This isn't surprising from someone whose campaign relies on misdirection:Cuccinelli, badly trailing Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the final days of the campaign -- particularly among women voters -- reached back to his college days for an example of his support for women during an interview on the Laura Ingraham radio talk show on Friday.
"I'm the only candidate in the race who's actually ever done anything to protect women," Cuccinelli said, citing his advocacy for sexual assault victims at the University of Virginia, and domestic violence programs in his Attorney General's office. He also said he spearheaded Virginia's efforts to fight human trafficking.
McAuliffe and groups that include Planned Parenthood have repeatedly slammed Cuccinelli's staunch opposition to abortion and his failure to back renewal of the federal Violence Against Women Act.
As a state senator before he was elected attorney general, Cuccinelli proposed a fetal personhood amendment that would have banned abortion and legally defined a fertilized egg as a person. As attorney general, Cuccinelli pressed the Virginia Board of Health to approve restrictions on abortion clinics that could force many to close. - Huffington Post, 11/1/13
But Cuccinelli needs to mislead voters and lie about his anti-woman agenda for a good reason:WHEN YOUNG Republican patent attorney Ken Cuccinelli II first ran for public office in 2002, his campaign played hide-the-ball in an attempt to disguise his real agenda. “We won from the churches, on pro-life, and taxes — that was it, that was all we did,” Mr. Cuccinelli boasted four years later. “[We] told The Post we were talking about transportation. They bought it.”
In fact, The Post didn’t buy it. News reports in these pages recounted his focus on abortion and taxes, and the editorial page, noting his magical promise to improve roads and schools without raising new revenue, endorsed his opponent in the race for state Senate. Nevertheless, Mr. Cuccinelli won.
Now, as the GOP’s candidate for governor, Mr. Cuccinelli’s campaign has deployed a similar strategy of misdirection. The stakes this time are considerably greater; Virginians shouldn’t be fooled.
The home page of Mr. Cuccinelli’s campaign Web site invites visitors, in large print, to “Read Ken’s plan to create 58,000 new jobs in Virginia.” The plan itself — a massive cut to individual and business income taxes that Mr. Cuccinelli says will somehow be offset by eliminating tax loopholes and deductions, which he has not identified — is political fantasy, at best.
The larger point is that Mr. Cuccinelli’s interest in jobs and the economy is an 11th-hour political makeover, developed for electoral purposes, that bears no resemblance to the agenda he has pursued aggressively in public office for more than a decade. Mr. Cuccinelli did not become a hero to the tea party by accident; he earned that distinction with a sustained focus on conservative social issues. As a state senator, his motivating passions were God, guns, gays and abortion; as attorney general, he won notoriety mainly by fighting the Obama administration over health care and climate change. - Washington Post, 11/1/13
Luckily for us, Terry McAuliffe (D. VA) and liberal groups have been doing an excellent job revealing Cucinelli as a right-wing lunatic throughout this entire campaign:Women may hold the key in Virginia's slash-and-burn race for governor, rendering a final judgment on a campaign marked by fights over social issues.
Democrats have not relented in their criticism of Republican Ken Cuccinelli's positions on abortion, women's reproductive health and even divorce, and it's taken a toll, especially among female voters. Polls show Cuccinelli consistently struggling to connect with women in his race against Democratic Terry McAuliffe.
Heading into Tuesday's election, the cash-poor Cuccinelli campaign is trying to set the record straight at every stop, with the state attorney general telling allies, "The truth is our friend here."
The timeline is not.
In the race's waning days, Cuccinelli is essentially silent in paid television ads.
He plans to urge supporters to tell their neighbors, especially women, that he's a better candidate for them. The former state senator talks about his wife and daughters at every chance, and how he formed the first sexual assault-prevention group when he was an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, after his roommate was a victim.
But time is running out. He's facing a massive deficit on campaign advertising, and he was outspent by a margin of 25-to-1 for most of the week. A late-week ad buy cut in that, making it a 10-1 margin.
Polls show major hurdles with female voters. A Quinnipiac University poll last week found women backing McAuliffe by 50 percent to 37 percent. An earlier Washington Post poll showed Cuccinelli trailing among women, 34 percent to 58 percent. - Huffington Post, 11/2/13
Not to mention McAuliffe has a big name in Virginia helping him shore up the base:The list goes on: Planned Parenthood’s political arm has put in over a million dollars on issues related to contraception and abortion rights, while Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC is on track to spend $2 million on ads hitting Republicans on gun control. Americans for Responsible Solutions, the group founded by former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, has also sent mailers on the gun issue. People for the American Way has run Spanish-language television ads and the SEIU has put boots on the ground in Northern Virginia.
Most importantly, campaign officials said, the Democratic Governors Association has transferred about $6 million directly into McAuliffe’s coffers through its federal super PAC. Several labor groups have done the same.
Indeed, if the likely defeat of Republican Ken Cuccinelli were a mystery novel, it would be a “Murder on the Orient Express”-style tale where the victim has literally dozens of killers.
Managing this array of independent backers has been a challenge on its own. The McAuliffe operation made it an early priority to get outside groups on the same page, strategists said, in order to avoid a cacophony of uncoordinated messages and duplicative turnout programs at the height of the general election.
Now, McAuliffe campaign strategists and leaders in more than half a dozen outside groups described a close working relationship that coordinated activities down to the groups of voters field organizers would target and the exact dates mail pieces would drop, to avoid deluging any given household with too much campaign material.
“The campaign coordinated with different people in their areas of expertise. Ours is certainly in this area of getting out the Latino vote,” said PFAW president Michael Keegan. “The good thing about Virginia is, you can work on maximizing your influence as opposed to everybody working on everything.” - Politico, 11/3/13
While Cuccinelli is busy getting his fringe base riled up:President Barack Obama is lending his political heft to Terry McAuliffe's campaign for Virginia governor while Republican Ken Cuccinelli is flying from airport to airport in search of votes.
McAuliffe and Cuccinelli planned the final Sunday of their bitter campaign trying to motivate their most ardent supporters for an election that is going to be decided by the few Virginians who choose to vote on Tuesday. The state Board of Elections chief says turnout could be as low as 30 percent of registered voters and the campaigns see 40 percent turnout as the ceiling.
Polls show McAuliffe ahead and campaign finance reports show a dramatically lopsided dynamic, with the Democrats far outraising and outspending Cuccinelli and his allies. Television airtime was tilted in McAuliffe's favor by a 10-to-1 margin.
Obama's final-hours effort is slated to take place near Washington. - Huffington Post, 11/3/13
But the reality is Cuccinelli's hardcore base isn't going to save him:Republican Ken Cuccinelli tried to energize his conservative base Saturday with just days before voters choose between him and Democratic rival Terry McAuliffe to become the next governor of Virginia.
Cuccinelli warned supporters that McAuliffe would be a threat to the state's coal miners, a backer of unions and beholden to out-of-state supporters. With time ticking down toward Tuesday's election, Cuccinelli is working to inspire every last supporter in an election that could include as few as 30 percent of registered voters.
"Just because people agree with us doesn't mean they're going to vote,'' Cuccinelli told volunteers at a campaign office near Richmond. "This is what nagging is for.''
Polls show McAuliffe leading and campaign finance reports show him vastly outspending Cuccinelli on campaign advertising. That has left Cuccinelli leaning on his deeply conservative base to narrow McAuliffe's lead and perhaps overtake him in a come-from-behind finish. - NBC 4 Washington, 11/2/13
But some Republican operatives are blaming moderate Republican voters are throwing Cuccinelli under the bus:After introductions from Pat Mullins—current chairmen of the Virginia Republican Party—and a local activist, Cuccinelli took the mic with his wife, Teiro. Clad in a campaign casual of oversized jeans, a blue oxford button-down, and a navy blazer—thanks to the unseasonably warm weather, no one had to layer up—Cuccinelli began with the usual barrage of attacks on Terry McAuliffe, who he dismissed as unethical, unscrupulous, and untrustworthy. “We don’t want his D.C. and Chicago politics in Virginia,” he said to the crowd.
These were core supporters and this was red meat; a long list of anti-McAuliffe complaints and declarations of conservative bona fides. “[McAuliffe] didn’t think Obamacare was big enough; I tried to stop it immediately,” explained Cuccinelli, emphasizing his opposition to both spending and Obamacare, “and as you might expect, Terry says more government without having any idea of how it works.” He went down the list, hitting McAuliffe for his scandals, union relationships, and cozy relationship to business interests. Under McAuliffe, Cuccinelli warned, the state’s coal mines would be shutdown and poor Virginians would lose thousands of jobs.
Since this was a rally with a purpose, Cuccinelli emphasized the importance of getting out the vote. “We don’t need to convince anyone else,” he said, “we just need to turn them out.” What's more, he asked his supporters not to pay attention to the polls, “We all know polls are meaningless at this point,” he said, “They all show one or two point margins.”
The crowd ate this up, but the truth is that only losing candidates talk like this, and if the actual polls are any indication, Cuccinelli is on his way to defeat. According to the Real Clear Politics average, McAuliffe leads by 7.5 points. It’s possible for that lead dissipate in the final days of the campaign, but it’s not likely. And Cuccinelli’s running mate—E.W. Jackson, who was also out this morning with a sparsely attended rally in Virginia Beach—is almost certain to lose in a landslide to his opponent, State Senator Ralph Northam. - The Daily Beast, 11/2/13
But I can't blame them for abandoning Cuccinelli:Brent Bozell is making no apologies. The chairman of ForAmerica, a conservative grassroots group, said, “The moderate branch of the Republican Party turned its back on Cuccinelli, and that hurt him big time. When this is all over, win or lose, there’s got to be a conversation about that.” But in the dialogue Bozell envisions, the tea party isn’t compromising its principles and groveling for support. Like many in the movement, he points to the failure of mainstream Republicans, such as former presidential nominees Mitt Romney and John McCain. If anything, Bozell said, Cuccinelli should have been more aggressive in defending conservatism.
“Running toward the middle is the old paradigm,” he said. “Politics is solidifying and mobilizing your base—and the hell with the middle.”
McAuliffe is trying to have it all. Taking his cue from Obama, he’s targeting black, gay, and young voters, and touting gun control and abortion rights. But he’s waffled on coal regulations and offshore oil drilling to avoid rankling conservatives and the business community, and one of his closing ads touts “sensible business-friendly policies.” That’s putting to the test Bozell’s theory that the middle doesn’t matter anymore. - National Journal, 10/31/13
Plus I'm not sure if Cuccinelli is trying to win over or lose Jewish voters:Mark Kington, an Alexandria venture capitalist who gave $83,000 to McDonnell in 2009, said he steered clear of Cuccinelli because “his position on climate change to me was a real non-starter, and I told him as much.”
Kington, a former member of the University of Virginia’s board of visitors, donated $1.5 million with his wife to endow a professorship in climate change research. Cuccinelli, a longtime skeptic on climate change, spent two years as attorney general investigating whether a U.Va. professor had manipulated data to show rising temperatures on Earth. The university fought back, and the Virginia Supreme Court ruled for the school.
Kington, a moderate Republican and former business partner of Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), said he would not have supported Cuccinelli even if climate change weren’t an issue. “It may be time to vote for the third-party candidate,” he said, “if only to send a message to the Republican Party that we need pragmatic solutions, not positions that are unbending.” - Washington Post, 11/2/13
By the way, Mazel Tov to McAullife for scoring this endorsement:At a get-out-the-vote rally alongside Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), Cuccinelli said McAuliffe’s campaign — which has vastly outspent Cuccinelli’s on television advertisements — was misleading voters about Cuccinelli’s record.
“He hasn’t run one ad since the summer or in the autumn about anything except what an apparently terrible human being I’m supposed to be,” Cuccinelli said of the McAuliffe ads. “I shaved my horns just for you all. They’ve been lying through their teeth. I’ll tell you, he brought plenty of chutzpah from New York with him. Never seen anything like it.”
He then asked the crowd of Republican activists: ”We have something to fight for. Can you name one thing that Terry McAuliffe has said that he’s going to do for you in the next four years that he’s explained?”
One woman yelled, “Raise taxes!”
“For you, not to you,” Cuccinelli joked.
McAuliffe was born in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1957. In his first ad in the gubernatorial campaign, McAuliffe made a point of saying that he and his wife, Dorothy, “have lived in Virginia for over 20 years, and here we’ve raised five children of our own.” - Washington Post, 11/2/13
The election is this Tuesday. If you would like to get involved with GOTV efforts or donate to any of the top Democratic candidate, you can do so here:Mr. Cuccinelli’s far right social agenda is not consistent with the best interests of the citizens of Virginia. Especially in a state that is increasingly trending “blue”. Based on his past history as Attorney General we have little doubt that he would use his position as governor to continue to implement his social agenda.
On the other hand we view McAuliffe as more mainstream and we would be hopeful that he would use the same persuasive skills as a fundraiser to work with a legislature that is likely to continue to be in Republican hands. McAuliffe will need to be nimble in his dealings with this legislature. Hopefully he will have learned a thing or two from his close friend, Bill Clinton
We endorse Terry McAuliffe for Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. - Washington Jewish Week, 11/1/13