When 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!