Bolling decides to skip an indie run in the Virginia gubernatorial race

posted at 2:01 pm on March 12, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

After, in his view, getting elbowed out of the Virginia Republican nomination last November with the switchover from a primary to a convention nomination process, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling has been flirting with the idea of running as an independent. Last month, he sent out a missive to test the waters, asking for voters’ opinions on whether he should make the bid, but they’ve apparently decided that his idea of courting more “mainstream” Virginia voters is not a winning proposition.

In announcing his decision to his supporters, Bolling conspicuously declined to endorse either Cuccinelli or McAuliffe, and admitted that he knew he wouldn’t be able to raise the funds necessary to run the necessary superior campaign.

Bolling said he concluded the financial obstacles to an independent campaign might be insurmountable. Just as importantly, he said he was ultimately unwilling to break with the GOP after a long career in Republican politics.

“Based on my discussions with key donors over the past three weeks, I was confident I could raise enough money to run a competitive campaign, but I was not confident I could raise enough money to run a winning campaign,” Bolling said. “Running as an Independent candidate would have required me to sever my longstanding relationship with the Republican Party. While I am very concerned about the current direction of the Republican Party, I still have many dear friends in the Republican Party, people who have been incredibly supportive of me over the years.”

“I wish Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Cuccinelli well as they begin their campaigns. One of these two candidates will have the responsibility of leading Virginia into the future,” Bolling said. “I encourage them to run campaigns that are worthy of Virginia; campaigns that focus on the big issues facing our state and offer a positive vision for the future of Virginia.”

So that leaves the firebrand Tea Partier Cuccinelli versus former DNC chairman McAuliffe, and no doubt the Democratic campaign machinery will now get to relentlessly attacking Cuccinelli in earnest for being an out-of-control, right-wing “extremist.” CNN reminds us that, without Bolling in the race, things are looking fairly even between the two contestants:

The most recent poll in the Virginia contest, conducted last month by Quinnipiac University, indicated that Bolling had the support of 13% of voters, with McAuliffe at 34% and Cuccinelli at 31%. Without Bolling in the contest, McAuliffe and Cuccinelli were deadlocked at 38%.

But that still leaves a major undecided factor up for grabs, and Virginia’s purplish, national-bellwether status means that the race and the commonwealth’s accompanying political mood will get plenty of scrutiny over the coming months.

Update: Says Larry Sabato:

The common reaction to Bolling’s decision is that it’s a win for Cuccinelli, because it’s easy to assume that having a Republican independent in the race would split the conservative vote and deliver the governorship to McAuliffe. But it’s also possible that a Bolling candidacy would have ended up splitting the state’s moderate Democrats, Republicans and independents, allowing Cuccinelli to win a three-way race with a devoted base of conservative supporters. With Bolling out, Cuccinelli is the only contender who can continue Virginia’s remarkable run of electing as governor the candidate whose party doesn’t control the White House, a streak that began in 1977 and has continued for nine elections. (Virginia is the only state where a governor cannot run for reelection.)


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Here’s hoping he doesn’t pull a Castle or a Lugar. Or a luger.

steebo77 on March 12, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Here’s hoping he doesn’t pull a Castle or a Lugar. Or a luger.

steebo77 on March 12, 2013 at 2:03 PM

The potential exists for him to booger things up.

arnold ziffel on March 12, 2013 at 2:10 PM

And once again, the squish Republican refuses to support the conservative. Go team!

jnelchef on March 12, 2013 at 2:12 PM

I actually had no idea this no labels opportunist was looking to run third party, I guess we dodged a bullet?

I have no idea what Bolling’s “conerns” are over the direction of the party, usually that is Frum speak for social liberalism and neocon interventionism, but what I do know is that Cuccinelli is one awesome dude.

Daemonocracy on March 12, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Credit where credit is due. Hopefully my fellow Virginians will discover the nightmare we are in for if McAuliffe becomes the governor.

22044 on March 12, 2013 at 2:22 PM

I hope people here at Hot Air realize that Cuccinelli is going to get obliterated in this race. By Terry friggin’ MacAuliffe, of all people — a guy who would’ve lost to any other Republican nominee (Bill Bolling in particular).

This is Virginia’s Todd Akin moment, roughly speaking. Ugh. The down-ticket damage (in the House of Delegates) is going to be brutal.

Esoteric on March 12, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Credit where credit is due. Hopefully my fellow Virginians will discover the nightmare we are in for if McAuliffe becomes the governor.

22044 on March 12, 2013 at 2:22 PM

I wonder if Virginia can just give Fairfax County to Maryland? Would you miss it?

Daemonocracy on March 12, 2013 at 2:28 PM

…and no doubt the Democratic campaign machinery will now get to relentlessly attacking Cuccinelli in earnest for being an out-of-control, right-wing “extremist.”

A wacko-bird, you mean?

No, wait. That would be an attack by the GOP campaign machinery.

Curtiss on March 12, 2013 at 2:28 PM

one of the remarkable things about the state of the nation is that evcen those areas that seem ‘safe’ aren’t. The left employes a strategy of Unfreeze, Change, Refreeze at each point in time. The gun thing seemed safe two years ago…and Ds pretty much hid their feelings to appear ‘moderate’.

Now we have CA going to homes to confiscate guns because someone in the house had mental issues. So it is a pretty straight shot to get data from barry.care and date from the universal gun database, run a merge program

the slower change will be what is mental illness. Well within in a few years, anyone who takes paxil (et al) OR anyone in the household will no longer be able to own a gun…and yes, they will hire extra people to collect the guns.

Will this take a while….sure, as barry says change is hard. But over 20 years not a problem.

btw, the anti-smoking people have been working 24/7 on their cause
for decades…and will continue. NZ wants to be smoke free by 2025.

unlike the Rs, who would rather be playing bridge or golf, these people are tireless and committed. Ever D that is elected is another step down the road

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-12/california-seizes-guns-as-owners-lose-right-to-bear-arms.html?cmpid=yhoo

r keller on March 12, 2013 at 2:30 PM

I have no idea what Bolling’s “conerns” are over the direction of the party, usually that is Frum speak for social liberalism and neocon interventionism, but what I do know is that Cuccinelli is one awesome dude.

His concern is that Cuccinelli’s flameout (he cannot win, the only question is how much he can lose by) is going to cost the VA GOP control over the state house, and threaten their ability to pick up seats when the state Senate elections roll around.

It’s a very real problem. I don’t think people here realize just how toxic Cooch is going to be to the VA voters that swept McDonnell into office and have turned the state purple-blue over the past two Presidential cycles.

Esoteric on March 12, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Speaking as a Virginian…..looks like we’ll be getting a Democrat governor this time around.

Given how VA has trended in the last few years, I don’t believe Cuccinelli will be found to be an acceptable choice.

Vyce on March 12, 2013 at 2:31 PM

It’s a very real problem. I don’t think people here realize just how toxic Cooch is going to be to the VA voters that swept McDonnell into office and have turned the state purple-blue over the past two Presidential cycles.

Esoteric on March 12, 2013 at 2:30 PM

It also swept Cooch into power. He won 58% of the vote for AG in 2009.

sentinelrules on March 12, 2013 at 2:36 PM

It’s a very real problem. I don’t think people here realize just how toxic Cooch is going to be to the VA voters that swept McDonnell into office and have turned the state purple-blue over the past two Presidential cycles.

Esoteric on March 12, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Remember when the Washington Post was in hysterics about how backwards and anti women McDonnell was because of some thesis he wrote years ago? Good times.

Without Obama on the ticket turning out all the Sam Jacksons voting strictly for color and the millenials voting for the “cool” President, I’d say Virginia is still a get for a Conservative like “cooch”, especially since those tax hikes under that disastrous transportation bill have lit a fire under a ton of people.

How many handouts can Terry offer to make up for those tax hikes he supported?

Daemonocracy on March 12, 2013 at 2:37 PM

As a Virginian, I just love all the crying wolf types here. Fact is Cuccinelli won 3 times in liberal Fairfax County to be their legislator. He also received more votes then Bolling in the past election. But omg Bolling is soooo great!!! Just get out of the way and watch how a real conservative can win Virginia!

jmell7 on March 12, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Two words about Terry McAuliffe:
GLOBAL CROSSING!

Another Drew on March 12, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Virginia usually elects a Governor of the opposite party which controls the White House. It’s been that way since the Virginia GOP became truly competitive after Mills Godwin switched parties for run as a Republican in the ’70s.

But then again, they just went for Obama and Kaine, so apparently the NoVa socialists and the parasitic class has taken over the Old Dominion, so who knows?

Adjoran on March 12, 2013 at 2:47 PM

I wonder if Virginia can just give Fairfax County to Maryland? Would you miss it?

Daemonocracy on March 12, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Yes – I live in Fairfax County and I used to live in Maryland.
They could take Arlington County. I live less than a mile from the county border with Fairfax County.

22044 on March 12, 2013 at 2:47 PM

As a Virginian, I just love all the crying wolf types here. Fact is Cuccinelli won 3 times in liberal Fairfax County to be their legislator. He also received more votes then Bolling in the past election. But omg Bolling is soooo great!!! Just get out of the way and watch how a real conservative can win Virginia!

jmell7 on March 12, 2013 at 2:41 PM

+1

22044 on March 12, 2013 at 2:48 PM

This race is over before it starts…get REAL. Cuccinelli is extreme…Bolling had a chance..but not now. Put a fork in it

Redford on March 12, 2013 at 2:56 PM

But then again, they just went for Obama and Kaine, so apparently the NoVa socialists and the parasitic class has taken over the Old Dominion, so who knows?

Adjoran on March 12, 2013 at 2:47 PM

I read that the sequester will affect 207,000 federal or fed-connected jobs in Virginia, especially northern Virginia.

Maybe they will all move back to where they belong and make Virginia a red state again.

sentinelrules on March 12, 2013 at 2:57 PM

This race is over before it starts…get REAL. Cuccinelli is extreme…Bolling had a chance..but not now. Put a fork in it

Redford on March 12, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Extreme doesn’t win 58% of the vote four years ago.

sentinelrules on March 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Exactly how is Cuccinelli extreme? His opposition to Obamacare? His winning against the EPA? His fiscal conservative stances? Ooohhh scary! So scary in fact the people of liberal Fairfax put him in office three times. The people of VA voted for him 58% when the man that beat McCauliffe was on the ticket. Wow that’s extreme!

jmell7 on March 12, 2013 at 3:07 PM

What a jerk to even think about running as an Indy, and not endorsing Cuccinelli. I probably would’ve voted for Bolling if there had been a primary, and I don’t like nomination by convention, but you play by the rules you’ve got.

Cucinelli has a little Akin-like baggage, but he also has about 40 more IQ points than Akin. If anybody can win a purple state as a 100% Social con, it’s him.

BuzzCrutcher on March 12, 2013 at 3:18 PM

jmell7 on March 12, 2013 at 3:07 PM

they probably think he’s going to get demagogues on gay marriage and abortion, but a seasoned politician knows how to focus on the winning issues and control the message. Clearly Cuccinelli knows how to win.

Daemonocracy on March 12, 2013 at 3:18 PM

This race is over before it starts…get REAL. Cuccinelli is extreme…Bolling had a chance..but not now. Put a fork in it

Redford on March 12, 2013 at 2:56 PM
Extreme doesn’t win 58% of the vote four years ago.

sentinelrules on March 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM

sentinalrules, you are exactly right. People outside of Virginia have no clue how strong a candidate Cuccinelli is. He is no Akin or Murdock and will not get bogged down in those issues that torpedoed those campaigns. Cuccinelli is perhaps the most principled conservative in the country, save for Cruz and Lee in the Senate and Col. West. When you campaign and speak from a position of principle, then you very rarely make mistakes on the campaign trail. By the time November rolls around, the effects of Obamacare will be in full bloom for all to see. If you are principally opposed to gubmint health care and have proven time and again that you will fight against gubmint health care, then that is going to be a pretty solid place to campaign from. Plus, the way Cuccinelli runs the AG office and campaigns, RINOs and Vichy repubics should take notice. Look at how he marginalized Bolling right out of the race. He won’t hesitate to campaign with the gloves off this November against that hack McCauliffe.

TheAdmiral on March 12, 2013 at 3:19 PM

It’s a very real problem. I don’t think people here realize just how toxic Cooch is going to be to the VA voters that swept McDonnell into office and have turned the state purple-blue over the past two Presidential cycles.

Esoteric on March 12, 2013 at 2:30 PM

I have concerns about him, too, but I think you’re jumping the gun a bit. While VA did go to Obama both times, it also went to McDonnell and Co, the same McDonnell painted as an extreme woman-hating right-winger. I don’t think McAuliffe excites anyone on the Left, either. Guess we’ll see what happens.

changer1701 on March 12, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Extreme doesn’t win 58% of the vote four years ago.

sentinelrules on March 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM

That was before trans-vag1na1 ultrasounds.

Look, I like Cooch. And I’m going to do everything I can to get him elected.

However, I’ve talked to dozens of women who have been reliable GOP voters who have told me they will never vote for Ken based on nothing but his position on the ultrasound issue. Say what you will, but those ladyparts voters are real.

Like changer1701 said, we’ll see what happens.

BacaDog on March 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Exactly how is Cuccinelli extreme?

Transvaginal ultrasounds. It’s a death sentence for Cuccinelli. You need to step outside of your own head and understand that just because it wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for YOU doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a huge problem for tons of women and moderate men. It is in Virginia.

Esoteric on March 12, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Exactly how is Cuccinelli extreme?

Transvag!nal ultrasounds. It’s a death sentence for Cuccinelli. You need to step outside of your own head and understand that just because it wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for YOU doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a huge problem for tons of women and moderate men. It is in Virginia.

Esoteric on March 12, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Esoteric on March 12, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Your concern is noted.

I have heard Ken speak many times, and he is pretty sharp. McAuliffe’s only hope is to run attack ads and never, ever, debate him.

stefanite on March 12, 2013 at 3:42 PM

BacaDog on March 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Esoteric on March 12, 2013 at 3:41 PM

If Bob McDonnell can survive his thesis, Cooch can survive something that McDonnell signed into law.

One year later after that bill was passed, McDonnell continues to be popular.

sentinelrules on March 12, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Just can’t bring himself to support the conservative. What a pismire.

The “firebrand” and “extreme” Cuccinelli? Ah, yes, Narrative mendacity marches on. Cuccineli is going to win this walking away.

rrpjr on March 12, 2013 at 3:49 PM

TheAdmiral on March 12, 2013 at 3:19 PM

McAuliffe also lost his primary to Creigh Deeds 4 years ago, a candidate so weak that the Obama White House distanced itself from him weeks before election day.

Esoteric on March 12, 2013 at 3:41 PM

You don’t think Cuccinelli can read tea leaves? If the issue looks like it will break his campaign where even moderate men are turned off, there’s nothing stopping him from backtracking on the issue and diverting attention to other, bigger issues. Isn’t that why Bolling was running, to focus on the bigger issues? Higher taxes and healthcare premiums are big issues, as is Obama’s recent Federal gun control push.

Daemonocracy on March 12, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Jennifer Rubin hardest hit.

Gingotts on March 12, 2013 at 4:03 PM

If Bob McDonnell can survive his thesis, Cooch can survive something that McDonnell signed into law.

One year later after that bill was passed, McDonnell continues to be popular.

sentinelrules on March 12, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Exactly. And McDonnell wrote the thesis at Regent University (!) as well of all places.

A lot of folks don’t realize both McCain and Romney didn’t spend hardly any money on grassroots in VA which hurts. Meanwhile, Barry had campaign offices with staffers — mostly from VA — making 25-30K for their services all over VA.

Politics for Democrats is a profession, a cause, and something that can be turned into a career. For Republicans, its a hobby where they recruit volunteers and now lose big elections.

Punchenko on March 12, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Esoteric on March 12, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Could you please explain exactly what Cuccinelli’s support of the transvaginal ultrasounds are, and with leaks? From what I have been reading, he played a part in toning down the original bill and deemed it unconstitutional.

Daemonocracy on March 12, 2013 at 4:12 PM

McAuliffe also lost his primary to Creigh Deeds 4 years ago, a candidate so weak that the Obama White House distanced itself from him weeks before election day.

Esoteric on March 12, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Creigh Deeds actually has roots in the state, was rural, and was likable. Terry is just this obnoxious carpetbagging turd that washed ashore one sunny afternoon looking for a high office to occupy.

Punchenko on March 12, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Well my other comment was either lost in the shuffle or is awaiting moderation (who knows what for), but I looked up Cuccinelli and the ultrasound business and he actually advised McDonnell that the bill in its original form was too invasive and unconstitutional. I can’t find him on the record in support of mandating these types of ultrasounds, so it sounds like certain people are trying to create an Akin where there is none.

Daemonocracy on March 12, 2013 at 4:21 PM

so it sounds like certain people are trying to create an Akin where there is none.

Daemonocracy on March 12, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Like they successfully did to Mourdock?

cptacek on March 12, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Like they successfully did to Mourdock?

cptacek on March 12, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Mourdock practically repeated what Akin said in a debate – he did the damage to himself. I was surprised he did, but at the same time he was blackballed because he never said anything about rape sperm and Indiana voters overreacted like a bunch of imbeciles.

Having said that, Cuccinelli is a far more seasoned candidate than both and from what I’ve been reading, this transvag hysteria looks fabricated. He did not propose it, he did not sign it into law, and he actually claimed mandating the procedure was unconstitutional so it sounds like the Democrats are desperately trying to create another Akin when there is nothing here. Mourdock shot himself in the foot, is Cuccinelli stupid enough to do the same?

Daemonocracy on March 12, 2013 at 5:14 PM

I cannot believe that McAuliffe can win in my home state. Then again, I didn’t figure that the people in the Commonwealth would be stupid enough to vote for Barry twice. My opinion of my fellow Virginians is hovering near the bottom of the Mariana’s Trench. Should Terry win, it will start digging towards the core.

Physics Geek on March 12, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Mourdock practically repeated what Akin said in a debate – he did the damage to himself. I was surprised he did, but at the same time he was blackballed because he never said anything about rape sperm and Indiana voters overreacted like a bunch of imbeciles.

Having said that, Cuccinelli is a far more seasoned candidate than both and from what I’ve been reading, this transvag hysteria looks fabricated. He did not propose it, he did not sign it into law, and he actually claimed mandating the procedure was unconstitutional so it sounds like the Democrats are desperately trying to create another Akin when there is nothing here. Mourdock shot himself in the foot, is Cuccinelli stupid enough to do the same?

Daemonocracy on March 12, 2013 at 5:14 PM

He did not. He simply said that a baby conceived by rape was a gift from God. Just like all babies are. Others painted him with the brush of saying “the rape was God’s will.”

cptacek on March 12, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Esoteric on March 12, 2013 at 3:41 PM

So just for the record are you going to vote for Cuccinelli?

Oldnuke on March 12, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Creigh Deeds actually has roots in the state, was rural, and was likable. Terry is just this obnoxious carpetbagging turd that washed ashore one sunny afternoon looking for a high office to occupy.

Punchenko on March 12, 2013 at 4:13 PM

This x 1000.

The problem, though, is that lots of Virginians themselves are federal government carpetbaggers. They do not feel like Virginians, (much less southerners), know nothing about the state, and would vote for a carpetbagging turd.

There’s a big circle to be drawn down from D.C. that really should be removed from Virginia and called DC’s Bedroom.

gatsbysgirlontheside on March 13, 2013 at 12:07 AM