Republican talking heads at Fox News said exit polls reflected voter opposition to Obama Care and predicted a Republican victory. After the results were in, Fox complained the Republican candidate was outspent by $15 million. If money dictated the outcome of the election, the race was over before it started.
McAuliffe is a former Democratic National Committee chairman. He was a fundraiser for both Bill and Hillary Clinton and campaigned for his election, managing to solicit over $34 million to its cause. But it wasn’t only the money that helped get him elected. It was the Clintons and the government shut-down orchestrated by the Grand Old Party.
Cuccinelli ran on the political platform of anti-abortion and bashing Obama Care. He tried to blame the Democrats for the shutdown in Washington D.C. but that strategy didn’t work in Virginia and it won’t fly in a national election.
Even with the support of Republican Louisiana Govern Bobby Jindal and Senator Marco Rubio, Cuccinelli lost. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul tried to win over the hearts and minds of the mindless ultra extreme GOP, but that probably hurt him more than it helped him. As it turns out, it was the women living in Virginia and working in Washington that ultimately defeated him. Republicans are in for a futile and long uphill battle for the White House.
Still, they may have found their political savior —Chris Christi. Christi’s landslide victory for Governor of the state of New Jersey should send a warning shot over the deck of the Tea Party’s hold on the Republican Party. He campaigned on compromise, getting things done, negotiation and making decisions. He didn’t make President Obama a political target or get into the abortion fight. He didn’t blame Democrats for the shutdown.
He ran on his efforts to help the people living on the New Jersey seashore rebuild after a hurricane and disastrous fire. Christi confined his campaign to state issues and what he will do for the state of New Jersey. That combined with a strong Independent vote and his personality helped get him elected.
Some pundits could argue that Virginia’s vote was a vote for Hillary Clinton. That is probably the benchmark set by the Clinton campaign. As her popularity grows in the South, among women in particular, and independents with the possibility of Virginia becoming a purple state, she’s probably going to run.
Others will argue that Chris Christi’s overwhelming victory should be the springboard for his presidential candidacy. That may be true. But Christi might have too much baggage in his family album to win his primary election: his uncle was a mafia boss. Of course, the Kennedy’s had no problem being tied to the gangland in Chicago through the Frank Sinatra connection. Either way, the pathway to the White House is definitely through the states of New Jersey and Virginia.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist.