Skip to comments.Star Parker - Why Republicans lost Virginia governor's race
Posted on 11/11/2013 6:20:29 PM PST by SoConPubbie
Politics is in the eye of the beholder.
Post-mortems about the Virginia gubernatorial race are gushing forth about why Republican Ken Cuccinelli lost to Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a business-as-usual political retread from the Clinton crowd. They tell us more about who produces this punditry than about the reality of the situation.
We're hearing that tea party activists killed Cuccinelli's candidacy with the government shutdown (according to The Wall Street Journal editorial page, they "stabbed him in the back") and that, once again, a socially conservative Republican candidate has shown he can't win women's votes.
What I see is very different. What I see is a Republican Party that still has not learned lessons necessary to reverse setbacks of recent years.
It was not the tea party that stabbed Cuccinelli in the back but establishment members of his own party. Once a real conservative candidate gets nominated, party leaders lose interest. Then they hold back funds, thus ensuring their own prediction that this candidate can't win.
Cuccinelli lagged in total funding by $14 million. In the campaign's early months, he was brutally attacked in ads that went unanswered because of lack of funding.
Last month's 16-day government shutdown, led by hardline conservatives, supposedly had a disproportionate negative impact on Cuccinelli because so many Northern Virginians work for the federal government. But he was well behind in the polls for months before the shutdown -- again, largely because of unanswered attack ads.
Members of the Republican establishment can't seem to grasp that they would have helped their cause by embracing efforts to defund "Obamacare" led by tea party activists Ted Cruz and Mike Lee.
Each day, Americans see more clearly what a disaster the Affordable Care Act has created with its health-insurance exchanges. If Republican leadership would have unified clearly around the efforts of Cruz and Lee, and shown Americans a clear picture of Republican commitment to slay the Obamacare monster, it would have helped the party and Cuccinelli.
It's also clear that Republicans still haven't gotten the message about race and the country's changing demographics.
When Barack Obama won the presidency in 2012, with just 38 percent of the white vote, Republicans supposedly learned something.
Those lessons appear to have been lost in Virginia.
In Virginia, blacks account for nearly 20 percent of the population -- much higher than the national average of 13 percent. McAuliffe got 90 percent of the black vote, as did Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate for Virginia governor in 2009.
But in this election, blacks constituted 20 percent of the overall vote, up from 16 percent in 2009. So the impact of the black vote grew by four points. That increase in the black vote as a percentage of the total could have made the difference, given that Cuccinelli lost by 2.5 points.
The Republican candidate for lieutenant governor was a no-nonsense black pastor, E.W. Jackson, a graduate of Harvard Law School.
This would have been a classic opportunity for the Republican Party to aggressively visit black churches, talk about the conservative religious values that these black Americans care about so dearly, and explain the deep damage that welfare-state policies and secular humanism embraced by Democrats has done in black communities. Where were they?
Then there's the claim that conservative candidates can't attract women. Not true. It's not about gender but about marriage.
Cuccinelli captured the votes of both married men (50 percent) and married women (51 percent). McAuliffe captured the majority of singles' votes: 51 percent of single men, 67 percent single women.
Republicans have lost in recent years not because they've been too bold or too conservative. They've failed because of a lack of clarity, conviction and courage.
Ken Cuccinelli's defeat in Virginia is not an encouraging sign that Republicans have learned their lessons.
(Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, Center for Urban Renewal and Education in Washington, D.C. Reach her at www.urbancure.org.)
Santorum does not have a snowballs chance. He lives in my town, votes at my precint. He has no ability to connect to
the electorate in general. A nice man but never going to happen
COOCH was outspent by the Democrats 15 to 1. Millions poured in and Democrats used every heavy hitter in their party to campaign for him. 16 million alone from two billionaires. They bussed in thousands Union workers to transport and bribe voters. Stuffed ballot boxes.
The airways were filled with blistering attacks for months on an unimaginable scale. Yet COOCH nearly won without help from National Republicans and in a state Obama won easily. You certainly made your point, I just don’t understand what it was.
He was outspent 4 to one. ThAnks GOP for that. And Soros funded a 3rd party libertarian jack wagon who did not care that he was putting a Dhimmi in power.
How about the next time we have a march on Washington, we march on the RNC instead and take back the party or shut it DOWN.
No candidate can win with no money not even if his name was Jesus Christ.
Any candidate needs help McAuliffe got it, Money Bill Clinton Hillary Clinton Obama, they all went down for him.
It’s been obvious for years that the Pubbie leadership are liberals. They’ve given us some of the worst expansions of the welfare state. They’d cave on gun control tomorrow if they thought they could get away with it. Note that they love welfare state tax collectors (who support free easy abortion and gun confiscation) like Chris Christie.
I would suggest you revisit that belief.
We need to stop slamming one another and instead slam the opposition.
Tell that to the GOP Establishment. I'm soooo sure they'll agree with you. /sarc
Once the primaries are done, then so should be the bashing within the party.
If we had CLOSED primaries across the board, I might agree with this. Otherwise, it's all an exercise in Pollyanna-ism.
This may include doing all for a candidate like Chris Christie...We fault him for all the things we dont like about him, but if we run Ted Cruz up in 2016 and he doesnt wind up being our guy, lets not take our toys home and not vote k>? THIS NATION CANNOT SURVIVE HILLARY CLINTON after the 8 YEARS of BO! WE have to think of how best to pull this Nation from the ABYSS the DEMOCRATS have thrown us into.
I will refrain from "concern troll" accustations for the moment.
I did. Bernie was offended at the term “RINO”, called the Tea Party “rigid” and is already blaming them for staying home and electing hillary.
“The candidate is 100 percent at fault. If you need others to help you win, you are probably weak to begin with.”
Yes, how dare he make the mistake of relying on his own party to help with his candidacy.
A bunch of things are weak here. The candidate, the electorate, the party. As they say, when you point a finger, three more point back at you.
“A bunch of things are weak here. The candidate, the electorate, the party. As they say, when you point a finger, three more point back at you.”
When you are outspent by over 10 million dollars, you really don’t stand a chance in this market. And that’s big money in a Governor’s race.
And if ad budgets really outweigh everything else you have a pathetic constituency. In this age of the web browser, that is.
I can’t get into the psyche of young single females, so I dunno. My guess is abortion rights must be high on their agenda.
I didn’t see the RNC help Christie at all and he was from a deep blue state. I know in the day of Obama even Republicans lost the sense of personal responsibility.
The RNC invested $9 million in the Christie campaign...but only $3 million in Cuccinelli's.
He didn't and doesn't. But the libtards figured if they shouted about it enough, the low-information pukes would believe he did.
Only minimal Google-fu is required to find the true story. From Cuccinelli's Wikipedia bio:
In March 2013, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals struck down Virginia's anti-sodomy law in a case involving William Scott MacDonald, a 47 year old man who solicited sex from a 17-year-old girl. On June 25, 2013, Cuccinelli filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court to uphold the law, saying the appeals court ruling would release MacDonald from probation and "threatens to undo convictions of child predators that were obtained under this law after 2003." Cuccinelli said the law is important for prosecutors to be able to "obtain felony charges against adults who commit or solicit this sex act with minors," and noted that the law "is not - and cannot be -- used against consenting adults acting in private."
In October 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Cuccinelli's appeal.
You can see Cuccinnelli's own website on the topic: http://www.vachildpredators.com/
Basically, a Virginia prosecutor screwed up when he used an unconstitutional anti-sodomy law to prosecute a dirty old man. Cuccinelli tried to get the appeals court to read into the law an adult-minor exception to its unconstitutionality. But, alas, the court refused to disbelieve its lying eyes. Read the decision here.
While I would love to simply blame Liberals and low-information voters, I lay most of the blame on the Republican Party. This is something I have been saying this 2008/9. The GOP simply doesn't know how to sell its side of the story. It does not format an effective approach when it comes to communication efficacy, and is totally comfortable letting the Democrats create and direct the narrative. It happened with McCain, and definitely happened with Romney (and any other Republicans and/or Conservatives that seemed likely to rise above the fray). The GOP, be it the RINO facet or the Conservative aspect, has a tendency to let the Left frame the narrative, and the problem with that is that the Left is totally fine with that agreement (and has gotten quite good at ensuring the 'proper' message goes out).
When the Left is shouting loud and clear what was the GOP (when they were actually trying to support Cuccinelli) doing? Next to nothing. What about Cuccinelli? Well, telling anyone who would hear him, but the problem is without the GOP machine backing him there is no way the media will throw him anything close to a bone.
One of the Left's biggest weapons has been communication. They own the media. They own the narrative. They have had at least two generations to exude their message (look at any TV programming being consumed by young adults ...right now it is ok to be in a homosexual relationship). They own the schools. And they also own government ...both sides, as the Democrats are obviously on the Left, and most Republicans are more liberal than the typical 1970s Democrat! They own government. And they continue to churn out The Message.
Communication has been the GOP's biggest weakness. The typical Republican and/or Conservative cannot communicate effectively. They make mistakes that end up being made into huge issues by the media. They act goofy and do not seem secure. But most of all many seem unawares of how to effectively communicate Conservative ideas and Conservatism.
It seems already the Left is creating the narrative on who should be the GOP nominee in the next election. Watch and see. The GOP will play along with that script, and trust that on FR there will be more articles asking why the Republicans lost. Thing is, even when the Republicans win chances are that the person will be a Liberal. Yes, not to the Left as the Democrat candidate, but definitely more to the Left than any Democratic candidate since Carter.
The Left has played a good game, since if they win they win, and if they lose they win (but not as much).
The first step towards changing this has to be for Conservative nominees to be able to effectively communicate. If you cannot effectively send out your message you are dead in the water, particularly when the other side already has an overwhelming advantage in media. Don't get roped in as a dope, don't come across as daft, don't forget your lines, don't be baited into silly-land (unless, like Reagan, you are able to use that effectively against the baiter), and be able to show in a succint yet powerful way why Conservatism works.
Without being able to craft the narrative one will be reduced to explaining why he didn't mean you wanted to ban oral sex, appearing like an utter sot, and with every explanation serving to create more fodder for the media to work with.