Folks haven’t enjoyed hearing it, but the “civil war” between the establishment and conservatives — and the ineptitude of the Cuccinelli campaign itself — put Cuccinelli’s chances in the bunker two weeks before the election. 9 points deep as of two weeks ago. Bummer…
…and then, Obamacare got rolled out. Boy howdy, what a mess.
Of course, folks whined about the numbers and whatnot when Bearing Drift writers bring up the fact that by mid-October, the Cuccinelli campaign was toast.
The basic premise? Bearing Drift is single-handedly tanking the ticket by showing the obviousness of the aggregate polling data. Which is fine — most of us are still a little burned from the Romney 2012 escapade and enjoy dealing in reality rather than propaganda when it comes to data. Some folks are true believers and don’t want to believe that we got hamstrung. I empathize… but I prefer flying with the radar on, not off.
…and then there’s that funny moment when the polls really do tighten:
So what are we seeing here folks? Short version is quite simple — the Obamacare rollout combined with the NSA scandal are seriously impacting Obama’s favorability numbers, which is in turn impacting McAuliffe’s lead in a big way. These polls being a snapshot in time from the week prior, Bearing Drift has seen a 3 point drop over the last week… which means that an additional 3 point drop is not inconceivable if McAuliffe is in freefall.
Conservative leadership seems to be coming to the same conclusion, from the National Journal:
With at least one poll showing McAuliffe’s lead narrowing, some Cuccinelli supporters are wondering if he spent too much time jabbing at his opponent’s obvious blemishes. “You have to stay on a consistent message, and perhaps Obamacare was the message all along,” said tea-party activist Russ Moulton, who lives in north-central Virginia. As President Obama’s approval sinks to new lows in part because of his handling of the health care law, the Affordable Care Act is looking like the money issue for the tea party in 2014 since it connects the movement to the mainstream.
So was Obamacare the consistent message all along? Not if you were seeing anything coming out of the Cuccinelli shop… and with little cash to hammer the point home, this means that McAuliffe’s numbers are proving to be a mile wide and an inch deep.
In other words, McAuliffe is extremely fragile right now.
Here’s another item of interest that folks may or may not have picked up on. Sarvis isn’t hurting Cuccinelli’s numbers at all. In fact, Sarvis’ numbers seem to be fairly independent of Cuccinelli’s rise. If the good folks at Reason are correct, and if Sarvis is (a) pulling equally from both candidates and (b) otherwise would stay at home, toss onto the fire this little idea: (c) Sarvis could be hurting McAuliffe in a big way right now, as folks who otherwise might hold their nose and vote for T-Mac in a two-way race now have an outlet in Sarvis.
The questions at this point are simple. We have 24 hours to go:
(1) Is Cuccinelli within striking distance?
(2) Will Obama’s appearance in Virginia hurt or help T-Mac?
(3) Is Sarvis really drawing down T-Mac’s lead?
(4) Finally, will turnout be above 35% — and will that turnout actually benefit (rather than harm) Cuccinelli given an irate base?
I think the answers to these questions are (1) yes he is, (2) it’s gonna hurt T-Mac, (3) Sarvis is helping Cuccinelli at this point, and (4) we may see higher than predicted turnout based on outrage over the Obamacare rollout.
I’ll be the first to man-up and admit it. Cuccinelli’s campaign may very well may have the Governor’s Mansion fall directly into its lap thanks to a $600 million website that doesn’t work and an Obamacare plan that was every bit as awful as a Washington bureaucrat could dream. Granted, there’s no possible way that Cuccinelli could have planned for it, but given the sandbagging from Bolling, the McDonnell “GiftGate” scandal that took McAuliffe’s dirty dealing off the table, the lack of fundraising, the complete lack of messaging… well, about time Cooch caught a break.
But is it in time? Now there’s the question.
Personally, I prefer the dictum “pray as if it all depended on God, work as if it all depended upon you” when it comes to political campaigning… I hate leaving stuff to chance. No, this campaign did not put the grassroots in a position to win. Yes, the establishment sandbagged Cuccinelli. No, folks did not “let Ken be Ken” (guess who coined that phrase, folks). Yet sometimes Fortune smiles upon us. O Fortuna…
Monday is Ron Paul vs. Barack Obama. Depending on which vision of the future you prefer… well, it’s Obamacare vs. Liberty.
How’s that for a setup come Election Day?