Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign was horribly run; he was outspent on the airwaves as much as 10:1 some weeks; the party had abandoned him. Yet somehow he surged back from a double-digit deficit to lose by only 2.5 points.
There are obviously a lot of different factors that contributed to sinking Cuccinelli early on in the race. It’s clear that the scandal with the McDonnell administration hurt him early on. The millions of dollars in misleading ads that were unanswered also juiced out Democrat turnout and swayed some suburban women against Ken. Moreover, Virginia is now a different state than it used to be even 10 years ago. Once again, blacks represented 20% of the electorate, a high hill to climb when they are voting over 90% for the Democrat.
However, one thing is clear. Once Ken began focusing solely on Obamacare, he surged and almost caught up with McAuliffe. Had the election continued for another two weeks with Republicans spending money hitting McAuliffe over Obamacare, it’s likely the result would have been very different.
Now, many Republicans will blame conservatives for hurting Cuccinelli with the government shutdown. But the exit polls show that this is the dog that didn’t bark. Voters were split down the middle (47%-46%) when asked who they blamed for the shutdown. Remember that an even score is good for Republicans because some of those who recognize that Republicans perpetrated the actual shutdown still agree with the underlying rationale.
Imagine what would have happened had we enjoyed a united front against Obamacare for the past few months?
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