Paul and Rubio have endorsed and campaigned for Cuccinelli but this is the first time I've hearing Walker come out on the campaign trail. Cuccinelli is hoping he'll help fire up the base:Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and Ron Paul will campaign with Ken Cuccinelli in the final days of the Virginia governor’s race, sources told POLITICO.
The Wisconsin governor will spend Saturday with the Republican candidate for governor in Spotsylvania and Prince William counties.
The Florida senator has committed to appear Monday, on the eve of the election, in Warrenton and Culpeper.
The former Texas congressman will speak at a rally that evening in Richmond. - Politico, 10/30/13
Not sure if Walker has anything to gain from helping Cuccinelli's campaign. Walker is looking like he'll have a tough re-election fight next year:Walker is popular among conservatives after he became the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election. The recall last year was spurred by anger over his 2011 proposal that effectively ended collective bargaining for public workers.
Walker is releasing a book next month about that union fight and recall, fueling speculation that he will run for president in 2016. - AP, 10/30/13
But hey, maybe Walker will be more helpful than Senator Rand Paul (R. KY) on the campaign trail:Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is still expected to be reelected in 2014, but not by much. The most recent statewide poll from Marquette University Law School puts the governor two points ahead likely Democratic challenger Mary Burke, 47-45.
As Prof. Charles Franklin, the poll's director, pointed out on Twitter, Walker's approval number has hardly budged in the 20 months since Marquette began its public opinion survey at the height of the recall election campaign in 2012. The most recent poll shows 49 percent of registered voters approve of the job he's doing and 47 percent disapprove, evidence that few in the Badger State haven't formed an opinion about the governor, whose aggressive conservatism has elevated the profile of state politics since his election in 2010.
The good news for Democrats is that their likely nominee, Madison school board member Mary Burke, is running neck-and-neck with Walker, even though she is still largely unknown. - The Cap Times, 10/29/13
In the meantime, Cuccinelli has Governor Bobby Jindal (R. LA) to go out and attack President Obama for him on the campaign trail:Cuccinelli’s Fairfax rally was meant for the other voters, the ones being outnumbered. Shortly before 3 p.m., they streamed in, signed up for get-out-the-vote operations, and picked up Cuccinelli or “I Am the NRA” signs being passed out by volunteers. When Cuccinelli arrived, it was side by side with Paul, the two of them hoisting 64-ounce Double Big Gulps.
“I heard Mike Bloomberg wanted to buy the governor’s office down here,” Paul explained, “and I figured after he took my Big Gulp, he’d come after my guns.”
Earlier in the day, in Lynchburg, Va., Paul had warned conservatives that genetic testing could lead to a dystopian eugenic future. He stayed away from that in Fairfax, delivering a shorter version of his speech about the dangers of war-on-terror policing. “They’re writing one warrant to apply to millions and millions of people,” said Paul. “We fought the Revolution because we were mad about the British soldiers coming into our homes to enforce the Stamp Act.” - Slate, 10/29/13
By the way, here's the info about President Obama's upcoming campaign stump for Terry McAuliffe (D. VA):Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal worked to nationalize the Virginia governor’s race Tuesday, presenting a vote for Republican Ken Cuccinelli as a vote against President Barack Obama.
Noting that Obama will campaign Sunday for Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who leads by 12 points in the latest poll, Jindal went through a laundry list of scandals that have best the administration: Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the Internal Revenue Service and “spying” on Associated Press reporters.
“This is the most extremely liberal and incompetent administration in our country’s modern history, and it’s having consequences,” he told 150 supporters at a campaign office in a strip mall here.
Jindal chairs the Republican Governors Association, which has invested $8 million into the commonwealth ahead of the Nov.5 election. - Politico, 10/29/13
By the way, McAuliffe also has another big guest out on the campaign trail for him:President Obama is planning to hit the campaign trail again this weekend on behalf of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.
An aide to the McAuliffe campaign tells the Associated Press that Obama will join the Democratic nominee Sunday at a rally in Northern Virginia.
There were no further details. - USA Today, 10/29/13
And Bill Clinton continues to fire up the base for McAuliffe. Cuccinelli has been out on the campaign trail promising to take on the EPA:Joe Biden will campaign for Terry McAuliffe on the eve of the Virginia gubernatorial election, a day after President Barack Obama makes an appearance on behalf of the front-running Democrat.
The vice president will headline a get-out-the-vote rally in the Washington suburb of Annandale on Monday at 9 a.m. - Politico, 10/29/13
McAuliffe's been out talking about his agenda as Governor and it's quite different from Cuccinelli's:Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli pledged Tuesday that he would fight the Obama administration over coal as long as he’s in office in Virginia.
Many people know the state’s attorney general was the first one to go to court to fight Obamacare, Cuccinelli told a crowd of thousands at a pro-coal rally in front of the Capitol, but that was actually his second lawsuit. The first one was against EPA’s “illegal war on coal,” Cuccinelli said.
Cuccinelli lambasted his Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe for his stance on coal power, saying he has said he never wants to see another coal plant built. “Is that unbelievable … for someone that wants to be governor of coal state – and Virginia is a coal state,” he said. - Politico, 10/29/13
By the way, there was conflicting polling that showed McAuliffe either leading by double digits or single digits. Well the Washington Post cleared a few things up:First, I will work to restore Virginia’s streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. To help protect the bay, I will support localities’ water cleanup plans. These plans will regulate the flow of pollutants and enforce storm-water management processes. By caring for these waterways, we can ensure that our children can enjoy them for many years to come.
Second, I will preserve open spaces. This includes protecting the land preservation tax credit and, in the vein of Governors Kaine and McDonnell, I pledge to preserve at least 400,000 acres of open space over the next four years. In addition, I’ll work to make sure this land is accessible to the public, as appropriate, so that Virginians can take advantage of its beauty.
Additionally, as governor I will make it a priority to ensure that the millions of dollars in gas royalties currently sitting in escrow are paid out to the landowners who are owed that money. And I’ll make sure that landowners’ voices are better heard on the Virginia Gas and Oil Board.
But to truly strengthen Virginia’s energy future, we must ensure the Commonwealth is a place where the brightest minds feel welcome. The business leaders I talk to often say that it is not helpful when politicians in Richmond spend their time on a social ideological agenda. We have to attract the best and the brightest researchers, professors and scientists – we cannot be putting up walls around Virginia. - Politico, 10/30/13
But if you're not convinced by this, then here are seven reasons why McAuliffe will win next Tuesday:The smallest lead comes from a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday showing McAuliffe up 45 to 41 percent; Hampton University finds McAuliffe up six, the Washington Post and Abt-SRBI show a 12-point lead and Roanoke College finds McAuliffe up 15. Here’s a table showing each of the polls.
The divergent results are surprising given both the consistency of McAuliffe’s lead in polls over recent weeks as well as similarities in how the new polls were conducted – within the past nine days using live interviewers who called both land-line and cellular phones.
So, how can four polls — all conducted via similar methods — show such different results?
Here’s why: The polls differ greatly in a) the share of Democrats and Republicans in the pool of likely voters and b) whether the likely electorate is becoming more Republican as Election Day approaches.
Take the Quinnipiac and Post polls, for instance. The Quinnipiac poll (McAuliffe +4) finds 31 percent of likely voters identifying as Republicans and 29 percent as Democrats (39 percent identify as independent or another party). This marks a sharp break from the firm’s recent polling in the state. Only a week ago Quinnipiac found an eight-point Democratic advantage in party identification.
The Post poll, by contrast, finds hardly any change in the partisan makeup of likely voters or registered voters overall over the past month; Democrats hold an eight-point advantage in the latest survey, similar to seven points in the previous WaPo poll.
The polls’ differences on party ID are not a function of pollsters “choosing” or “oversampling” one party’s identifiers since both surveys draw random samples of Virginia adults, weight the results to Census demographics like age and sex, and determine the likely electorate by asking about voter registration, intention to vote and interest in the campaign.
Other demographics in the two polls also fail to explain the difference. Likely voters in the Post and Quinnipiac polls have similar shares of men and women, and the two surveys’ age composition is similar. Likely voters in the Post poll are seven points more apt to be white than Quinnipiac (78 vs. 71 percent), but this difference would actually make the Quinnipiac sample appear friendlier to McAuliffe since he is running far ahead of Cuccinelli among minorities rather than showing a tighter race. - Washington Post, 10/30/13
Not to mention, Cuccinelli has already struck out with the voters:1. People don’t like Cuccinelli. Roughly six in ten likely voters (58 percent) have an unfavorable opinion of the state Attorney General including 43 percent who have a “strongly” unfavorable view of him. In fact, more people are strongly unfavorable toward Cuccinelli than are either strongly (17 percent) or somewhat (24 percent) favorable about him. You almost never win races when you unfavorable ratings are so high and/or when the intensity behind those unfavorables is so strong.
2. People think Cuccinelli is too conservative. A majority (54 percent) of likely voters said that Cuccinelli’s views are “too conservative” for them while 36 percent said his stances were just about right. (Forty percent said McAuliffe’s views were too liberal while 50 percent said they were just about right.) When more than half of the electorate believes you are well outside of their political beliefs — to the right or left — it’s bad news.
3. Women, especially, think Cuccinelli isn’t their candidate. McAuliffe is beating Cuccinelli 58 percent to 34 percent among women voters in Virginia. (By way of comparison, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) beat Democrat Creigh Deeds by eight points among women in 2009.) Asked which candidate would do a better job handling “issues of special concern to women”, McAuliffe leads by 27 points. On which candidate would do a better job handling abortion, McAuliffe’s edge is 17 points.
4. Cuccinelli is losing the values fight. Cuccinelli’s great strength in past races for state Senate and Attorney General was that even if voters didn’t agree with all of his issue stances, they believed he was a principled candidate who genuinely believed what he said. That reputation has taken a major hit in this race. McAuliffe, whose reputation coming into this year was that he would say or do anything to get himself (or his preferred candidates) elected, has a nine-point lead over Cuccinelli on which candidate is “more honest and trustworthy”. And, McAuliffe has an eight-point edge when voters are asked which candidate “more closely shares your values”.
5. The race is a referendum on Cuccinelli. Two-thirds of McAuliffe supporters say their vote is more against Cuccinelli than for the Democrat. That number makes clear that the McAuliffe campaign has successfully turned this contest into a referendum on Cuccinelli and his views.
6. The federal government shutdown hurt Cuccinelli. Eighty two percent of likely voters disapprove of the government shutdown and a majority (51 percent) say that Republicans were mainly responsible for it. (Thirty percent say the blame primarily rests with President Obama.) When asked how important the government shutdown was in deciding their votes, 55 percent of the sample say it was “very” important. Worth noting: Aside from the damage the shutdown did to Cuccinelli, it also kept attention away from the disastrous launch of Healthcare.gov, a potentially terrific issue for Cuccinelli who was a leading voice nationally in opposition to the law.
7. The Republican brand stinks in the state. The GOP brand is struggling in the Commonwealth. Fifty seven percent of likely voters view the Virginia Republican party unfavorably and 65 percent view the national Republican party in an unfavorable light. By contrast, a majority — albeit it a slim one — have a favorable view of the state Democratic party (53 percent) and the national Democratic party (50 percent). - Washington Post, 10/29/13
A new Washington Post/Abt SRBI poll shows just how much the race has been about Cuccinelli.Not to mention going after Hillary Clinton isn't helping Cuccinelli either:
The poll, conducted Oct. 24-27 among 762 likely voters, shows McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli by a 51 percent to 39 percent margin. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis gets 8 percent of the vote. McAuliffe has expanded his lead since the last Washington Post survey, which showed McAuliffe winning by a 47 percent to 39 percent margin.Just like the Democratic strategist who said he would vote against Cuccinelli, almost two-thirds of McAuliffe supporters say theirs will be a vote against Cuccinelli, rather than for McAuliffe.
By almost two-to-one margins, voters think both candidates have run mostly negative campaigns. But McAuliffe’s attacks on Cuccinelli have worked better. Here’s Cuccinelli’s abysmally low fav/unfav rating:
And here’s McAuliffe’s rating, which is actually stronger than some of us — this author included — would have guessed:
The poll shows the race is completely different from 2009, in two important ways. That year, Republican Bob McDonnell won election by a wide margin by focusing on jobs and transportation, and by riding a wave of voter discontent with Democrats. - Washington Post, 10/29/13
McAuliffe has continued to hit Cuccinelli on his anti-woman agenda:This is the guy who supports personhood legislation, which would criminalize some forms of birth control, and opposes emergency contraception for rape victims and rape or incest exceptions to an abortion ban. He was one of three state attorneys general who didn’t support reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Last weekend he invited Tea Party Sen. Rand Paul to come plagiarize the Wikipedia entry on “Gattaca” in order to equate abortion with euthanasia. That ought to win over “the ladies.”
Cuccinelli is also the guy who shared some creepy Hillary Clinton fantasies in his personal newsletter to supporters, “Cuccinelli Compass.” The Washington Post reported Wednesday on the extreme statements about immigrants, guns and gay people in the “Compass,” but what got less attention was Cuccinelli’s weird animus toward Clinton.
In a 2007 entry, he shared a fantasy about the Clintons partying with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy at the next year’s Democratic convention. “1:35 am – Bill Clinton asks Ted Kennedy to drive Hillary home,” Cuccinelli wrote. A great joke: plays on Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick tragedy, Bill Clinton’s womanizing and some Republicans’ desire to see Clinton dead.
He also liked to refer to Clinton as “Scary Liberal Lady.” And he advised his constituents to start their day right: by naming a document file “Hillary Clinton,” then deleting it. “Your PC will ask you, ‘Do you really want to get rid of Hillary Rodham Clinton?’ ” Cuccinelli wrote. “(Firmly) Click ‘Yes.’ ”
It shouldn’t be surprising: one of Cuccinelli’s consultants was active in the anti-Hillary group that gave opponents an opportunity to “Slap Hillary.” (He quit the group to sever the link between Cuccinelli and the group’s misogyny. Why did he bother?) And I’m sure it plays well with Cuccinelli’s base. As Slate’s Dave Weigel reported, Cuccinelli’s audience hates McAuliffe not only because he’s a Democrat but especially because he’s a Clinton family friend. - Salon, 10/31/13
Knowing they have no shot of winning over women, Cuccinelli and the RNC are going after another demographic:Terry McAuliffe criticized rival Ken Cuccinelli for not backing the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act during a campaign stop Tuesday with former President Bill Clinton.
"It's just one more issue where he is way outside the mainstream," McAuliffe said.
Cuccinelli was one of three attorneys general who did not join a bipartisan push to reauthorize the law. Cuccinelli said he does not sign such letters endorsing legislation because the bills can be amended after he endorses them.
Clinton, joining his longtime pal and former Democratic National Committee chairman, said that reasoning doesn't pass the smell test.
"I'm very proud of that bill, and I am appalled that anybody would oppose both extending it and expanding its reach," Clinton said. - WJLA 7, 10/29/13
And outside money has been playing a big role in this race:
The Republican National Committee went on a Korean cable channel over the weekend with an ad attacking Terry McAuliffe, part of a broader party effort to reach Asians in the Virginia governor’s race.
The 30-second spot, running in the Washington, D.C., media market on WKTV, highlights the Democratic candidate’s ties to GreenTech Automotive, which allegedly tried to secure financing in exchange for helping investors get U.S. visas through a sister company.
“McAuliffe’s company is under federal investigation for potentially defrauding money from Asian investors,” a narrator says in Korean. “We can’t afford to have Terry McAuliffe’s brand of crony politics in Richmond.”
The commercial concludes by saying that Cuccinelli “will control government spending and focus on our economy.”
RNC officials said they are spending about $90,000 to buy TV, radio and print ads across Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian and Filipino media ahead of the Nov. 5 off-year election. They hope to learn lessons from the commonwealth that will help sharpen similar efforts in the 2014 midterms and the 2016 presidential campaign. - Politico, 10/28/13
But some argue that the GOP is wasting their time and money on Cuccinelli:Welcome to the Virginia governor's race, where outside groups are flooding the airwaves and bombarding voters' homes with mailers and phone calls both to shape the outcome of next week's contest between Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe and to test their campaign tactics ahead of 2016 in a presidential battleground state.
"Virginia in 2013 is a good incubator," said Dave Schwartz, Virginia state director of Americans for Prosperity, a non-profit group supported by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Its affiliated foundation has undertaken a massive voter-canvassing operation ahead of the election, tapping about 1,600 activists to make phone calls and go door-to-door in the last month alone to encourage Virginians who typically vote in presidential contests to show up next Tuesday.
The group plans to reach 125,000 voters by Election Day. "We want to test our capabilities," said Schwartz, whose organization is pushing a small-government agenda at the federal and state level. "We want to see what works and what doesn't."
Abortion-rights groups, environmentalists, gun-control advocates and the National Rifle Association all have jumped into the battle, one of two governorships to be decided next week. Virginia also is one of a handful of states where individuals, unions and corporations can donate unlimited amounts directly to candidates. McAuliffe has pulled in more than $34 million, while Cuccinelli has raised nearly $20 million. - USA Today, 10/29/13
And the GOP have no one but themselves to blame for having Cuccinelli as their candidate:Democrats are eager to portray Ken Cuccinelli's expected loss on Tuesday as an ominous sign for the future of the Republican party. Indeed, if the Republican state attorney general loses, it will mark the first time that Virginia voters backed a governor from the same party as the president in 40 years.
But Cuccinelli was such a uniquely weak candidate that it's irrelevant to extrapolate his problems with the long-term prospects of the Republican party. Just look at New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie is expected to win by an even bigger margin than Democrat Terry McAuliffe – in a state that's even more Democratic than the Old Dominion.
Indeed, there were a host of only-in-Virginia factors that doomed Cuccinelli's campaign from the start. He was badly outspent and unable to match McAuliffe's money on television, the state's GOP governor was enmeshed in scandal and unable to help his campaign, and most importantly, the timing of the government shutdown crippled any momentum he could have received.
McAuliffe has vastly outspent Cuccinelli on television advertising throughout the campaign, dropping more than $14 million on advertising since May while Cuccinelli has spent about $8.5 million, according to the Washington Post. The overwhelming majority of those ads have focused on the Republican's social agenda, accusing him of everything from wanting to prevent women from divorcing to planning to take birth control pills away from Virginia women. - National Journal, 10/30/13
Of course voter turnout is the key to our victory on Tuesday and Michelle Obama is fundraising for McAuliffe's campaign to help get voters out to the polls:The Virginia governor's race also has highlighted how election rules designed to benefit conservatives have played an unheralded role in pushing the party rightward, costing them at the general-election ballot box. Most notable: The party's practice, in several states, of holding conventions instead of primaries to choose nominees, leaving the typically unrepresentative cross-section of single-issue activists to pick the Republican candidate.
In Virginia, Cuccinelli's allies bypassed the primary process to blunt intraparty opposition, a move that's contributed to his problems in unifying the party. Ironically, the outspoken conservative is belatedly trying to rally the base, something that would have been much easier had he engaged the broader GOP electorate in a primary campaign.
Republicans are facing a similar problem in Iowa in the campaign for the state's very-winnable open-seat Senate race. A crowded cast of candidates is vying for the GOP nomination, but party rules guarantee a convention if no one hits 35 percent of the vote. That possibility is growing, with GOP leaders doing nothing to avert the outcome. A convention would start the process over, raising the likelihood of a weak candidate emerging.
The bigger long-term fear, according to Republican strategists, is if the party divisions worsen, the tea-party forces could emerge as a third party. Already McConnell's campaign has adopted a scorched-earth strategy, not just against his primary opponent, but against the very tea-party-oriented groups working to elect more conservative challengers to incumbents. The McConnell camp's goal is to exploit the groups' ideological inconsistencies, but those tactics are already inflaming intraparty tensions.
"The right could spring out very quickly and become their own entity—and then we're gone," said Davis. "These folks feel very empowered." - National Journal, 10/30/13
You can click here to donate to McAuliffe's campaign:Terry McAuliffe is just five days away from Election Day — and he needs all of us to have his back right now.
We know that Terry will fight for great schools and work tirelessly to create good jobs in Virginia, and he will always ensure that women can make their own choices about their health.
Will you donate $5 to support Terry's campaign before his midnight deadline? With just five days left, Terry needs your contribution today:
This won't be easy — Terry's race is very, very close — but remember, we've done big things together before.
Because of you, we won two historic elections. Because of you, our economy has turned from recession to growth, and today, our auto industry is back, our housing market is rebounding, our deficits are shrinking, and our businesses have created 7.6 million new jobs. We've passed health reform and ended "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and time and again, our President has stood strong for our most fundamental rights, whether that's equal pay for women or the freedom for all of us to marry the person we love.
We have so much more work to do — so much more progress to make — and Barack can't do it alone. He needs leaders like Terry to help him keep moving this country forward.
Chip in $5 — or whatever you can — before midnight. In these last few days, every dollar matters:
If folks in Virginia are looking for a fighter, they've found one in Terry McAuliffe.
Thanks for fighting alongside him,
And while you're at it, how about donating or getting involved with these Virginia Democratic candidates: