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Republicans really, really, really wanted the Virginia gubernatorial race to be "a referendum on Obamacare." They claimed that that's what it was so many times that reporters started echoing them, as if Ken Cuccinelli's stump speech had the power to shape reality.

Oopsies! When you lose, suddenly that "referendum" thing doesn't look so good anymore:

After Cuccinelli’s closer-than-expected loss, the defiant candidate and his supporters said the election results were only a blip on the radar of the larger conservative struggle as they blamed the defeat on Obamacare and a deluge of Democratic attack ads.
Oh, sure, you try to claim that Obamacare was the only reason the race was close to begin with, as Cuccinelli is now doing—all but saying that it was the only reason he ever had a shot to begin with. In reality, though:
According to the exit polls, only 27 percent of Virginia voters saw the health law as the top issue, and among them, only a bare plurality (49-45) supported Cuccinelli. Far more (45 percent) named the economy.
This was not a referendum on one federal law. It was an election for state office, and Republicans lost the races for governor and lieutenant governor, though they may yet eke out the narrowest possible win for attorney general.

But don't worry, guys. Reince still loves you:

Want to thank @KenCuccinelli & @JacksonForLG – they fought hard against liberal lies & distortions & I’m proud of the races they ran. #tcot
@Reince
(Note: Those "lies and distortions" mostly involved quoting Cuccinelli and Jackson directly.)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 07:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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