Earlier this week, the most recent polling data had Gubernatorial Democrat candidate Terry McAuliffe up by 7 points over his Republican rival, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. But, this week has seen a few catalysts for change. Three things have occurred this week that have swung the momentum back into the Cuccinelli camp.
1.) Cuccinelli closes in on McAuliffe in polls
A Quinnipiac poll released yesterday has the Attorney General closing in on McAuliffe, narrowing his lead to three points, 44-41. The margin of error in the poll is 3.1%. More importantly than that is the Libertarian candidate hauling in between 7 and 10 points of support in Virginia. Third party candidates eventually lose steam as the race tightens at the end and in any case, libertarians won’t be supporting McAuliffe over the Attorney General. This poll is major. Last week, the media was writing the AG’s obituary, but Cuccinelli is closing ground and looking to crest right before Election Day.
2.) Obama is losing support in Virginia
As many Virginia observers predicted, Barack Obama is losing steam in the Old Dominion. A Quinnipiac poll showed Obama going from 48% disapproval to 52% over his botched Syria plan. This matters because it has been fifty years since the Virginia Governor’s mansion has gone to the same party in the White House. History is on the side of Republicans and Obama’s incompetency is not helping Terry McAuliffe’s bid. Unfortunately, he will get another chance to showcase his leadership skills in the upcoming debt ceiling debate. But for now, voters want something different – they want someone competent.
3.) Cuccinelli knows the issues better than McAuliffe
The Northern Virginia Technology Council’s TechPAC endorsed Ken Cuccinelli over Terry McAuliffe for governor this week. This didn’t seem like a big deal to many at first, until the McAuliffe campaign began pressuring the PAC to reverse its decision. Days later, TechPAC actually endorsed the Democrat candidate for Attorney General over a respectable Republican alternative.
But what really stands out from recent articles is this statement:
Cuccinelli impressed the board’s majority as a serious, detail-oriented candidate while McAuliffe seemed to wing it, according to three board members present for the interviews who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly.
“Terry was his normal, flamboyant self,” said a board member present for both interviews. “He didn’t want to get pinned down to any details. He didn’t give any details. He was all about jobs, jobs, jobs — ‘I’m just going to take care of the situation when the time comes. I’m just going to do it.’ It was all [expletive].”
Cuccinelli, by contrast, the person said, “was precise. He was thoughtful. He thought through all the issues. He had a clear position on all those issues, and he didn’t agree with the council on all the issues.”
This election isn’t about the Tea Party or social issues. Ken Cuccinelli is the more competent candidate who has thought through the issues facing Virginians while Terry McAuliffe just wants to be governor. McAuliffe’s flippant attitude demonstrates this more than anything. Virginia isn’t the best place to do business by accident, it is due to hard work by leaders who understand the issues and have solutions. McAuliffe just isn’t that guy.