Democrat Terry McAuliffe Wins Virginia Governor’s Race

Tops Republican Ken Cuccinelli in close race

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Gary Cameron / Reuters

Virginia Democratic governor-elect Terry McAuliffe speaks to supporters during his election night victory rally in Tyson's Corner, Virginia November 5, 2013.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe edged out Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli in the race to be the state’s next governor on Tuesday, riding a significant financial advantage and voter distaste over the Republican’s staunchly conservative stances on social issues to victory in the key swing state.

The contest was close late into Tuesday night after polls had indicated McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee chairman and close Clinton confidante, could win by high single digits. But with 96% of precincts reporting, McAuliffe led Cuccinelli 47.1% to 46.3%, and the Associated Press called the race for McAuliffe at about 10 p.m. E.T. A third candidate, libertarian Robert Sarvis, ended up winning a critical 6.7%.

It’s the first time the party occupying the White House has won the state’s off-year gubernatorial election since 1973.

McAuliffe, a longtime party moneyman, raised almost $15 million more than Cuccinelli, and almost $35 million overall, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. McAuliffe spent more in every media market in Virginia, and over the past four months, when he led in every major poll, his campaign has spent more than his opponent’s 12 out of those 15 weeks, according to the Washington Post.

His air assault helped portray Cuccinelli as an extreme candidate on social issues, especially on same-sex marriage, abortion and contraception. That led to a considerable gender gap, with McAuliffe outperforming Cuccinelli among suburban women, who are key to winning elections in the state.

“His entire strategy has been to mislead Virginians — particularly women — about my record,” Cuccinelli complained of McAuliffe in a Politico op-ed the day before the election.

Meanwhile, Cuccinelli’s attempts to brand McAuliffe as an unethical, inside-the-Beltway operator proved insufficient.

Polls showed that voters viewed both candidates negatively. But in the end, as one Virginia businessman told TIME in July, McAuliffe was the lesser of two evils.

A recent Post poll showed that voters in fact cared more about transportation than ethical issues, to McAuliffe’s further benefit; he backed the state’s bipartisan transportation law, while Cuccinelli opposed it.

In the final weeks before Election Day, both candidates trotted out star supporters to rise above the mud. McAuliffe called in President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and old pal former President Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, made her first campaign appearance in nearly five years to support McAuliffe, who co-chaired her husband’s 1996 re-election campaign and chaired her 2008 campaign.

Cuccinelli, meanwhile, saw visits from Senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, as well as former Representative Ron Paul. But Ron Paul, the libertarian icon, failed to stanch the bleeding of support to Sarvis, who proved a significant spoiler in the race. Cuccinelli, who tried to make the bungled rollout of Obama’s health care law a key issue, ended up being more hurt by the government shutdown in a state where the economy is heavily reliant on government spending.

57 comments
mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Republican choices Sedition or governance?

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/11/republican-choices

If Republicans want to win, the Christie path is clearly the right one. After all, Mr Christie commandingly won re-election in a traditionally Democratic state, thanks in part to a strong performance among demographics groups with which Republicans have traditionally struggled. Mr Cuccinelli lost in a traditionally Republican state to a pretty sleazy money-grubber who even Democrats don't much like. But that "if" in this paragraph's first sentence matters. Mr Christie may find it easier to win a general election than he will most Republican primaries, because plenty of Republican-primary voters prefer purity and the fervour of rectitute to pragmatism and the ugly necessity of compromise. As Mr Christie pointed out in his victory/maiden Christie-Rubio 2016 speech, if Republicans want to win they have to "show up in the places where we're uncomfortable". If they don't want to do that, well, they can always head down to the heart of the old Confederacy and wax lyrical about states' rights and armed rebellion.

edwardsmythe1970
edwardsmythe1970

When will the GOP learn that extreme social conservatism is a sure path to extinction?  There is no turning the clock back to a mythical idealized past, no matter how much the religious right huffs and puffs.  So stay loyal to anachronistic positions and be increasingly marginalized, or move to the center-right and stop the culture wars, and have a chance of remaining relevant.  Either way, America is moving on.

Hermione
Hermione

I have friends in Virginia - they are Independent voters, like myself.  Each and everyone of them voted for Terry McAuliffe, for no other reason than to help elect the man that would spend more time doing his job, and less time monitoring everyone's bedroom affairs.

It is the extremist right-leaning social issues that turned a lot of women and Independents away from Cuccinelli.  This was an election that could have easily have been handed to the GOP, but the GOP has once again chosen to spend more time swinging a Bible, than swinging swing voters to vote for their candidate. 

Oh well, GOP, your loss.

onemind
onemind

Once again Libertarians have elected another Democrat, just as they did from within the Republican Party in the last cycle, saving Harry  Reid from defeat. Rand Paul, Ron Paul and followers are within the party while others, as in this race, do so from with out. The Republican Party has a place in our nation but they are going to have to split from the libertarian wacko's and tea party extremist. Drive them out, rebuild with Reagan and Bush 1 minded candidates and they can offer the Country a meaningful alternative for the moderate voters who are not particularly happy with the Democrats either. I know for I am one of them. Polling shows the vast majority of the Country is like minded. Mean time Democrats are going to continue to win with candidates the majority of voters do not necessarily want.

chacalcdn
chacalcdn

Well it's a step in the right direction.

Voodooism got a wake-up call but it wont stop the Palins, Cruz and Bachman from lighting smoke screens and predicting doom.

Sorry tea people but Holloween is over...

Greek_T
Greek_T

So proud, keep up the good work.

Dude_who_cares
Dude_who_cares

Libertarians are great, they win more elections for the Dems then Dems win for themselves.

Louie13
Louie13

McAuliffe's win clearly proves that the general electorate continues to fully embrace "Stupidity".  This two faced hypocrite (much like Crist of Florida and Christie of NJ) tries to come across squeaky clean to the media all the while working to bury on going scandals with his name mentioned as a major player.......People apparently haven't yet learned their lesson with "Fast & Furious" ,IRS Scandal, NSA Scandal, Benghazi Scandal, Obama's outright lies and Hillary's total incompetence in any position of responsibility.  Keep it going folks. You'll wake up when it's too late!

iQ
iQ

Good to start seeing the country wake up to these fraudulent fat-cats like the Palins and Becks and those Koch brothers using the ignorant and poor to vote in these buffoons.  In places like Montana where the tea-party has given 'crazy' a new name they vote on issues like "hunting with a spear" in the State legislature.


I suppose that's all that will be left in that State because they sure ain't creating or fixing anything.  But some are still making out like bandits from their ignorance.

paulejb
paulejb

The Democrat party managed a 2% victory in VA with the help of a ringer run in as a "libertarian" by one of Obama's billionaire pals. Not exactly a wave election.

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

Oh, TIME Magazine, you sure know how lamely to spin a story...

If so much "voter distaste" existed, than how did Cuccinelli come within 1% of beating McAuliffe??  Clearly, it was a close competition, and much debate existed within Virginia about those more "conservative issues."  The issues were not settled, and the state will continue to be hotly contested in future elections.

aztecian
aztecian

so what kind of retirement package does he get if he wins?

jmac
jmac

The spin on Fox was that this was  a win for Republicans.   The close race apparently meant people hate Obamacare.  

sacredh
sacredh

Put Virginia in Hillary's column in 2016. Ohio too.

Curious_Quiche
Curious_Quiche

Also, I hope Mr. Jackson really enjoys eating that cake of his. Alone. Crying. I would do some pretty shady stuff to get a shot of that. Think of the memes!

Curious_Quiche
Curious_Quiche

Oooh my goodness, this is so much nicer on an actual computer. Not nearly as nice as watching the crestfallen troglodytes at.......literally any of the Republican candidate headquarters. Mu. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

So, other than the Rhino in NJ, every republican lost?

A pity.

My personal victory? I helped dump a hack city council member for an actual progressive in Minneapolis's 3rd Ward. Started in March, ended tonight.


sacredh
sacredh

"It’s the first time the party occupying the White House has won the state’s off-year gubernatorial election, and the first time Democrats have occupied all five statewide offices since 1969."

McAuliffe wasn't a very good candidate, but then again, neither was Cuccinelli. Still, Virginia has gone for the democratic candidate for president in two straight elections, it's got all five state-wide offices and I think the GOP can kiss it goodbye as a reliable state for future presidential elections.

barneydidit
barneydidit

@onemind Bush I? Yeah, I can go along with that. Ronald "Uhmmmm...I don't recall what I told those Iranians" Reagan I can do without. 

Hermione
Hermione

@Louie13 

These polititicians, from both parties, often engage in these 'scandals', that is nothing new.

dectra
dectra

@Louie13  

Sorry, Louie......GOP has a lock on "Stupid"


You just need to admit you hate others for not sharing YOUR views.

Louie13
Louie13

@iQ Yeah Obama, Biden, the Clintons, Reid and Pelosi making it on the backs of you Morons!

barneydidit
barneydidit

@iQ I think Palin supports hunting wolves with spears from airplanes...because God gave us dominion over the animals...we know that because it says so in the Bible. 

Constitutional.Reset
Constitutional.Reset

@paulejb Not a wave, Not a mandate.   More likely a felonious election fraud.  That presumptuous sin will likely end up OWNING McAuliffe and crew.


Election fraud exists in
A ) Voting illegally,
B ) wrongly counting the votes and
C ) the process of gaining (or attempting to gain) a person's voting choice by fraud (18USC1343) or bribe.
There are more counts with easily found conclusive evidence of C ).
The remedy for C ) can be fast and easy. And build momentum for a remedy to A) and B ) .

jason024
jason024

@paulejb You may be inclined to think McAuliffe was some "hero" Democrat who almost lost....when in fact he is the worst of the two horrible candidates. Losing a close race to a good candidate is one thing. But to a guy who people hated less than your guy? Yeah not so much.

kritt
kritt

@paulejb The bundler that backed Sarvis has a long history of contributing to Libertarian causes and candidates. And Citizens United made it  a lot easier for billionaires to control the results of elections. If you are unhappy with that, you should take it up with SCOTUS

barneydidit
barneydidit

@paulejb I was told that the Tea Party Conservative lost due to the media's liberal bias.  Could be just a rumor though. 

kritt
kritt

@mrbomb13 Mac won the state by more of a margin than W Bush had in either of his election "wins".  Yet, he and Cheney proceeded as though he had a huge mandate. 

The truth is that the voters were unhappy with both candidates, but its winner take all

MrObvious
MrObvious

@mrbomb13 

Off year election with two unpopular candidates. This should be an easy GOP victory. It's a pity that GOP keep running village idiots.

Purity, it's what is burning down the barn.

Sucks to be stuck behind the wrong demarcation line on the changing demographic. Sucks even worse to be so stupid to attacking it. It's like toasting your chances with a blowtorch.

Curious_Quiche
Curious_Quiche

@sacredh I'm doing a little cross coverage here and I just. Now. Read. one of these dullards say, "Such a close victory is really a strong Republican mandate."


How far can Wile E. run before he realizes there's no more cliff? It beggars the imagination.

sacredh
sacredh

@Paul,nnto, to paraphrase Apocalypse Now, "I love the smell of facepalm in the morning". 

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@sacredh "McAuliffe wasn't a very good candidate, but then again, neither was Cuccinelli."

Apparently, a self-important, corporatist sleezebag hack still wins over a self-important, misogynistic Christian moralist, even in the Old Confederacy. Hope and Change?

dectra
dectra

@Louie13

Hey, Louie....what have YOU accomplished?

Oh, that's right....you moan and cry on chat boards........

Constitutional.Reset
Constitutional.Reset

@Hollywooddeed @paulejb   So, in most sports when a team cheats its way to a declaration of victory, particularly when the cheating is defined as criminal by the laws of  man and God, 
how often do you think the 'winner' would undo their criminal win if they could?

sacredh
sacredh

@Paul,nnto, the minute Mccain chose palin (15 actually, I had to Google her), I didn't worry about 2008. I didn't worry about 2012 either. If Hillary does run in 2016, I won't spend any time worrying about 2016.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@sacredh @Paul,nnto I'm in a good Effing mood. No one gave Frey a chance 8 months ago.

Small potatoes for everyone here at Swampland but take the lesson….the big can fall.


Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@sacredh @Paul,nnto I wasn't worried in 2008 because of w (which I always thought explained how hard fought the Democratic primary was-they both knew whichever  one won the nomination would win the general) and 2012 was a case of you can't be somebody with nobody.

Right now 2016 looks like 2012. 

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@Louie13 @Paul,nnto @sacredh Worse than that Pawlenty was elected…twice!

Of course, like Ventura, with never reaching 50% of the vote.

Where are you from Louie?

Louie13
Louie13

@Paul,nnto @sacredh 

How the hell would anyone from Minn know anything about "Governing".  Is it not you idiots who voted in Ventura?  Wow...Talk about dumb.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@sacredh @Paul,nnto Not in my case, this is Minneapolis, a one party town.

D versus D.

Nationally the shutdown just reinforced the correct impression that republicans can't govern. 

Curious_Quiche
Curious_Quiche

@sacredh @Paul,nnto It may be. It looks like all the transvaginal ultrasounds and gays and stuff played second fiddle to people wanting to be able to get to work. The dude who wanted to plow up the roads lost to a dude who was like, "Meh, roads are all right". Good enough for me. I guess it's just endemic of, howdoyousay, a deep seated flaw within the Pubs.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@Curious_Quiche Funny, I assume, McAullife more analogous to Carthage (commercial versus ideological). Let's hope that Rome falls a bit sooner this time around.