If one assumes that Ferris Bueller was a second semester senior in the 1986 classic comedy hit “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’, today he would be 44 or 45.
While Ferris would have never voted for Ronald Reagan, he was a child of the times as we all are children of our times.
But who was Ferris Bueller? As it was explained to high school principal, Ed Rooney, by Rooney’s secretary Grace – “Oh, he’s very popular Ed. The sportos, the motor heads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, d*ckheads – they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude.”
While all the candidates should rightly be thanked for their willingness to go through the meat grinder of elections, clearly no one can claim the title “righteous dude”.
Many people are trying to cast this election as Ken Cuccinelli’s loss, but let’s not forget that Terry McAuliffe won.
There will be post-mortems out the wazoo and there should be. This was an important election in a battleground, bellwether state and there will be plenty to learn from it.
Meanwhile, Republican Governor Chris Christie is New Jersey’s “righteous dude” winning 60% of the vote while making serious in roads into key Democratic constituencies.
Four years ago, Bob McDonnell was Virginia’s “righteous dude” winning by seventeen points over his opponent Creigh Deeds.
Deeper dive to follow but here are some basics.
1. The Shutdown hurt Cuccinelli a lot because it fed the narrative about him. In Fairfax, where McDonnell won by 4,500 votes, Cuccinelli lost by 63,000.
2. Libertarian Robert Sarvis, regardless of how he got on the ballot, made a difference. Prior to the Shutdown and ObamaCare disaster, I didn’t think he would make a difference even though in September I correctly had him finishing in “low to mid single digits”
3. ObamaCare’s disastrous rollout almost saved Cuccinelli – Ken closed hard and fast.
4. Some will complain that the national GOP “abandoned” Ken and stopped sending him money in early October. That mattered down the stretch when ObamaCare blew up, but the fact of the matter is Ken was losing badly in early October when the funding decisions were made.
5. Choosing a convention for the nomination was stupid. Why turn down the chance to organize in every precinct? That would have been about 150,000 people to START the campaign versus the less than 10,000 that posted in May.
6. The Democrats got their people to the polls. As I stated many times – look at the absentee ballots – they are a sign of organizational strength. YOU. CAN. VOTE. EARLY. IN. VIRGINIA.
7. There really was no reason to vote FOR either candidate. There needs to be if you want people to blunt negative narratives AND actually vote FOR you.
8. The House of Delegates will have 66 or 67 Republican seats out of 100. UVA’s Larry Sabato had a dozen to watch. The GOP won ten and outperformed Mitt Romney in all but two (one of which they lost on the Route 1 corridor). Since the House GOP consistently outpolled Cuccinelli, it is likely that they helped him narrow the loss.
Ferris Bueller ends the movie with “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Terry McAuliffe seemed to understand that better this time around. He raised A LOT more money, was unopposed for the nomination, and got more of his voters to the polls.
It ain’t rocket science folks, it’s math.
In political science, division is subtraction.
“Righteous dudes” are very good at addition.
(cross-posted at Chris Saxman.com)