The beginnings of the Virginia gubernatorial race, 2013 edition

posted at 5:01 pm on November 25, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

The current Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has been and remains a pretty popular leader. His legacy of a decreased unemployment rate that betters the national average, repeatedly balanced budgets, and a relatively evenhanded leadership style will be a tough act to follow, but you can’t run for two consecutive gubernatorial terms in the Old Dominion — a rule of which I am exceedingly fond.

Candidates can’t officially sign up for the contest until January, but several people have already gone public with their political intentions, via WaPo a few days back:

The early fight in Virginia next year will be among Republicans, with Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II headlining the showdown to be the party’s gubernatorial nominee. The matchup features an establishment candidate — Bolling — versus a tea party favorite — Cuccinelli — and illustrates the larger battle for control within the GOP. …

Republicans will not choose their candidate through an open primary but at their state convention, which is closed — creating a different dynamic for campaigning. …

On the Democratic side, McAuliffe, a former chairman of the party’s national committee, is the only potential gubernatorial candidate who has made his intentions known. But Sen. Mark R. Warner, a former governor, has been flirting with a bid to return to the Capitol, and recent polling suggests he would be a favorite to win next fall should he decide to run.

But Sen. Warner announced earlier this week that he intends to stay in the Senate and focus on his job there rather than making another gubernatorial bid, meaning that the path forward is clear for McAuliffe. McDonnell, meanwhile, has maintained for awhile now that he’ll be supporting Bolling as his successor, and the resources McDonnell has built up as head of the Republican Governors’ Association are nothing to sneeze at — especially since Virginia has no official limits on who can donate to statewide campaigns, nor on how much they can donate.

There’s been a lot of focus lately on the probable gubernatorial showdown between New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker as the odd-year election story to watch, but almost one year into what will be Obama’s second term, the 2013 election of super-swingy Virginia could be a pretty telling forerunner of which way the national mood is starting to swing ahead of the 2014 midterms — certainly a plot on which to keep a weather eye.


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The Rs will win both and we’ll be cursed with butterball for another four years.

Illinidiva on November 25, 2012 at 5:06 PM

We’ve already gotten invitations to be delegates for Cuccinelli at the convention.

CJ on November 25, 2012 at 5:10 PM

I’ve already donated to Cuccinelli’s campaign.

The big fat bastard can go straight to Hades as far as I’m concerned.

Mr. Arrogant on November 25, 2012 at 5:11 PM

i just have to be satisfied with the fact that Sarah got more votes than rmoney. the rest means nothing.

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Another state wherein Republicans are more needed than the Tea Party.

Capitalist Hog on November 25, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Finally, a true test of the tea party versus the elite dinosaurs. This should be entertaining.

And if the Ronulans get involved, the dinosaurs will be crushed. Tea partiers and Ronulans get along just fine when facing the Grand Old Progressive establishment.

platypus on November 25, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Another state wherein Republicans are more needed than the Tea Party.

Capitalist Hog on November 25, 2012 at 5:18 PM

I think Cuccinelli can win this one. It’s an off-year, and they don’t gas up the NoVA democrat vote/fraud machine for off-years.

stefanite on November 25, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Ken Cuccinelli YES !!!

Let him lead us in our Tenth Amendment struggle.

petefrt on November 25, 2012 at 5:26 PM

I’m voting for Cuccinelli. Sorry, Bill. :-(

Punchenko on November 25, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Finally, a true test of the tea party versus the elite dinosaurs. This should be entertaining.

And if the Ronulans get involved, the dinosaurs will be crushed. Tea partiers and Ronulans get along just fine when facing the Grand Old Progressive establishment.

platypus on November 25, 2012 at 5:21 PM

…looking forward to see how things develop!

KOOLAID2 on November 25, 2012 at 5:33 PM

I’m firmly behind Cuccinelli in this one. McDonnell is a bit hypocritical in that he doesn’t want Cuccinelli following in his foot steps: an AG leap frogging Lt. Gov. Bolling to run as governor. Bolling has been a loyal Republican and is the next-in-line guy, but those are the kind of picks that don’t work out too well.

vamoose on November 25, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Let’s see.

Bolling is the establishment candidate, not exceptionally conservative, but has a record of electoral success statewide, and would be favored to win easily against McAuliffe.

Cuccinelli, while more conservative, has only been elected statewide once (with considerable help from McDonnell’s coattails), and has a tendency to advocate farther-out positions and let his mouth get him into trouble.

Yeah, this has never happened before.

KingGold on November 25, 2012 at 5:47 PM

i just have to be satisfied with the fact that Sarah got more votes than rmoney. the rest means nothing.

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 5:13 PM

I’m not sure what she has to do with this, but you’ll have to find something else Palin-related to be satisfied with…Romney beat McCain’s total from ’08.

As for the actual topic, I don’t have a preference between the two at this point…both would be far better than McAuliffe.

changer1701 on November 25, 2012 at 5:48 PM

I support Cuccinelli.

22044 on November 25, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Oh, and Cuccinelli has the added bonus of having taken actions that not only infuriated women (the ultrasound idiocy was mostly his brainchild – expect the media to bring that up on a regular basis) but also gay people (proactively prohibiting orientation-based quotas at Virginia universities, something that didn’t exist beforehand).

Seriously, folks. I know a lot of people like the guy. I like him too. But in a post-Akin world, how much crack do you have to be smoking to consider this guy a viable candidate when there will be only three major races in the media cross-hairs next November?

KingGold on November 25, 2012 at 5:53 PM

McDonnell is an enthusiastic supporter of clouding Amerika’s skies with surveillance drones. Somebody needs to follow the money with this guy. I’d love to have a chance to vote against him.

sartana on November 25, 2012 at 6:04 PM

i just have to be satisfied with the fact that Sarah got more votes than rmoney. the rest means nothing.

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Not true.

Sorry your favorite quitter didn’t run in 2012

corujodp on November 25, 2012 at 6:06 PM

KingGold on November 25, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Cuch won’t beat McAuliffe for the reasons KingGold mentioned. It would be close with Bolling too, and I honestly don’t know if he could pull it off.

A couple of negatives against Terry are the “carpetbagger” meme and his ties to the Clintons. A year ago I would’ve bet that would be enough to get us a victory. But, being head of the DNC didn’t seem to do any harm to Kaine in the Senate race against Allen.

In any event, it’s going to be interesting to see how all of this shakes out.

BacaDog on November 25, 2012 at 6:06 PM

changer1701 on November 25, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Sarah understands the bond between the teaparty and the ronulans.

don’t let the numbers fool you. Sarah coulda beat obama except mccain drove away a few million votes by his obamas a nice guy routine.

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Whoever the Republican nominee is – the media will attack him with all guns blazing. That’s a promise!

22044 on November 25, 2012 at 6:07 PM

O/T – it’s pretty sad when Pravda is beating down the US over communism.

platypus on November 25, 2012 at 6:08 PM

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Why are you bringing up Palin? She has nothing to do with this thread.

wargamer6 on November 25, 2012 at 6:09 PM

corujodp on November 25, 2012 at 6:06 PM

nothing an American loves more than a comeback story. that excludes you i guess.

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 6:13 PM

don’t let the numbers fool you. Sarah coulda beat obama except mccain drove away a few million votes by his obamas a nice guy routine.

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 6:07 PM

We have nothing to fear from an Obama Presidency! That concession speech said it all.

MrX on November 25, 2012 at 6:13 PM

MrX on November 25, 2012 at 6:13 PM

its the go to mode for the gope. the democratic candidate is great person who loves this country, but choose me cause i love it more.

mccain tried it. romney tried it.

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 6:16 PM

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Did I miss something? Is Palin running for governor in Virginia?

If not, what the hell does she have to do with a thread about the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial race?

BacaDog on November 25, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Sarah understands the bond between the teaparty and the ronulans.

don’t let the numbers fool you. Sarah coulda beat obama except mccain drove away a few million votes by his obamas a nice guy routine.

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Apparently she didn’t even think that, because she chose not to run.

changer1701 on November 25, 2012 at 6:21 PM

BacaDog on November 25, 2012 at 6:19 PM

quite a bit actually. if he doesn’t get Sarah to stump for him he’s toast against warner. he’ll probably lose anyways, but she’ll make it close.

so there.

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 6:23 PM

BacaDog on November 25, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Nothing. Ritalin’s just being nutty, as usual.

wargamer6 on November 25, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Seriously, folks. I know a lot of people like the guy. I like him too. But in a post-Akin world, how much crack do you have to be smoking to consider this guy a viable candidate when there will be only three major races in the media cross-hairs next November?

KingGold on November 25, 2012 at 5:53 PM

LOL — the Dems can get anyone back in office by putting a crackpot Republican on the other side.

I hope the RNC does something about the problem.

I had people get back to me cursing Pat Caddell for his comments in Front Page Mag and other places on the 2012 disasters.
His idea of telling the nuts to do a religious revival really bothered them.

IlikedAUH2O on November 25, 2012 at 6:31 PM

quite a bit actually. if he doesn’t get Sarah to stump for him he’s toast against warner. he’ll probably lose anyways, but she’ll make it close.

so there.

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Warner’s not running you moron. He’s staying in the Senate.

BacaDog on November 25, 2012 at 6:32 PM

changer1701 on November 25, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Former Governor Palin is a student of history and psychology.

She knows how well being above it all worked for a female in the Catholic Church.

She needs a bus tour to appear to folks, though.

IlikedAUH2O on November 25, 2012 at 6:35 PM

i just have to be satisfied with the fact that Sarah got more votes than rmoney. the rest means nothing.

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 5:13 PM

As a Palin supporter myself, why the heck bring her up in a thread that has nothing to do with her?

topdawg on November 25, 2012 at 6:36 PM

BacaDog on November 25, 2012 at 6:32 PM

name calling. cool down bro. smoke a joint. kiss a senorita. drink a corona.

arriba!

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 6:37 PM

topdawg on November 25, 2012 at 6:36 PM

because i’m sick of talking about loseers. i want a winner.Sarah’s a winner.

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 6:39 PM

I live in VA, and have no complaints with McDonnell. He’s done a great job IMO and when he took office things were a mess.

scalleywag on November 25, 2012 at 6:42 PM

why the heck bring her up in a thread that has nothing to do with her?

topdawg on November 25, 2012 at 6:36 PM

I was wondering that too. Does she want to be the next Governor of VA :)

scalleywag on November 25, 2012 at 6:44 PM

McDonnell made a deal with Bolling to support him this time around since Bolling gave way for him in 09. I don’t think there’s much enthusiasm for Bolling, although he appears to be a decent person with nothing a Republican voter would object to.

DavidW on November 25, 2012 at 6:49 PM

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Y’all are as bad as the Obamanauts and the Ronulans.
Palin will never be president.
Time to get some help for your obsessions and let the cult die.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 25, 2012 at 6:55 PM

We have nothing to fear from an Obama Presidency! That concession speech said it all.

MrX on November 25, 2012 at 6:13 PM

I remember it being worse than that.
I thought he said that during the campaign and log before losing the race.

Mimzey on November 25, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Cucinelli is the one. It’s that simple.

BetseyRoss on November 25, 2012 at 7:19 PM

i just have to be satisfied with the fact that Sarah got more votes than rmoney. the rest means nothing.

renalin on November 25, 2012 at 5:13 PM

As a Palin supporter myself, why the heck bring her up in a thread that has nothing to do with her?

topdawg on November 25, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Why is Palin the topic in every single thread here?

The woman quit her governor’s job when she left politics forever ago…Palin is done politically. When her FOX contract is over in Jan. you’ll never hear or see or again.

Redford on November 25, 2012 at 7:34 PM

don’t let the numbers fool you. Sarah coulda beat obama except mccain drove away a few million votes by his obamas a nice guy routine.

renalin

because i’m sick of talking about loseers. i want a winner.Sarah’s a winner.

renalin

Delusion on steroids. She would lose in a landslide to Joe Biden, lol.

xblade on November 25, 2012 at 8:34 PM

First of all, despite the pull quote’s tone and implication, there’s nothing new or surprising about a face-off between Bolling and Cuccinelli. Here in Virginia, we’ve known about and been expecting it for almost four years.

Also, when one of the contenders is attorney general, the establishment/nonestablishment dichotomy doesn’t really exist. Insofar as there’s a real distinction, it’s between a next-in-line candidate (something Virginia and particularly Virginia Republicans go for) and an upstart who could jump the line.

bgoldman on November 25, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Well the establishment settled on Allen over Radke, this time around,
and we know how this worked out, Cuccinelli stands for something, Bolling does not,

narciso on November 25, 2012 at 10:18 PM

I think Cuccinelli can win this one. It’s an off-year, and they don’t gas up the NoVA democrat vote/fraud machine for off-years.

stefanite on November 25, 2012 at 5:23 PM

I worked as a poll worker in a precinct rather unfriendly to Republicans. Obama carried it with over 90% of the vote. Here’s the thing. The guy I worked with was shocked at the demographic makeup of the voters in line. He had worked that precinct in the last off-year election, and the demographic makeup of the voters was very, very different.

My entire jurisdiction had had ~110K total votes in this year’s presidential election, and Obama edged out Romney by about 1,000 votes to carry this place. Compare that to 2009 when about 55K people showed up to vote in the gubernatorial election, and McDonnell won handily by 20%.

Most of those voters who showed up at that polling place I worked this year came for one reason, and he isn’t anywhere on the ballot in 2013.

CJ on November 25, 2012 at 11:10 PM

sartana on November 25, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Drones?

How about a national ID first? Unless you have one that can be abused like the police and feds abused the cell phone GPS tracking feature in following their girlfriends, neighbors and wives around. Or maybe coming in at 150 miles per hour and destroying my conveniens plantae?

I was a fan of Bob McDonnell and materially supported the guy.

I was waiting for the Tea Party or something to surface and it has.

IlikedAUH2O on November 25, 2012 at 11:11 PM

Probably going to be supporting Ken, but I remember helping to campaign for Bolling (before I even lived in the state)

SgtSVJones on November 25, 2012 at 11:57 PM

Why is Palin the topic in every single thread here?.

Redford on November 25, 2012 at 7:34 PM

chum for the gilled one …?

conservative tarheel on November 26, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Good grief. It is completely ridiculous to talk about an “establishment” candidate in Virginia, where nobody can run for a second term. This is NOT AT ALL a “Tea Party vs. Establishment” race.

Ken Cuccinelli may be a SoCon hero, but the fact is he almost lost his race for AG in 2009 while Bob McDonnell and Bill Bolling got 60% of the vote. He is AG only because of the coattails of Bob McDonnell.

It hardly seems possible that a Republican could lose this election after McDonnell’s successful term, but Cuccinelli will lose if he is the GOP nominee. McDonnell was elected by a landslide because he carried Northern Virginia; Cuccinelli will be buried there.

Cuccinelli will be “the next Todd Akin,” a gift for Democrats nationally to keep painting Republicans as anti-woman busybodies.

rockmom on November 26, 2012 at 9:56 AM