The race to the bottomPolitics

Roger Corman

The Cuccinelli campaign is circulating a Sunday Washington Times editorial that scolds Terry McAuliffe for his ever-expanding “war on women” campaign theme.

That’s right, Virginia. At least one of the otherwise rudderless gubernatorial campaigns actually has a theme. The “war on women” isn’t exactly edifying. It’s more like the script of a Roger Corman movie.

But the millions the McAuliffe campaign and its allies have poured into such ads has worked in one very important way.

Ken Cuccinelli’s negatives are sky-high. McAuliffe’s aren’t anything to brag about, but they aren’t as bad as Cuccinelli’s. When unfavorable ratings reach nearly 50 percent (Cuccinelli was at 47 percent in the Hampton University poll), your campaign’s path to victory isn’t just difficult, it’s downright treacherous.

I’m not ready to put a fork in any of the statewide campaigns just yet. But there are a couple of things I’m ready to bet on (for entertainment purposes, only):

1. Overall voter turnout won’t reach 2009′s 40.4 percent. It will struggle to reach 35 percent.

2. And that means fewer votes will be cast this year than were cast for governor in 2001 — and only slightly more than were cast in 1997.

And there’s also one possibility: the eventual winner (or survivor) crosses the line with less than 50 percent of the vote. That hasn’t happened in a Virginia governor’s race in a very, very long time.

This result means Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis will have to do very well on election day. And if he finishes strong, not only does he hobble the winner (what self-respecting member of the General Assembly will fear a governor who can’t claim a majority of the vote?) Sarvis just might deliver the LP a line on the next ballot. No petitioning required.

Such an outcome assumes a lot. Perhaps too much. But if it happens, then Virginia politics will, at least temporarily, have a third player at the table.

  • Russ Gottwald

    The RPV may need a third player to help it straighten up.

  • Alexis Rose Bank

    If my involvement in GOP politics in this state has taught me anything, it’s that the people who run the party are either indifferent, nuts, evil, or some combination of all three – and that they plan to die with their hands still gripping the reins of power, no matter how badly the party fares as a result. Another voice at the table to perhaps introduce a little bit of sanity and opinion independent from the political elite class is desperately needed in Virginia.

  • ghostofteddalton

    Pretty spot-on.

    I’d add this observation…the Convention was the turning point in this campaign. The negative energy coming out of it was overwhelming. For 2+ weeks after the convention, the Cuccinelli campaign got the you-know-what hammered out of it. And it’s never recovered.

    • midwestconservative

      Agreed, a Primary with Bolling ( which would have turned into a Cuccinelli win anyway) would have allowed the Campaigns time to weed out their weaknesses. Instead the GOP went into Convention thinking the election was theirs, nominated a completely unqaulified and off putting nominee for Lt. Gov. and then spent the next two weeks hobbling away from that. Cuccinelli should have also resigned as AG so he could focus on the campaign and avoid upcoming hot button issues ( like the sodomy law)

  • AMCIT

    I predict *IF* Sarvis (or anyone) can convince non-partisan voters to get to the polls, Sarvis will do well. All it will take is for those who don’t vote “R” or “D” to see there is a 3rd candidate from which to choose.

    Sarvis is woefully unqualified. BUT, he’s not Cuccinelli or McAuliffe.

  • Va Patriot

    I want to congratulate those who have sat around being “principled” all summer instead of working. Looking forward to future years of your splitting the vote and electing Democrats. Many have clearly forgotten (or have never known or studied) the policies pushed by the Democrat party in Virginia when they were in power. I for one do remember and that is one reason why I will be working until the very end to see this entire ticket elected. Stick a fork in this article; the race is not done.