After it finally became clear that Terry McAuliffe was definitely going to win the Virginia governor’s race on Tuesday night, one of the big debates that instantly popped up was whether or not the floundering of ObamaCare had an eleventh-hour impact that tightened the race into such a surprisingly competitive contest, and in that vein, whether 2014-minded Democrats should have cause for encouragement or alarm. On the one hand, once the heavily Virginian-afflicting government shutdown subsided and the media began to turn to stories of ObamaCare in full force, Cuccinelli made ObamaCare the focal point of his closing arguments and emphasized his champion-status in trying to thwart the legislation. On the other hand, it’s possible that neither the shutdown nor ObamaCare punched above their weight, and both internal Democratic polling and exit polling data suggest that the electorate may have already been locked in by the final stages of the contest.
Krauthammer, however, went for the former argument on Fox News last night, via RCP:
Look what happened last night in Virginia. Obamacare single handedly — only a slight exaggeration, turned what should have been a landslide into a cliffhanger. Cuccinelli was behind by double digits after the shutdown really hurt him in northern Virginia, where there are a lot of government workers. He was way behind. He decided to gamble it all in the last week attacking Obamacare. He came to the point where by 10:00 last night, he was actually ahead in the count, and then he lost narrowly. That’s all due to Obamacare. And this is not new. Four years ago in Virginia and New Jersey, Obama campaigned for the Democratic candidates for governor and they both lost. And the issue was the beginning of the Tea Party revolt, the issues were the stimulus, high taxation, high spending and it was Obamacare. So this is now the second time Obamacare is striking and it’s going to continue to strike. It petered away after the last time because it was all in theory, it wasn’t happening, it was suspended. But it’s happening now. And unless they stop the avalanche here, the Democrats are going to get buried in this.