAuliffe did almost 2:1, so you could point to the shutdown as a big reason. But those areas are also deep, deep Blue anyway.

Eh, he had Ted Cruz come out and campaign with him during the shutdown. That’s a pretty big endorsement right there, even if he was not casting a vote directly.

A couple of decent articles on demographics in the Virginia election. Briefly, the conservative turnout was lower, but the Democrat turnout was (proportionally) about the same as in last year’s presidential election. Blacks an Latinos turned out in proportionally similar numbers to 2012, a surprise in an election cycle where there were no big-ticket minority candidates or (direct) issues. Mid-term elections tend to be very pale.

Also, Sarvis turned out to be a non-entity for the most part, despite high hopes that his third-party effort would end up with him getting a decent share of the total. From the Washington Post:

Cuccinelli met his marks in the rural southwestern parts of Virginia, winning by a nearly 2 to 1 margin despite strong efforts by the McAuliffe campaign to paint the Republican as uncaring about poor residents in a region in the heart of coal country.

An October Post-SRBI October poll and others showed Cuccinelli far underperforming in this loyal Republican region, with Cuccinelli leading by only single digits and Sarvis winning outsized support. But on Election Day, Cuccinelli bundled 60 percent of the votes in western and central Virginia, only one point shy of Mitt Romney’s score in 2012, indicating voters in this key Republican region voted up to their reputation.

In other words, the Libertarian-leaning folks who said they hated Cuccinelli’s social stances ended up holding their noses and voting for him rather than Sarvis.

A lot of Republican voters came home on election day. Party loyalty trumped whatever personal feelings that had towards Cucinelli.

And you still get poor southerners in areas ravaged by coal mining voting Republican. It’s one of the most bizarre patterns on American politics I’ve ever observed.

Culture trumps economic interests.

McAuliffe’s views are simply antithetical to SW Virginia.

Even then many in the coal districts oppose handouts. They would prefer to be poor rather than accept government charity. It’s a point of pride.