Top Cuccinelli advisor: What killed us more than anything was … the shutdown

posted at 7:21 pm on November 7, 2013 by Allahpundit

It’s Chris La Civita, the same guy whose comment Tuesday night about national Republicans abandoning Cooch in early October lit the fuse of the RINO/tea party powderkeg that exploded yesterday. Don’t blame the RNC, he now says. Blame the damned shutdown, which of course was very strongly opposed by the big-money RINOs who’ve been slammed for supposedly having stabbed Cuccinelli in the back.

“It moved the disaster of Obamacare away from our narrative,” he says, in an interview with National Review Online. “It sucked the oxygen out of the room. Instead of talking about Obamacare, we were talking about the shutdown.”

In mid October, LaCivita says, the campaign was startled by how the shutdown affected their momentum. Their internal poll numbers dipped and several of the Virginia attorney general’s donors, especially conservative groups aligned with Cuccinelli, “suddenly became gun-shy.”…

LaCivita, however, doesn’t blame national Republican power brokers for Cuccinelli’s loss. Yes, he says, they spent less in Virginia than they did during the 2009 gubernatorial race, which was easily won by Republican Bob McDonnell. But they did step up, he says, and provided valuable support.

“Wait a sec,” you say. “Didn’t the exit polls in Virginia show that voters there blamed the GOP and Obama nearly equally for the shutdown?” Indeed they did, but La Civita’s not really claiming otherwise. He’s not saying that people turned against Cooch because of it, he’s saying that the campaign was deprived of the chance to spend the entire final month hammering McAuliffe on O-Care. The shutdown was a distraction at a crucial moment. Then again, just because the final exits showed a nearly even split on blame doesn’t mean that that split was even all along. La Civita himself says Cuccinelli’s polling dropped initially because of it, which evidently was enough to convince some righty donors that he was a lost cause. Dig a bit further into the exits and you’ll see that the shutdown hurt Cooch a lot with a not-so-small segment of the electorate: “[McAuliffe] also won the three in 10 Virginia voters who said someone in their household was affected by the partial federal shutdown last month, by a 19-point margin.” Maybe most of those were Democratic households to begin with, but not all were. Some were surely headed by people in the defense industry. How many potential GOP votes switched there?

It could even be that the reason the polls didn’t detect Cuccinelli’s near-win is because anger over the shutdown gradually evaporated after it ended. As the story of the government closing down faded and the story of the O-Care trainwreck emerged, people who were initially sour on the GOP because of the former began to see some merit in the “defund” campaign in hindsight — just not quite enough to bring Cooch all the way back from the hit he took earlier in the month. That’s conjecture, but it’s interesting that a guy as close to Cuccinelli as LaCivita would say something that might feed it. Ah well. Doesn’t really matter. Both wings of the party are convinced that it was the other side that kneecapped Ken. Nothing will change that.

Exit question: Many grassroots conservative groups spent money to try to elect Cuccinelli, but some didn’t — and they’re criticizing the RNC anyway for having spent “only” $3 million. How come?


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The worst they had on McDonnell was some thesis paper.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 8:41 PM

Which the WaPO ran 100% ad nauseam on almost costing McDonnell the election in September of that year.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Which the WaPO ran 100% ad nauseam on almost costing McDonnell the election in September of that year.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Right. They tried and they failed because that’s the worst they had on him. Unfortunately for Cuccinelli, his comments were a tad more recent.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Hey, he has a career and is trying to remain marketable in a sh!tty job market. Idealism don’t pay the Obamacare tab.

famous amos on November 7, 2013 at 8:48 PM

However, like Christie, Cooch didn’t want to take any political risk, so he ensured that only his supporters would decide who got the slot. Not so much “cry-baby” but “craven coward.”

KingGold on November 7, 2013 at 8:43 PM

A convention that Bolling sure loved for Romney in 2012.

Any case, Cuccinnelli was leading by 40% over Bolling in a potential primary.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Right. They tried and they failed because that’s the worst they had on him. Unfortunately for Cuccinelli, his comments were a tad more recent.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Of course, McDonnell outspending Deeds 2-1 at the end had nothing to do with that.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Of course, McDonnell outspending Deeds 2-1 at the end had nothing to do with that.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 8:49 PM

McDonnell outraising Deeds also helped.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 8:51 PM

famous amos on November 7, 2013 at 8:48 PM

Very good point..:)

Dire Straits on November 7, 2013 at 8:53 PM

McDonnell outraising Deeds also helped.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Jonnie Williams Sr. sure did close his check book this year.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Terry is the King of Sleaze. This was an easy win in an off-year election if only we would have had Bill Bolling at the top and a sane person at #2.

Punchenko

You mean the Bolling who supported and all but endorsed McCauliffe, lol?

xblade on November 7, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Jonnie Williams Sr. sure did close his check book this year.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 8:54 PM

I’m sure he was the only reason why McDonnell raised more money than Deeds.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Cuccinelli could have beaten Bolling in a primary, which would also have weeded out the unfit-for-high-office E.W. Jackson. Jackson’s a strong conservative but an abysmal politician.

However, like Christie, Cooch didn’t want to take any political risk, so he ensured that only his supporters would decide who got the slot. Not so much “cry-baby” but “craven coward.”

KingGold on November 7, 2013 at 8:43 PM

This is what I’ve been trying to get through to people: Cuccinelli chose to go this route and paid a price for it.

A primary is NOT just a way to weed out people you don’t like. It is a way to get a candidate’s name out, to put a platform together that a candidate runs on, and it serves as a sanity check to make sure a candidate actually knows how to run a campaign.

Winning at the AG level isn’t the same as winning at the Governor level, and you need to demonstrate other skills and better networking to win. A primary helps to get those contacts made and to build bridges even out to hostile districts.

By not going through a primary the Cuccinelli campaign was caught with a bad campaign staff, a lack of a platform, few contacts in the districts and almost none in hostile districts, and a basic inability to raise money or even do a cheap shoeleather campaign. It is a failure in retail politics of the first order to be unable to do those things, shift campaign gears to adjust to outside events and to handle hostile opponents. A primary helps find those weaknesses and exposes them, then gives you time to fix them.

Before trying to put any blame on the shutdown, or DNC ads, or anything else, the first look must go to the campaign, itself. It didn’t do the basics of retail politics, was inept at outreach, horrific at internal fundraising and yet came within 3% of winning.

A competent politician who relishes politics would have loved a primary to do all the things necessary to tune up a campaign.

A competent politician could have won with the demographics and even played the shutdown to his/her advantage by showing how awful federal politics is and lets concentrate on doing things right at the State level.

With an established platform, campaign and name recognition a hostile War on Wimmens ad buy would fall on its face as the campaign would already have defined itself for the candidate in a primary for what he was running on.

So before blame starts to get pinned anywhere else, it must start with the candidate and his campaign. It had some nice numbers but were in steep decline and started to pull up a little during the first couple of weeks in SEP due to ad buys. There was zero follow-up in SEP before the ‘shutdown’.

It was like the campaign was told not to campaign.

There was a major problem there before the shutdown. A huge gap in competence.

How can you tell if his message was a failure when he didn’t even get it out well enough for anyone to know about it?

And then, with all of that incompetence and last minute NRA lit scrambling, he failed by 3%.

Imagine if there was a decent campaign that knew how to do basic politics there and you get a far different result.

ajacksonian on November 7, 2013 at 8:59 PM

We’re in it to win it. Ken wouldn’t have been outspent if he raised some money. He didn’t, because he was a lousy candidate who ran a lousy campaign.

Terry is the King of Sleaze. This was an easy win in an off-year election if only we would have had Bill Bolling at the top and a sane person at #2.

Punchenko on November 7, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Ken was being back-stabbed by the party “elite” that wanted Bolling to be in control.

Hurray for Tammany Hall!

Bolling could have endorsed Cuccinelli as well instead of being a cry-baby.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Ken was back-stabbed by Ken and was further undermined by Ted Cruz who, in Ken fashion, made it about himself instead of the party and the country.

Punchenko on November 7, 2013 at 9:03 PM

As I read our comments on these threads I’m starting to think the Republican party needs couple therapy or something.

It just seems like were growing apart. We don’t want the same things. You say I never support you and I feel like you never support me. Sometimes you can be so manipulative and I know you have cheated on me with the Dems. And it isn’t like I haven’t noticed the way you look at those illegal aliens. You just won’t listen and this is getting us no where.

magicbeans on November 7, 2013 at 9:06 PM

This is what I’ve been trying to get through to people: Cuccinelli chose to go this route and paid a price for it…Imagine if there was a decent campaign that knew how to do basic politics there and you get a far different result.

ajacksonian on November 7, 2013 at 8:59 PM

I agree a lot of the blame should be placed on campaign team..Team Cooch had it’s problems seems like..Unfortunately we missed out on electing a good man for VA Governor..:(

Dire Straits on November 7, 2013 at 9:11 PM

I’m sure he was the only reason why McDonnell raised more money than Deeds.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Yup, the power brokers went to McAuliffe from McDonnell.

Hurray.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Ken was back-stabbed by Ken and was further undermined by Ted Cruz who, in Ken fashion, made it about himself instead of the party and the country.

Punchenko on November 7, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Yet the exit poll showed that there was 50/50 blame for the government slimdown.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 9:12 PM

magicbeans on November 7, 2013 at 9:06 PM

I agree we (GOP) need to quit the infighting..:)

Dire Straits on November 7, 2013 at 9:14 PM

Yup, the power brokers went to McAuliffe from McDonnell.

Hurray.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Cuccinelli’s team has blamed just about everyone. Funny that they haven’t blamed the candidate or themselves.

Look, I think Cuccinelli is a good, principled man. I would have had no problem voting for him. But this shouldn’t have been close, much less a loss for the simple fact that he was against McAuliffe. The fact that he lost to someone like McAuliffe says a lot more about the candidate himself than it does about anything/anyone else that may or may not have affected the race.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 9:16 PM

I say it’s a triad of a campaign which could have been run better, RINO treachery and an H. Ross Perot redux with the Libertarian helping the Clintoon sleazeball hack pull a “1992.”

viking01 on November 7, 2013 at 9:17 PM

I don’t see how any government employee can blame the Tea Party for the shutdown. They got time off……w/ PAY! I am not buying that excuse for why they didn’t vote for Cooch. I have lived in Virginia since 2007-this place is going nowhere fast..

Static21 on November 7, 2013 at 9:18 PM

Any case, Cuccinnelli was leading by 40% over Bolling in a potential primary.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Like I said, he could have beaten Bolling in a primary. Why you feel this constant need to repeat my points back to me I’ll never know.

Beating Bolling in a primary would have meant a clean victory and no E.W. Jackson. Instead, he decided to skip the hard part and earned himself a pissed-off rival and a drag on his ticket. Congrats, Ken!

KingGold on November 7, 2013 at 9:21 PM

The fact that he lost to someone like McAuliffe says a lot more about the candidate himself than it does about anything/anyone else that may or may not have affected the race.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Let’s see: being outspent 10-1 has nothing to do with it?

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 9:26 PM

Like I said, he could have beaten Bolling in a primary. Why you feel this constant need to repeat my points back to me I’ll never know.

I’m not repeating, but rather responding. It’s rather quite simple

Beating Bolling in a primary would have meant a clean victory and no E.W. Jackson. Instead, he decided to skip the hard part and earned himself a pissed-off rival and a drag on his ticket. Congrats, Ken!

KingGold on November 7, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Clean victory?

Cuccinelli ran unopposed in the convention. Bolling could have participated, but like a cry-baby, he backed out.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Let’s see: being outspent 10-1 has nothing to do with it?

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 9:26 PM

Why do you think he was in that position in the first place? You honestly don’t think if he was a better candidate, he would have been able to raise more? You don’t think if he polled better, the RNC would have spent more on his race? It all points back to Cuccinelli, not anyone else. McDonnell was able to outspend Deeds for a reason. He was a good candidate, raised more money than his opponent, and was even able to garner endorsements from prominent Dems in VA. McDonnell ran a very smart campaign. Cuccinelli only started running a similar campaign much later on when it was too late, whereas Obenshain ran a McDonnell-type campaign from the outset. The results speak for themselves. Jackson got slaughtered, Cuccinelli lost by about 3 points, and Obenshain looks like he’ll hold on for a win.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Why do you think he was in that position in the first place? You honestly don’t think if he was a better candidate, he would have been able to raise more? You don’t think if he polled better, the RNC would have spent more on his race? It all points back to Cuccinelli, not anyone else. McDonnell was able to outspend Deeds for a reason. He was a good candidate, raised more money than his opponent, and was even able to garner endorsements from prominent Dems in VA. McDonnell ran a very smart campaign. Cuccinelli only started running a similar campaign much later on when it was too late, whereas Obenshain ran a McDonnell-type campaign from the outset. The results speak for themselves. Jackson got slaughtered, Cuccinelli lost by about 3 points, and Obenshain looks like he’ll hold on for a win.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 9:33 PM

He was put into that position because the coffers dried up. The power brokers wanted Bolling, not Cuccinelli. Thus, they went to another crony, McAuliffe.

When McAuliffe started spending along with the DNC starting in May, why didn’t the RNC match the spending?

Why did the RNC give Christie millions and withhold from Cuccinelli?

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 9:53 PM

He was put into that position because the coffers dried up. The power brokers wanted Bolling, not Cuccinelli. Thus, they went to another crony, McAuliffe.

When McAuliffe started spending along with the DNC starting in May, why didn’t the RNC match the spending?

Why did the RNC give Christie millions and withhold from Cuccinelli?

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 9:53 PM

This has become an argument over cause and effect, and clearly, we disagree. You think the reason Cuccinelli lost is because he was outspent, and you have yet to lay any blame at the feet of Cuccinelli. I believe that Cuccinelli was the wrong candidate for VA. This should have been an easy race to win, but yet somehow the VA GOP found the one Republican in VA who couldn’t beat McAuliffe. This could be a blessing in disguise as it won’t take too long for the residents of VA to realize how corrupt McAuliffe really is.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 10:02 PM

You think the reason Cuccinelli lost is because he was outspent, and you have yet to lay any blame at the feet of Cuccinelli. I believe that Cuccinelli was the wrong candidate for VA. This should have been an easy race to win, but yet somehow the VA GOP found the one Republican in VA who couldn’t beat McAuliffe. This could be a blessing in disguise as it won’t take too long for the residents of VA to realize how corrupt McAuliffe really is.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Cuccinelli could have beaten McAuliffe if he was given the same resources that Bolling would have got.

I lay most of the blame on the RNC and Virginia GOP “elite.”

And we have history for this – see 1994.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 10:06 PM

Cuccinelli could have beaten McAuliffe if he was given the same resources that Bolling would have got.

I lay most of the blame on the RNC and Virginia GOP “elite.”

And we have history for this – see 1994.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 10:06 PM

And Bolling wouldn’t have needed much because he was running against McAuliffe. Bolling would have been smart and would have run a McDonnell-styled campaign from the beginning. VA has changed and Bolling is the type of GOP candidate that can win there, not the likes of Cuccinelli and Jackson. The only reason why it was as close as it was between Cuccinelli and McAuliffe wasn’t because Cuccinelli was a good/strong candidate, but because McAuliffe was a bad candidate himself.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 10:10 PM

Actually, no, the problem was his campaign wasn’t confrontational enough, for reasons elaborated here;

http://thefederalist.com/2013/11/05/10-lessons-republicans-virginia/

narciso on November 7, 2013 at 10:10 PM

Against Terry McAuliffe, the definition of crony capitalist, surely you gest.

narciso on November 7, 2013 at 10:13 PM

And Bolling wouldn’t have needed much because he was running against McAuliffe. Bolling would have been smart and would have run a McDonnell-styled campaign from the beginning. VA has changed and Bolling is the type of GOP candidate that can win there, not the likes of Cuccinelli and Jackson. The only reason why it was as close as it was between Cuccinelli and McAuliffe wasn’t because Cuccinelli was a good/strong candidate, but because McAuliffe was a bad candidate himself.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 10:10 PM

Bolling wouldn’t have been outspent 10-1 because the party elite would have opened up their pocket book for him.

Bolling has the same social viewpoints as Cuccinneli. Ditto Obsenshain.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Bolling would have been smart and would have run a McDonnell-styled campaign from the beginning.

GOPRanknFile

And and and then he would have caused the seas to recede, lowered the temperatures, and the crippled would be able to walk.

LOL….you folks are so full of crap that you can’t help but laugh.

xblade on November 7, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Bolling wouldn’t have been outspent 10-1 because the party elite would have opened up their pocket book for him.

Bolling has the same social viewpoints as Cuccinneli. Ditto Obsenshain.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 10:15 PM

He wouldn’t have been outspent 10-1 because he would have been able to raise more than Cuccinelli.

You’re right that Bolling has the same social viewpoints as Cuccinelli and Obenshain. McDonnell shares the same social viewpoints too, but he won in a landslide, which is why the candidate himself and the type of campaign he runs is crucial. McDonnell won by almost 20. Cuccinelli lost to worst possible candidate the Dems could have put up.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 10:20 PM

And and and then he would have caused the seas to recede, lowered the temperatures, and the crippled would be able to walk.

LOL….you folks are so full of crap that you can’t help but laugh.

xblade on November 7, 2013 at 10:15 PM

LOL there’s nothing miraculous about running a smart campaign. It may seem like that to the Cuccinnelli campaign now, but it really isn’t too difficult. Just ask Obenshain or McDonnell.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Bolling did not take a stand on Obamacare, that is why they wanted him, this is why he lent his aide Boyd Marcus, to McAuliffe,

narciso on November 7, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Bolling did not take a stand on Obamacare, that is why they wanted him, this is why he lent his aide Boyd Marcus, to McAuliffe,

narciso on November 7, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Really?

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R):

“I am very disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare. It was my belief that the President and Congress overstepped their constitutional authority in requiring American citizens to purchase a product like health insurance, and I am disappointed that the Supreme Court reached a different conclusion. However, the court’s decision does not change the fact that Obamacare is bad policy. Obamacare is too costly and we cannot afford it. In addition, Obamacare increases the cost of doing business and makes it harder for American businesses to hire workers. Finally, Obamacare limits American’s health care choices and intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship.”

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Bolling would have been smart and would have run a McDonnell-styled campaign from the beginning. VA has changed and Bolling is the type of GOP candidate that can win there, not the likes of Cuccinelli and Jackson.

GOPRanknFile

So, let us get this straight….McDonnell won by being a McDonnell-style Republican, but Cuccinelli(who is basically a McDonnell-style republican) can’t win because that doesn’t work in VA anymore, but Bolling would have won easily with only Monopoly money to fund his campaign because he would have run as a McDonnell-style republican, lol.

All aboard…the crazy train is leaving the station, lol.Your engineer this evening is GOPRanknFile. RINOKing will be around to punch your ticket, so please have it ready. But whatever you do, don’t drink the koolaid.

LOL……

xblade on November 7, 2013 at 10:27 PM

He wouldn’t have been outspent 10-1 because he would have been able to raise more than Cuccinelli.

I know. The party “elites” wanted Bolling, not Cuccinelli, and directed needed resources to Christies landslide victory.

You’re right that Bolling has the same social viewpoints as Cuccinelli and Obenshain. McDonnell shares the same social viewpoints too, but he won in a landslide, which is why the candidate himself and the type of campaign he runs is crucial. McDonnell won by almost 20. Cuccinelli lost to worst possible candidate the Dems could have put up.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 10:20 PM

He won in a landslide because he had money to spend and a RNC actively supporting him.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 10:29 PM

He wouldn’t have been outspent 10-1 because he would have been able to raise more than Cuccinelli.

I know. The party “elites” wanted Bolling, not Cuccinelli, and directed needed resources to Christies landslide victory.

You’re right that Bolling has the same social viewpoints as Cuccinelli and Obenshain. McDonnell shares the same social viewpoints too, but he won in a landslide, which is why the candidate himself and the type of campaign he runs is crucial. McDonnell won by almost 20. Cuccinelli lost to worst possible candidate the Dems could have put up.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 10:20 PM

He won in a landslide because he had money to spend and a RNC actively supporting him.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 10:29 PM

And the acolytes of the Eunuch-”elite” of the GOP didn’t proudly cross party lines to work for his “sleazeball” opponent.

ebrown2 on November 7, 2013 at 10:33 PM

As you see, he ran exactly the kind of campaign, that was recommended,
the manager who ran his 2009 campaign would have known better.

narciso on November 7, 2013 at 10:33 PM

So, let us get this straight….McDonnell won by being a McDonnell-style Republican, but Cuccinelli(who is basically a McDonnell-style republican) can’t win because that doesn’t work in VA anymore, but Bolling would have won easily with only Monopoly money to fund his campaign because he would have run as a McDonnell-style republican, lol.

All aboard…the crazy train is leaving the station, lol.Your engineer this evening is GOPRanknFile. RINOKing will be around to punch your ticket, so please have it ready. But whatever you do, don’t drink the koolaid.

LOL……

xblade on November 7, 2013 at 10:27 PM

You seem to misunderstand. I never said that one shouldn’t be a social conservative. Heck, I AM a social conservative. But if you think that Cuccinelli ran the same type of campaign as McDonnell, then I’d like to have what you’re smoking. You make a lot of faulty premises, which is not surprising.

I love how you think just because I said Cuccinell was a bad candidate, you automatically assume I’m a RINO. I would love to know how many RINOs supported Cruz, Miller, Haley, Rubio, Rand, etc. in the primaries. Seems like you’re the one drinking the Kool-Aid.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 10:33 PM

He won in a landslide because he had money to spend and a RNC actively supporting him.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 10:29 PM

We’re going around in circles. You think he won in a landslide simply because he outspent Deeds, without ever giving credence to the fact that he was a good candidate. I think the fact that he was a good candidate allowed him to raise significant amount of funds and gave more confidence to the RNC to invest in the race. You disagree with that notion, and that’s okay. We also disagree on the very same dynamics for the Cuccinelli race. We’ll never agree as we keep going back and forth on the same point. It’s been a pleasure debating with you, but we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Yet for all the talk of Tea Party intransigence, the reality is that once the primaries and conventions are over, the sore losers in the bunch tend to all be on the money side, not the grassroots. The conservative base will swallow hard, grit their teeth, and back a moderate against a liberal time and again, just as Tea Party groups backed Mitt Romney and conservatives backed John McCain. But the donors typically find it a lot easier to take their ball and go home.

This wasn’t what the story was supposed to be in Virginia. Today, the Republican donor community is flailing desperately for a narrative to defend their decision to leave Cuccinelli high and dry as something other than a temper tantrum. The story was supposed to be that Terry McAuliffe and Bill Bolling were right: Cuccinelli was too extreme for Virginia, and it was time to get back to nominating the types of candidates they wanted. But Cuccinelli – even without the money, without the support, without the infrastructure – made it a race in the closing days, and now the donor class which said “screw it, I’m out” after the nomination fight played out are straining for excuses.

http://thefederalist.com/2013/11/07/republican-donor-class-gave-us-terry-mcauliffe/

ebrown2 on November 7, 2013 at 10:39 PM

We’re going around in circles. You think he won in a landslide simply because he outspent Deeds, without ever giving credence to the fact that he was a good candidate. I think the fact that he was a good candidate allowed him to raise significant amount of funds and gave more confidence to the RNC to invest in the race. You disagree with that notion, and that’s okay. We also disagree on the very same dynamics for the Cuccinelli race. We’ll never agree as we keep going back and forth on the same point. It’s been a pleasure debating with you, but we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 10:36 PM

McDonnell was a good candidate, but money had a lot to do with it.

If Deeds was outspending him 2 to 1, McDonnell would have most likely lost.

sentinelrules on November 7, 2013 at 10:47 PM

As Taranto puts it, in the Fox Butterfield Column;

“Republican National Committee allies are offering an interesting defense to critics saying the campaign committee could have done more to help the Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli: Blame former RNC chairman Michael Steele. Steele dropped a staggering $9 million in 2009 into Governor Bob McDonnell’s race despite the fact that McDonnell never trailed in a single poll.”–Jonathan Strong, National Review Online, Nov. 6

narciso on November 7, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Pfffft.

bour3 on November 7, 2013 at 11:07 PM

Yup. 70% of single women voted against Cuccinelli because of the shutdown and because they didn’t know enough about Obamacare. It had nothing to do with Cuccinelli’s positions on abortion.

talkingpoints on November 7, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Cuccinelli lost to worst possible candidate the Dems could have put up.

GOPRanknFile on November 7, 2013 at 10:20 PM

Put the bottle down, dude. Sleazy, talentless, corrupt dope McAuliffe is nonetheless connected at the hip with the sleazy Clinton machine, and can credibly promise all sorts of trillion-dollar Federal largesse to the sleazy, rent-seeking big business billionaire donors that don’t care about party or policy.

That’s why he sucked up all the D.C. money; that’s why his juvenile “war on women” nonsense was blaring nonstop at every commercial break for the past five weeks … while Cuccinelli’s campaign was broke and silent. Stupid ads work — that’s why they run them. The voting populace is heavily planted with idiots who are swayed by this kind of sleaze.

Wake up and grow up.

Jaibones on November 8, 2013 at 12:34 AM

Why the GOP didn’t make the shutdown a teaching moment about government overspending and the deficits and hammered those point home again and again is beyond me.

It could have been as effective a strategy as using Obamacare but instead they allowed the narrative to be about “shutting down the government” which is a boogeyman for the LIV’s designed to scare them rather than inform.

Cleombrotus on November 8, 2013 at 12:41 AM

. Stupid ads work — that’s why they run them. The voting populace is heavily planted with idiots who are swayed by this kind of sleaze.
Wake up and grow up.
Jaibones on November 8, 2013 at 12:34 AM

Amen to THAT.

Cleombrotus on November 8, 2013 at 12:44 AM

I would believe it. Half of Virginia are federal employees who commute to DC. (Well, I don’t know if that’s the correct fraction of the population, but there are a lot of them.) The shutdown was a lot more tangible for them than for voters in general.

Also, it doesn’t matter who they blame for the shutdown, really. What matters to this group is that the gravy train keep on rolling. So they may think the Dems were jerks for not compromising when there was an impasse — thereby causing them to lose a few weeks pay — but they’re still going to vote Dem because if there had been enough Dems in the House, there’d never have been an impasse in the first place.

joe_doufu on November 8, 2013 at 12:56 AM

Put the bottle down, dude. Sleazy, talentless, corrupt dope McAuliffe is nonetheless connected at the hip with the sleazy Clinton machine, and can credibly promise all sorts of trillion-dollar Federal largesse to the sleazy, rent-seeking big business billionaire donors that don’t care about party or policy.

That’s why he sucked up all the D.C. money; that’s why his juvenile “war on women” nonsense was blaring nonstop at every commercial break for the past five weeks … while Cuccinelli’s campaign was broke and silent. Stupid ads work — that’s why they run them. The voting populace is heavily planted with idiots who are swayed by this kind of sleaze.

Wake up and grow up.

Jaibones on November 8, 2013 at 12:34 AM

Clearly, there was nothing left in the bottle after you handed it to me.

GOPRanknFile on November 8, 2013 at 1:59 AM

What I hear from Virginia is that Cuccinelli did not make the case for his governorship–not enough ads, not enough fighting against the lies and distortions of the Left, and not enough explaining what he intended to do for Virginia (I don’t mean his stance on hot-button issues of the day; I mean how he intended to improve things, etc.). Part of that does, no doubt, stem from the lack of funds; part of it is failing to project confidence and enthusiasm–which are essential to convincing people to want to follow your leadership.

So…yes, Cuccinelli was a conservative candidate. His conservative credentials alone are what won him most of the commonwealth. But he fought like a moderate. That’s what lost him the election.

butterflies and puppies on November 8, 2013 at 2:30 AM

If he’s right, then it’s because there are too many DC denizens living in NoVa, not because the populace in general thought the “shutdown” was a terrible thing.

butterflies and puppies on November 8, 2013 at 2:30 AM

I agree. Some of his commercials were really pathetic.

GWB on November 8, 2013 at 8:58 AM

He’s moved back onto the plantation, I see.

Kissmygrits on November 8, 2013 at 9:12 AM

He’s moved back onto the plantation, I see.

Kissmygrits on November 8, 2013 at 9:12 AM

MSNBC job next?

slickwillie2001 on November 8, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Not buying the excuse. The numbers had tanked long before the shutdown.

EdmundBurke247 on November 8, 2013 at 11:22 AM

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