Five big lessons from Virginia for the GOP

— Convert conservative principles into practical policies — and finish the sentence. All year, McDonnell laid out a steady stream of policy initiatives rooted in a commitment to lower taxes, less regulation and innovation. Too often, however, Republicans don’t “finish the sentence” and remind voters outside our base why such conservative policies are better. McDonnell’s campaign attracted crucial independent voters by focusing on the benefits of his policies: better elementary schools, more college degrees, less time stuck in traffic, more affordable gas and electricity, and most important, jobs, jobs, jobs.

By Tuesday, voters gave McDonnell a sizable lead when it came to handling every critical issue facing Virginians, and he can now claim a mandate for his agenda.

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