Posted on | November 6, 2013 | 79 Comments
UPDATE: Mis-attribution fixed. Sorry, Adjoran. Blame Robert Sarvis.
Stacy put about the best possible spin on matters last night. As with Lonegan in NJ, saying the candidate “beat the spread” is thin gruel.
I disagree with Adjoran['s responder]:
Nope, you can blame Robert Sarvis of the Libertarian Party for Cuccinelli’s defeat. He and Cucinelli have a combined 53% of the vote. If Sarvis has not been a spoil sport, Cucinelli could have won.
No, you can’t.
(a) Sarvis is a free moral agent. It’s his state and he can run if he wants to, run if he wants to. The results show the degree to which the Republican party must alter course to capture those votes.
(b) This was not a high-turnout election. I served in a polling station supporting adjacent precincts covering ~8k voters, with ~30% turnout. If you’re going to beat up the Democrats for nominating a no-talent rodeo clown for office, blame the lazy conservatives who were just to lazy to turn out and do something about it. Oh, my dog/car/wife/long line/leaves/traffic–SHADDUP! I put in a 17 hour day supporting this election, and earn roughly minimum wage for those hours. That is, it ain’t about the frogskins. Furthermore, I had to eat vacation time to do it. Thus, my opportunity cost was high. Which is by no means a complaint, but I know first-hand that (a) it was a clean election, and (b) voters are getting what they wanted.
Mataconis was hasn’t got a happy-dance post up yet:
@smitty_one_each Nope, I squarely blame the RPV for picking bad nominees via a flawed nomination process
— Doug Mataconis (@dmataconis) November 1, 2013
Still disagree, Doug. Cuccinelli is an able public servant who articulated reasonable plans to an audience that doesn’t bother to vote, or votes for a guy whose main plan for anything seems to be ‘get liquored up’.
The GOP, at Tea Party insistence, conducted a nominating convention this year. The GOP nominee in a primary, had such occurred, might have been Bowling, who certainly showed his worth during this gubernatorial campaign. Entertaining the counterfactual: would Bowling have beaten McAuliffe? He could have just as easily done worse.
Mataconis himself supported Sarvis, nominally as a protest vote. Maybe the lesson for the GOP concerning Sarvis is that, if the party is driving matters, and winning is everything, then brass knuckle politics is fine:
A major Democratic Party benefactor and Obama campaign bundler helped pay for professional petition circulators responsible for getting Virginia Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert C. Sarvis on the ballot — a move that could split conservative votes in a tight race.
Campaign finance records show the Libertarian Booster PAC has made the largest independent contribution to Sarvis’ campaign, helping to pay for professional petition circulators who collected signatures necessary to get Sarvis’ name on Tuesday’s statewide ballot.
Austin, Texas, software billionaire Joe Liemandt is the Libertarian Booster PAC’s major benefactor. He’s also a top bundler for President Barack Obama.
So, a possible “conservative” strategy would be to fund some godless Commie sodomite, to rail against private property and capitalism, and pick off some Democrat votes. The word “conservative” in the previous sentence is scarequoted because people of good conscience tend not to engage in subterfuge.
No, it’s far easier to just turn out the base and win properly.
As for Virginia, well, four years of Detroitification stand to suck. Norther Virginia will do OK; this is the land of homo bureaucratus, that species which excels in regulating others. As for the rest of the state, well, if you liked Healthcare.gov, you’ll love the gubernatorial equivalent, and slather that lotion the heck on. Right now. Or else it gets the hose again.