Republicans can and should believe they can win Tuesday

RepublicanElephantVSDemocratDonkeyWhen you look at the atmosphere in Washington DC – the Affordable Care Act fiasco, government shutdown, Benghazi, NSA wiretaps, a war in Afghanistan that we’ve all but forgotten – it’s pretty easy to get cynical about government, in general.

And, when you look back at the last six months of the Virginia campaign, it’s also pretty easy to get discouraged about the chances of Republicans winning next Tuesday.

However, now is not the time for navel-gazing. Now is time for Virginia conservatives to snap out of what I can only observe as a collective self-interested funk. If not, we’re on pace for a Governor McAuliffe.

Here are some reasons to be optimistic as we head down the home-stretch:

First, while Shaun Kenney might be right not to get too excited about recent polling, it still is a heck of a lot better than going the other direction. If McAuliffe had double-digit leads in any of these polls, what would we be saying? Instead we’re quibbling about how polls are being conducted. I take that as a good sign.

Second, McAuliffe and company have inflicted all the damage they possibly can on the GOP ticket, yet all the races are still competitive. E.W. Jackson has been on the receiving end of one of the dirtiest campaigns I think I have ever seen – and that’s saying something given McAuliffe is at the top of the Democratic ticket. And Mark Obenshain beat back Herring’s negative campaigning with relative ease.

Third, local elections still matter…and many people support the GOP in the House. It rarely happens, but could voter turnout for the House of Delegates and Constitutional Offices actually help the top of the ticket? It certainly is a possibility.

Fourth, Cuccinelli is bringing in very popular conservatives to campaign for him this weekend: Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, and former Rep. Ron Paul. These are all inspirational leaders to various factions within the Republican Party and will motivate and galvanize that portion of the vote for Cuccinelli.

Fifth, it’s Terry McAuliffe. You might want to have a beer with the guy, but I certainly don’t want him selling beer from the Executive Mansion. McAuliffe is a walking conflict of interest. And his backroom deals, outright fabrications, big-labor cronyism, among others, is not who we want as state CEO. McAuliffe is just “sleazy” – and I have faith in Virginia voters to see it.

Sixth, it’s Ken Cuccinelli. This is a candidate who is honest to a fault, dependable, credible, and one of the hardest working people in the country, let alone Virginia. He is a fighter who knows how to win. I would never count Ken Cuccinelli out of any race – certainly not this one. And his message is crystal clear.

I could probably go into a bunch of clichés about it being darkest before the dawn, etc. – but everyone reading this knows how this campaign has gone…starting from the moment a new state central committee was elected in 2012. However, that’s past.

The future is here and now. And it’s all about turnout.

The reality is that it’s not better for conservatives to have a Democrat elected instead of a Republican who we don’t really like or doesn’t match our brand of conservatism perfectly. To see the effects of such a disastrous mindset, we only need to look to Washington DC.

Be optimistic. Have some faith. And go vote.

Update – Even T-Mac himself recognizes there’s reason for GOP optimism in his latest fundraising email:

1. In off-year elections like this one, Tea Party voters turn out more reliably than Democrats.
2. For forty-five years, the political party that controls the White House has lost our governor’s race the next year.

So…add two more reasons to GOTV!

  • Tim Donner

    We should remember what to me was the most memorable sound byte of the campaign, delivered by Cooch in the NoVa debate…if Terry McAuliffe becomes Governor, we would need to change the state motto from Sic Semper Tyrannis to Quid Pro Quo.

    • We should also remember what Terry McAuliffe said about the NRA: “I’ve Been Told That I Got An F From The NRA. I’m Fine With That Folks. I’m Not Running To Be President Of The NRA.”

      • Phil Tran

        You all are missing the mark regarding this quote. This is by no means a gaffe by Terry McAuliffe. Like it or not (and that is your preference…I’m not making a judgment call), the culture of the Commonwealth has changed dramatically within the last few years. I have worked in Northern Virginia politics for longer than I should. I have run into more upper class, suburban,
        pro-gun control Republicans than you would care to acknowledge.

        • You’re living in a dreamworld if you think that comment wasn’t a gaffe. The culture of Virginia has not gone through this presupposed sea change despite the wishes and desires of a gun-grabbing few…

          • MD Russ

            According to a poll in Politico that another commenter helpfully pointed me to on another thread, only 51% of Virginians either strongly or somewhat support the goals of the NRA. On the other side, 38% either strongly or somewhat disapprove of the NRA. In the voter rich portions of the state like NoVa, those percentages are reversed. McAwful didn’t make a gaffe; he was pandering to the people who aren’t going to vote for KC anyway while only offending the people who would never vote for him under any circumstances. I hate to admit it, but I think that he did a very effective job of deflecting a meaningless rating without hurting himself in the process.

            Look at the popularity of the NRA another way. According to the Census Bureau, there are 114,800,000 households in the US. A recent Gallup Poll found that 47% of them have at least one gun. Meanwhile, the NRA claims a membership of 4 million. (This claim has never been documented since the NRA refused to disclose its membership list for reasons of privacy.) If the NRA is so widely supported, then why do less than 4% of all gun owners belong to it?

          • Because (1) the NRA is expensive to join, and (2) there’s a lot of gunnies that aren’t happy with the NRA as an organization. They’re viewed as rather weak and compromising by groups such as GOA, NAGR, etc.

          • MD Russ

            1. The NRA membership is $150 for five years. $25 is a fraction of what gunnies spend for ammo alone every year, even if they are reloaders. 2. Even if you include all the gun groups, you still don’t reach 4%. The GOA, for example, claims only 300,000 members nationally. I believe that the NAGR is even smaller.

            Look, we’re talking about less than 4%. If it was 20 or 30 or 40%, then they could claim some popular support. Claiming a support base for a group that only has such a small percentage of gun owners as members just doesn’t pass the Head Scratching Test.

          • *goes through old NRA membership forms*

            Why did I think it was $60/yr?

          • MD Russ

            Correction. $125 for five years. Annual membership is $35. Two-year membership is $60.


          • AHA! They tried to scam me for a two year membership!?>!?!?!!


          • MD Russ

            Tell the NRA you want a free membership as a campaign contribution in kind. They’ll go for it. (VBG)

          • midwestconservative

            I’m one of those to an extent, the NRA raised more money this year then ever before, but could only spend half a million on this race. They’re getting outspent in their own backyard.
            They allowed the gun rights activists to be outspent 6-1 in CO.
            But as far as lobbying goes there are few organizations better.

          • DJRippert

            You are exactly right. I don’t want our candidates bowing to any lobbying group. Not the NRA, not the NEA, not the NBA – nobody.

          • midwestconservative

            So you’re not voting for Terry McAuliffe then?

          • JBluen

            LMAO then why all the love for Fast Terry?

          • midwestconservative

            I was the said commenter, and those percentages aren’t “reversed” only a small plurality of NOVA respondents disapprove of the NRA ( disapprove, not strongly disapprove) outside of NOVA the support of the NRA is close to supermajority.

          • MD Russ

            Approval of the NRA rises to 58% only in the Richmond suburbs (Chesterfield County, etc.) and southwest Virginia. Those voters would never vote for McAwful under any circumstance, as I said earlier.


          • midwestconservative

            In a low turnout election it’s not just about people who wouldn’t vote for you. Some of those people weren’t going to vote for Cuccinelli, but might now that T-Mac has given them a reason.
            T-Mac already had the pro-gun control people, and unlike the pro-gun people, they don’t have nearly the same intensity. So essentially T-Mac’s statement didn’t really give him anything in this election, and might’ve convinced people to turn out that wouldn’t have anyway.
            I think the real reason he said that is because he thought he was too far ahead to lose and this helps him burnish his progressive bona fides by claiming to have “beaten the NRA”
            Guns have hardly been the issue of this campaign, but the Far Left is already claiming gun control ( of all stripes) to be a “winning” issue because of Virginia.

          • MD Russ

            I think that you are right about the voter turn out issue, but I doubt if it will budge the needle to the right in the greater scheme of things. As for the Far Left claiming gun control to be a winning issue, they are delusional (as usual). If you read the Gallup Polls immediately after Sandy Hook and other school shootings, a large majority of voters feel that gun laws are about right or are already too strict, with the latter being a small percentage thank God.

            BTW, one of the interesting things that I have seen in polls is that about 90% of voters want universal background checks to buy a gun. But when asked if they favor a central government database of all gun owners, the favorable rate drops down to about 30%. As a friend of mine with a Ph.D in Statistics once told me, “it is all about how you ask the question.”

          • notjohnsmosby

            Terry got an F on guns, just as most other Democrats do. Simply stating that he doesn’t care, how does that hurt him more than his “score”?

          • midwestconservative

            Neither Herring or Northam have an F rating. F’s are actually fairly rare for Dems who run for office in VA, or anywhere outside of the Northeast.

          • Britt Howard

            MD Russ you are very wrong. This gaffe has regained many votes from Sarvis. I have seen it. Additionally, there are indeed sections of Democrats that love their guns as much as any Republican. He is now rolling the dice with even them.

          • MD Russ

            Hey, Britt. Long time no see.

            Tell you what: if Sarvis breaks through 10% then we’ll get together and I’ll buy you a beer. If McAwful loses then I will buy two rounds with shots.

          • Britt Howard

            Ha! I don’t think Sarvis will get 10%. I think McAwful hurt him badly with this gaffe. I will just have to hope for a nice buzz from those drinks. Go Cuccinelli!

            As an aside, I don’t care for the NRA. They have endorsed some people I felt had bad records on gun rights. Sometimes they look more for the win than concentrating on what they should.

      • You should have stuck with your original comment… it’ll make my Step 2 much more explainable to the rest of the world.

  • “Evacuate? In our moment of triumph?! I think you overestimate their chances…”

    • Jerel C. Wilmore


  • Steven Thomas

    The President could not be doing us any bigger favors than he is with the self-immolation of his centerpiece Obamacare exchanges. When I got my policy cancellation notice it certainly made me angry enough to care!

  • Ryan Gleason

    Thanks JR, completely agree with you!

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