It was closer than many thought it would be, but Democrat Terry McAuliffe has defeated tea party extremist Republican Ken Cuccinelli to become the next governor of Virginia.
The race wasn’t called until 90% of the vote came in, but the result was as expected. Republicans are going to question why they lost this election, but the answer is easy. Ken Cuccinelli is a far right Republican. He was too far right for northern Virginia to support. The northern part of the state went for McAuliffe, and he won the election. Republicans will tease themselves into believing that without the government shutdown they would have won. Some of them might even foolishly believe that all of the Obamacare talk over the last two weeks moved them closer to victory.
The reality is that McAuliffe is going to win by roughly the same 1-3 point margin that he led by over the summer. When the data is closely examined it will probably show that the election was closer than the public polling suggested because Republicans turned out to vote, and a lot of Democrats didn’t.
The message to Republicans should be that they need to stop running extremist candidates in winnable elections, but the message they will likely take from this defeat is that they need to bash Obamacare more. Terry McAuliffe was not a great candidate. He was a better candidate than many expected, but he was beatable. Republicans lost because they nominated a candidate who a threat to the rights of women.
Democrats will continue to win elections, no matter the quality of their candidates, as long as Republicans continue to be led by the tea party. The same trend that has played out all across the country happened again in Virginia as women carried McAuliffe to victory.
Republicans simply aren’t learning anything. If they keep running extremist anti-woman candidates, they will continue to lose. Republicans may have started it, but women are winning the war for their rights.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association