The Last Word on the Cuccinelli Race

SellwynThumbby Selwyn Duke   11/8/13
There has been much analysis of the Virginia governor’s race in which Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe edged out Republican Ken Cuccinelli by two points. Liberals have portrayed the outcome as heralding the death of the Tea Party, while conservatives have, among other things, blamed the GOP establishment for failing to provide the financial backing that could have put Cuccinelli over the top. But the truth?

The Virginia race bodes well for the Tea Party in 2014.

One problem with most of the analysis involves a common human failing: people want simple, one-dimensional explanations and don’t truly wrap their minds around the fact that an outcome can reflect multiple factors. So we hear that Cuccinelli’s loss was due to establishment GOP neglect or even hostility, or media bias or poor Republican tactics or vote fraud or Fluke-foolish young women or Robert Sarvis the libertarian vote siphoner.

Replace every “or” with an “and” and you have close to a complete explanation.

Having said this, I’d like to focus on Sarvis and his seven-percent vote share. As you probably know by now, it has been revealed that an Obama bundler was helping to finance the Sarvis campaign in order to split the conservative vote.

And it likely worked.

Election analysis seems to indicate that if the conservative votes won by Sarvis had gone to Cuccinelli, the Republican would have won this very close race. This is why even libertarian stalwart Ron Paul said that voting for Sarvis would be “insane.”

Now, I’m not indulging sour grapes, nor am I descending into the error of single-factor analysis. My point is this: the Democrats obviously believed that despite their media advantage and war-on-women propaganda and the GOP’s tactical timidity, they couldn’t win without splitting the conservative vote. Theirs was not the behavior of people confident in the strength of their ideology and record.

It was an admission of weakness.

This bears repeating. The Democrats have tacitly acknowledged that they could not win without splitting the conservative vote — which was the majority.

To buttress this point, consider what American Thinker’s C. Edmund Wright wrote about Michael Barone’s statistical election analysis: “Barone’s figures show that Virginia voters disapprove [of ObamaCare] by 53-45%, strangely close to the vote tally of Cuccinelli and quasi-libertarian Robert Sarvis combined.” In other words, the Democrats had an eight-point ideological disadvantage with respect to the main issue of the day and likely could not have won a head-to-head race against Cuccinelli.

So what will happen in November 2014? It’s hard to predict outcomes a year before an election, and the Democrats’ dirty-tricks specialization is always a factor difficult to quantify. But they just may need all the tricks they can muster to hold their own, as the GOP’s ideological advantage will likely carry over into the next election.
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6 Responses to The Last Word on the Cuccinelli Race

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    “We’re in the majority but we lost” isn’t a particularly heartening argument, Selwyn.

    • Kung Fu Zu says:

      “Fight! Fight at the local level! Fight at the state level! Fight at the national level! Use your energy to actively change things. Vote in every election. Support candidates you believe will honestly do the job as conservatives. Spend time to find out the back story on elections.”

      I may be getting redundant, but the formula is the same.

  2. pst4usa says:

    Apathy, the great majority neutralizer. I do not know the turnout numbers in VA, but if they were like what we saw here in WA or other states I have seen, then being in the majority means nothing; if you are unable to inspire people to turn out in enough numbers to do the hard work of “voting” for you or your ideals.

    Also I was listening to Micheal Baron speak about the “Sarvis” impact, and he said that based on exit polling there was not enough difference in the number of “Sarvis” votes that would have gone to the Republican vs. the number that would have voted for the Democrat to change the out come. Make it very close, yes, forced recount, probably, and we all know how those come out these days.

  3. Timothy Lane says:

    The exit polls seem to indicate that the Sarvis gambit didn’t work, perhaps because the Pauls made their effort last weekend, perhaps because his libertinist form of libertarianism (which appeals more to Democrats than to Republicans) became increasingly clear according to articles I read.

    The basic problem was that Cuccinelli didn’t have enough money because neither the Establishment nor the Tea Party types sent him enough (though both contributed somewhat). It appears the AG himself isn’t much of a fund-raiser, but had been able to win previously despite that. Fortunately, not all Tea Partiers behave that way. In addition, there seem to have been tactical mistakes. Facing the “War on Women” Big Lie, Cuccinelli (partly because of lack of money) neither tried to refute it nor to counterattack by linking McAuliffe’s abortion-worship to the Kermit Gosnell types that he will undoubtedly facilitate as governor.

  4. LibertyMark says:

    Not the last word, Selwyn. Is there ever a last word?

    This was not a referendum on the candidates, it was a referendum on the votership. And the news is not good.

    That a poseur hack like McAuliffe could defeat the one guy who had immediately and righteously challenged O-Care says what? It’s all about money?

    Either we have more money than them (oh so empty an impetus for self government) or we have the resurrected Reynaldus Maximus for a candidate (would that we could recognize such a man in any way other than hindsight).

    No, I am afraid that in all factors Conservative, Cuccinelli was the Real Deal, the Dude. Yet he lost. And somehow that bodes well for 2014?

    I think not.

    I care not for the plethora of one dimensional rationales. There is only one that counts: the multitudes who do show up will vote their lives and fortunes on 30 second sound bytes of questionable veracity.

    How is this electorate, if my observation is true, any more recoverable than the Roman panem et circenses crowd?

    Who is John Galt?

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