Democrats have scored several high-profile victories in Virginia in the past decade – from Mark Warner and Tim Kaine winning the governorship (and then later Senate seats) to Barack Obama winning the state (twice) at the presidential level, something that no Democrat had done since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
Now, polls are showing Terry McAuliffe (D) leading state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) in the race for governor. So what explains all this Democratic success in what was traditionally a conservative stronghold?
One answer: Demographics.
And given how closely Virginia has reflected national presidential campaigns, this demography should be yet another eye-opener for the Republican Party whose electoral strategy has been to mobilize white voters.
The shortcoming with that strategy: in Virginia, there has been a steady decline in the percentage of the white population over the past 20 years, according to U.S. Census data. In 1990, more than three-in-four people in the state (76%) were white. By 2000, non-Hispanic whites had dropped to 70%. And in 2012, they were just 64%.
The white population has declined in Virginia by 12 percentage points in two decades, while the percentage of minorities has continued to rise.
The Census projects that the share of the white population – nationally – will see a 10% drop by 2060, and minority groups will continue to increase. Hispanics, for example, are expected to more than double in the next 50 years.
It’s not necessarily that whites have fled Virginia. They have actually grown by more than half-a-million people (543,000), or 12%, since 1990, and 280,000, or 6%, since 2000. But that has not kept pace with Virginia’s overall population growth of 32% since 1990 and 16% since 2000 – fueled by Hispanics and Asians.
In fact, the share of Hispanics in the state has quadrupled since 1990 (from 160,288 to 687,496 – 329% growth), and doubled since 2000 (329,540 – 109% growth). Asians have tripled since 1990 (from 159,053 to 487,505 – 207% growth) and nearly doubled since 2000 (261,025 – 87% growth).
The chart above represents Virginia's population growth since 1990 by percent change. Hispanics and Asians have far outpaced growth among whites or blacks.
In 1990, both Hispanics and Asians made up just 2.6% of the state. By 2012, Hispanics made up 8% and Asians 6%.
On top of that, though African Americans’ share of the population has only increased from 18.8% to 19.7% since 1990, they have also outpaced whites, increasing by about 39%, or 450,000 more people.
Total population: 6,187,358
76% white alone, non-Hispanic (4,702,392)
18.8% black (1,162,994)
2.6% Hispanic (160,288)
2.6% Asian (159,053)
Total population: 7,078,515
70.2% white alone, non-Hispanic (4,965,637)
19.6% black (1,390,293)
4.7% Hispanic (329,540)
3.7% Asian (261,025)
Total population: 8,001,024
64.8% white alone, non-Hispanic (5,186,450)
19.4% black (1,551,399)
7.9% Hispanic (631,825)
5.5% Asian (439,890)
2012 Census estimate
Total population estimate: 8,185,867
64.1% white alone, non-Hispanic (5,245,511)
19.7% black (1,612,713)
8.4% Hispanic (687,496)
6% Asian (487,505)
Source: U.S. Census
The importance of minding the middle -- and the base… The party that can best appeal to the middle without alienating the base (or appeal to the base without alienating the middle) typically wins… Cuccinelli’s Obamacare Hail Mary… It’s been the best of times for Chris Christie (see his large lead in the polls); it’s been the worst of times, too (see the new “Double Down” book)… Obama has to fix health care -- and we’re not just talking about the website… McConnell goes after the Senate Conservatives Fund, “Kill Bill”-style… Crist makes it official in Florida… And watching Boston, as well as the state-legislative races, tomorrow.
Yuri Gripas / REUTERS
President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Terry McAuliffe at his campaign event for governor in Arlington, Virginia, November 3, 2013.
*** Minding the middle -- and the base: If the polls are correct in Virginia -- a new Quinnipiac survey shows Democrat Terry McAuliffe ahead by six points, 46%-40% -- then we’re likely going to re-learn an important point: The sign of a healthy political party is that you can appeal to the middle without alienating the base. That is precisely what McAuliffe has done in his campaign, as he’s reached out to the state’s business middle while mobilizing the party’s liberals. By contrast, Republicans appear to have two problems right now. Either they are appealing to the base, which is alienating the middle (see Virginia). Or when they appeal to the middle, they are alienating the base (see Chris Christie in New Jersey). Yes, Christie is a day away from a big win in New Jersey -- due in part to his embrace a year ago of President Obama after Hurricane Sandy. But as we pointed out on Friday, Christie has actually LOST support from Tea Party Republicans from June (40%-22% fav/unfav) to now (39%-31%), according to the NBC/WSJ poll. To win national elections, you have to be able to appeal to the middle without alienating your base, as well as appeal to the base without alienating the middle. That’s not happening inside the GOP right now. And how does the GOP process this base-middle problem after Tuesday night, if the polls are correct? Does it harden the right? Do they claim the Cuccinelli was too muted on key conservative issues? Or does the prevailing establishment view hold that when you ignore the center, you are doomed to lose, especially in swing states?
*** Cuccinelli's Obamacare Hail Mary: Down in the polls and being outspent significantly on the airwaves, Ken Cuccinelli is throwing a Hail Mary pass of sorts in Virginia’s gubernatorial race: He's trying to turn the race into a referendum on Obamacare. “Virginia is the next battlefield in Obamacare, and it’s Tuesday,” Cuccinelli said over the weekend, per the New York Times. “Voters are upset.” Cuccinelli’s closing TV ad even references Obamacare. “Terry McAuliffe’s plan: expand Obamacare, increase spending.” And writing in the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol argues for Cuccinelli and Virginia Republicans to make the final days about Obamacare. But it’s a risky position for Republicans. If McAuliffe goes on to win -- as every poll over the last couple of months has shown -- then does mean that Obamacare isn’t the slam-dunk electoral argument that Republicans think it is? But it’s an especially risky strategy for Cuccinelli. Democrats believe this line of attack only reinforces the narrative that Cuccinelli isn’t thinking about Virginia first. Much of McAuliffe’s campaign against Cuccinelli has been under the theme that Cuccinelli has his OWN national agenda he’s going to push on Virginia, so Democrats argue that by embracing this national Republican issue, he’s only playing into the McAuliffe narrative. Of course, as Nebraska’s football team proved over the weekend, sometimes a Hail Mary works. But 99 times out of 100, the desperation pass either gets knocked down or intercepted.
*** It was the best of times for Chris Christie; it also was the worst of times: Meanwhile, these have been the best of times for Republican Gov. Chris Christie one day before his re-election bid in New Jersey. A new Rutgers-Eagleton poll shows him leading Democrat Barbara Buono by a whopping 36 points among likely voters, 66%-30%, while a new Quinnipiac poll has him up, 61%-33%. On Friday, his campaign release a memo about “Blue Jersey,” noting how Democratic the state is (“no Republican candidate has earned more than 50% of the vote in 28 years”; “Obama won by 17 percentage points in 2012” in the state). And he told NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell over the weekend that his re-election would have a national message. “I’m not planning for it; I just think it’s inevitable.” But these have also been the worst of times for Christie -- with the oppo the Romney campaign gave to the authors of the new “Double Down: Game Change 2012” book. As CNN’s Peter Hamby wrote in a review of the book, “[Authors] Halperin and Heilemann make abundant use of a vice-presidential vetting file dropped into their hands by someone in Romney’s orbit to illuminate secrets about the governor. Delivering the documents to the authors was a stunning breach of political decorum that can only be read as a giant middle finger at Christie and his aides.” Among the oppo: “a Justice Department investigation into his free-spending ways as U.S. attorney, his habit of steering government contracts to friends and political allies, a defamation lawsuit that emerged during a 1994 run for local office, a politically problematic lobbying career that included work on behalf of a financial firm that employed Bernie Madoff.” As one of the “Double Down” authors said this morning on “Morning Joe,” that Madoff nugget is a 30-second TV ad ready to happen.
*** Romney: “There was nothing new there”: On “Meet the Press” yesterday, Mitt Romney responded to the leaking of the VP dossier. “I know that the vetting people who went through that analysis and put together their report laid everything out. But, frankly, there was nothing they found that wasn't already part of the public record and that hadn't already been dealt with effectively by Chris Christie. So there was nothing new there.” That is all true; most of this “oppo” on Christie was litigated in the public record during his 2009 campaign. But Christie was running against ex-Goldman Sachs-er Jon Corzine. And remember, most of the Romney negatives (Bain Capital) were litigated in 1994, but that didn’t stop them from becoming new to voters in states not named Massachusetts.
*** Obama has to fix health care -- and we’re not just talking about the website: Beyond Tuesday’s electoral politics, President Obama and his White House continue to have a health-care problem, and they need to fix it -- and it’s not just the website. They need to fix his now-disproved quote from 2009-2010 that if you like your insurance, you can keep it. Yes, this applies to just 5% of the health insurance market. But then again, the exchange was created PRECISELY for these people, so this isn’t a percentage that should be dismissed. And Sunday’s Washington Post had another rough look at the administration’s management of the health-care rollout. “Three and a half years later, such insularity — in that decision and others that would follow — has emerged as a central factor in the disastrous rollout of the new federal health insurance marketplace, casting doubt on the administration’s capacity to carry out such a complex undertaking. ‘They were running the biggest start-up in the world, and they didn’t have anyone who had run a start-up, or even run a business,’ said David Cutler, a Harvard professor and health adviser to Obama’s 2008 campaign, who was not the individual who provided the memo to The Washington Post but confirmed he was the author. ‘It’s very hard to think of a situation where the people best at getting legislation passed are best at implementing it. They are a different set of skills.’” This perception of the White House as an ineffective manager of government is becoming a big political problem.
*** McConnell goes after Senate Conservatives Fund, “Kill Bill”-style: Last week, we told you that Mitch McConnell was going after the Tea Party wing of the GOP that’s trying to defeat him in his Kentucky primary. Well, here’s his first salvo: “In a warning shot to outside conservative groups, the National Republican Senatorial Committee this week informed a prominent Republican advertising firm that it would not receive any contracts with the campaign committee because of its work with a group that targets incumbent Senate Republicans,” the New York Times’ Jonathan Martin wrote on Friday. “Even more striking, a senior official at the committee called individual Republican Senate campaigns and other party organizations this week and urged them not to hire the firm, Jamestown Associates.” As one of the famous scenes in “Kill Bill: Volume 1” makes absolutely clear, if you face internal dissent, one way of eliminating that dissent is to eliminate that person or organization -- with one single blow.
*** Crist makes it official: In Florida today, former Gov. Charlie Crist (R and later I) will officially announce his gubernatorial bid -- this time as a Democrat. In fact, Crist’s candidacy was posted on Florida’s Division of Elections website on Friday. Folks, the Florida governor’s race is going to be presidential level…
*** Blue collar vs. White Collar in Boston: By the way, here are a couple of more pieces you should know for tomorrow. The closest race Tuesday night very well could be in Boston, where it's City Councilman John Connolly against state Representative Marty Walsh. Polls have shown the race a dead heat between the two Democrats in what shaping up to be blue collar versus white collar. Connolly is a former teacher and corporate lawyer from a prominent political family. Walsh is a former labor leader (and recently profiled in the New York Times for also being a recovering alcoholic sober for 18 years). Republicans have flocked to Connolly because of Walsh's union ties. The Boston Globe has endorsed Connolly. Polls are open from 7:00 am ET to 8:00 pm ET.
*** Don’t forget about state legislature races: In addition to the marquee Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races and the mayoral races in big cities like New York, Boston, and Detroit, there are also 236 state legislature seats up, 220 of which are in Virginia and New Jersey, according to the National Council of State Legislatures. In Virginia, the 100-seat, Republican-controlled House is up. Despite President Barack Obama winning the commonwealth twice, two of the last three governors being Democrats, and Terry McAuliffe (D) leading ahead of Tuesday’s gubernatorial race, Republicans hold two-thirds of the chamber – 67-31. In New Jersey, both the House and Senate are up. Democrats control both bodies. In the 80-seat in the House, Democrats have a 48-32 advantage. In the 40-seat Senate, Democrats hold a 24-16 edge. (In eight other states, there are 16 special elections as well.) State legislative races are largely ignored by the national media, but the lessons of redistricting that helped lead to a more polarized Congress, leading to things like the government shutdown, and one-party takeovers in states like North Carolina should make everyone sit up and pay attention.
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NBC’s Tom Curry: “In his Meet the Press interview, when asked about potential GOP presidential contenders for 2016, Romney spoke highly of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who seems headed for re-election on Tuesday. ‘He’s a very popular governor in a very blue state – that’s the kind of popularity and the kind of track record that the Republican Party needs if we’re going to take back the White House.’ Romney also praised his 2012 running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, as well as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. But he omitted Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas from his impromptu list of 2016 GOP hopefuls. Asked about that omission, Romney said, ‘I’m not going to disqualify anybody but I think I’ve indicated some of the names I think are most effective in becoming elected….’”
Politico: “Democratic senators have a warning for the White House: Fix Obamacare’s problems or put Senate seats at risk next year. In interviews, Democratic senators running in 2014, party elders and Senate leaders said the Obama administration must rescue the law from its rocky start before it emerges as a bigger political liability next year.”
NBC News: "Hillary Clinton hinted at a possible rationale for another presidential bid on Friday, telling a major women’s conference that cracking glass ceilings is 'the great unfinished business of the 21st Century.'"
Roll Call's Shira Center and Emily Cahn write that "Democrats have taken a few pages from Rahm Emanuel’s playbook in hopes of boosting their difficult quest to win the House majority in 2014.....To accomplish this, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel has sought to emulate his former mentor with relentless recruitment, an incessant focus on messaging and Emanuel’s aggressive style — minus a few four-letter expletives."
Politico: "Moderate House Republicans say they’re fed up. The next time around, they won’t stand for the ill-fated defund Obamacare strategy that ended up paralyzing the federal government for 16 days and crippling their party’s approval numbers. And unlike their fellow Republicans sitting in conservative districts, it’s moderates who will be on the front lines in the 2014 elections."
ALABAMA: Politico: “Tuesday’s special primary runoff for an Alabama congressional seat is heading toward a photo finish — and emerging as a potential black eye for the Republican establishment forces that have converged on the race. Despite a fierce, last-minute push from House GOP leaders and the business community to supply cash and endorsements to Bradley Byrne, public polling shows the former state senator in a tight race with Dean Young, a flame-throwing tea party contender with a penchant for controversial remarks.”
FLORIDA: Orlando Sentinel: "Former Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist wants his old job back. Crist, now a Democrat, filed paperwork Friday with the Florida Division of elections to run for governor in 2014. Crist, 57, plans to formally announce his candidacy Monday morning in his hometown of St. Petersburg, authorities said."
Tampa Bay Times: "Popular former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker announced Saturday he will not run for Pinellas County's open congressional seat, setting the stage for an intense battle among a handful of contenders for the Republican nomination....Almost immediately after Baker's announcement, Young's former general counsel David Jolly announced he would run, saying,'It's something that I think I'm uniquely qualified for and I say that very humbly.' Young's widow, Beverly, who considered running herself, endorsed Jolly instead, saying she was behind him '200 percent because it's important to us that we try not to skip a beat in Pinellas County.'"
MAINE: Portland Press Herald: "Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud announced Monday that he’s gay, ending years of speculation and potentially sharply changing the dynamic of the 2014 gubernatorial race....He said he was making the announcement in response to 'the whisper campaigns, insinuations and push polls' that unidentified people have been using to raise questions about his personal life since he declared his candidacy."
NEW JERSEY: Gov. Chris Christie (R) leads Democrat Barbara Buono, 61-33%, in a Quinnipiac poll.
A Fairleigh Dickinson poll has it 59-40.
NBC's Mike O'Brien: "Don’t expect Chris Christie to glide toward 2016 without challenges, even if he achieves the rare accomplishment of winning a second term as the Republican governor of deep-blue New Jersey in Tuesday's election against Democratic nominee Barbara Buono. As he pivots toward a possible bid for the presidency, Christie will have to decide: Should he firmly embrace the relatively-centrist persona he worked so hard to burnish during his first term, or move toward the right in hopes of winning over conservative activists who weigh heavily upon presidential nominating contests?"
TEXAS: National Journal: “Just how tough are new voter identification requirements in Texas? Apparently tough enough that former U.S. House speaker Jim Wright reportedly was denied a voter ID card on Saturday. ‘Nobody was ugly to us, but they insisted that they wouldn't give me an ID’ Wright, a Democrat who resigned from Congress in 1989, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in a story about his experience at a Texas Department of Public Safety office. The 90-year-old told the newspaper he realized last week that he didn't have a valid ID to vote in Tuesday's elections. He said he was refused a voter ID card because his driver's license expired in 2010 and his faculty identification from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, where he teaches, doesn't meet requirements under the state law enacted in 2011.”
A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll has Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) up 40-34% over Democrat Wendy Davis.
VIRGINIA: Terry McAuliffe (D) leads Republican Ken Cuccinelli, 46-40%, in the race for governor, according to Quinnipiac. McAuliffe leads 50-36% with women. Libertarian Robert Sarvis gets 8%.
NBC's Jessica Taylor: "Democrats appear poised for another big electoral victory in Virginia on Tuesday as conservative and Tea Party Republicans face real questions about whether they can win again in this fast-changing state. The gubernatorial race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli has remained unchanged for weeks, with McAuliffe holding a steady and sizable lead in most polls. Those surveys tell a stark story: The GOP is losing not because the party failed to nominate the most conservative candidate -- but because they did."
Richmond Times Dispatch: "President Barack Obama on Sunday weighed into perhaps the nation’s marquee contest this year, campaigning for Democrat Terry McAuliffe near the end of a race that has been buffeted by national dynamics, from the partial government shutdown to the health care law. In this Washington suburb, McAuliffe tried to link Republican Ken Cuccinelli to the shutdown, accusing him of siding with the tea party over Virginia families, and referred to the 'tea party' ticket and his 'mainstream' ticket."
“Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli are both looking to make Tuesday’s election for governor into a referendum on President Barack Obama’s health overhaul,” AP writes. “McAuliffe planned to campaign Monday with Vice President Joe Biden a day after Obama weighed in, throwing national Democrats’ full backing into the race. Cuccinelli, meanwhile, would be campaigning with Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and planned his final campaign rally with former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, a hero of the libertarian wing of the GOP.”
James Hohmann: In politics, it is generally not a good omen when a candidate’s supporters argue that he still has a chance of victory — if the opponent’s supporters neglect to vote. But this was Virginia Republican Party Chairman Pat Mullins’s version of the power of positive thinking in an interview this weekend. The path for star-crossed GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, Mullins said, looks like this: ‘If turnout is in the 30s, the low 30s, we’re gonna win. If it gets higher up in Fairfax [in Democratic-leaning Northern Virginia], say like 40, it’s likely we won’t. I don’t think it’s going to hit 40 anywhere. I’m looking at 32.’”
Hillary Clinton on whether she might run in 2016: “I’m minded to do it.” So reports the Scotland Sunday Herald: “It was at a private gathering in Scotland that, when pressed, she gave the clearest indication yet she will run for the White House, telling her fellow guests she was ‘minded to do it.’”
It took place a few weeks ago at St. Andrews University: “As Mrs Clinton talked politics, she was asked directly by one of the guests if she had decided to run for the presidency. She smiled and gave what was described as a neutral answer. The guest persisted. Again, Mrs Clinton politely gave a neutral answer. When pressed a third time, the ex-Secretary of State replied: ‘I haven't made up my mind yet.’ This was humorously described as an unsatisfactory answer, to which Mrs Clinton replied: ‘Yes, it is unsatisfactory,’ and then added: ‘I'm minded to do it.’”
Tim Alberta: “Against that backdrop of distrust and dysfunction, [Rep. Paul] Ryan's friends and colleagues say, it makes sense to scale back expectations for this newly-convened conference committee. Still, the irony is unmistakable. Three years ago, Ryan hoped his approach could change the way Washington does business. Three years later, the way Washington does business has changed his own approach. … Ryan once hoped to lead by commanding sweeping changes to the federal budget. That approach made him one of the most polarizing figures in modern politics. Now, with the GOP brand badly damaged and Congress no closer to solving the nation's long-term fiscal challenges, Ryan is changing tack.”
"A top adviser to Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday night that the Kentucky Republican would be “more cautious in presenting and attributing sources” in the future, after Politico confronted the senator’s office with fresh examples of Paul speeches that borrowed language from news reports without citing the original text."
COLORADO: Ron Brownstein goes to Colorado: “For a microcosm of the forces destabilizing American politics, it’s tough to beat Colorado.”
FLORIDA: NBC Miami: "Gov. Rick Scott's political committee plans to air an ad called "Opportunist" about former Republican governor turned Democrat Charlie Crist beginning Monday, the day Crist is expected to announce plans to run for his old office with his new party. A Democratic operative with knowledge of the ad buy said the committee is spending more than $500,000 on the ad."
MONTANA: Roll Call's Kyle Trygstad: "Montana Rep. Steve Daines, who is widely expected to run for Senate, is inviting supporters to a 'special event' next week. According to an invitation distributed by the Daines campaign on Thursday, the Republican’s event will take place Nov. 6 at a Holiday Inn in Bozeman. The missive included an unchanged logo, 'Daines U.S. Congress.'"
NEW JERSEY: Wall Street Journal: "As he crisscrosses New Jersey in a final campaign push, Republican Gov. Chris Christie has made clear to donors, top supporters and the national GOP that he wants to do more than just notch a big re-election win next Tuesday. He sees his campaign—and particularly his aggressive outreach to nontraditional GOP voters—as a national model for his party. Racking up big margins among women and even winning outright among Hispanics, as polls suggest he may, would position him well in a 2016 Republican presidential field as the party continues to struggle elsewhere to widen its appeal."
TEXAS: Houston Chronicle: "A federal appeals court ruling Thursday gives Texas the green light to start enforcing a new abortion restriction that a lower court judge said posed an undue burden on women. The decision by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals was a huge victory for Attorney General Greg Abbott and Texas abortion opponents, temporarily lifting an injunction that prevented the provisions from going into effect. The provision requires abortion doctors to gain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals."
VIRGINIA: Washington Post: "Ken Cuccinelli II is planning a frenetic schedule with a handful of big-name Republican surrogates as the race for Virginia governor draws to a close. Terry McAuliffe, by contrast, is spending somewhat less time in the public eye aside from a pair of high-profile events. The differing strategies illustrate the relative advantages of the two campaigns as the hard-fought contest nears its end. Cuccinelli (R) is consistently trailing in the polls and can’t afford much of an advertising presence on the airwaves, so he’s counting on word of mouth and media coverage from live appearances to stay afloat.
Politico: Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and Ron Paul will campaign with Ken Cuccinelli in the final days of the Virginia governor’s race."
President Obama campaigns for McAuliffe on Sunday.
Washington Times: "McAuliffe maintains a 7-point edge over" Cuccinelli II "in the race to be Virginia’s next governor, with Libertarian Robert Sarvis still pulling numbers that suggest he could influence the final outcome of the closely watched contest on Tuesday. Among likely voters, Mr. McAuliffe takes 45 percent of the vote in the final poll from Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center for Public Policy, compared to 38 percent for Mr. Cuccinelli and 10 percent for Mr. Sarvis."
Norfolk Virginian Pilot: An "analysis of Cuccinelli's office and campaign schedules for July, August and part of September suggests he has spent more time on the trail than behind his desk while earning a $150,000 annual state salary, plus health benefits for his nine-member family.
The New York Times: “The Democratic Party is enjoying something of a boomlet in newly declared candidacies for the House. Since Oct. 1, five candidates have lined up to contest Republican-held seats, with at least four more in the wings, Democratic officials say. Almost all say they are driven to run — ostensibly, at least — by disgust over the shutdown, first espoused by Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, and embraced by Tea Party Republicans in the House and, eventually, most others as well. Nonetheless, most of the Republicans viewed as most vulnerable are moderates, not those who pushed for the shutdown.”
“Extending an olive branch to GOP senators, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is privately making it clear he won’t engage in the Senate Conservatives Fund’s hardball tactics to defeat his colleagues in their primary races,” Politico writes. “At a closed-door lunch meeting of Senate Republicans Wednesday, the freshman conservative told his colleagues that he would not intervene in their 2014 primary fights or fundraise for the controversial outside group.”
(Even with this olive branch, it’s worth pointing out that Cruz is vice-chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, whose goal is to re-elect incumbent GOP senators.)
Norm Ornstein: “It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which eviscerated the Voting Rights Act, is leading to a new era of voter suppression that parallels the pre-1960s era—this time affecting not just African-Americans but also Hispanic-Americans, women, and students, among others.”
Damn facts… Rand Paul defended his speech about eugenics and the charge, led by the Rachel Maddow Show that parts of his speech looked cribbed from Wikipedia. Politico: “Paul said ‘a lot of people’ work on his speeches so he can’t pinpoint one person responsible for the writing, and he dismissed the attacks as coming from ‘haters.’ ‘This is really about information and attacks coming from haters. You know, the person who is leading this attack, she’s been spreading hate on me for about three years now and I don’t intend for it to go away, but I also don’t see her as an objective news source.’”
ALABAMA: Roll Call: “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a message to the tea party on Tuesday, when it endorsed an established lawmaker over the tea-party-aligned candidate in the Nov. 5 GOP runoff in Alabama’s 1st District. So far, the chamber has spent $185,000 to boost former state Sen. Bradley Byrne over Dean Young — effectively laying down a marker in the growing battle for control of the GOP in the midterm cycle. ‘It’s the first shot, really the first political shot, in the GOP civil war between the establishment and business community versus the tea party,’ Republican consultant Ron Bonjean said.”
FLORIDA: The special election in FL-13 has been set. The primary will be Jan. 14 with a general election March 11.
Roll Call's Abby Livingston reports that with former Democratic gubernatorial Alex Sink's entrance into the race, "EMILY’s List has removed attorney Jessica Ehrlich from its online page of favored candidates — an ominous sign for the Democrat running in the highly competitive special election for Florida’s 13th District....A DCCC source clarified that the committee is fully behind Sink in this primary."
Beth Reinhard: “Rubio's changing tactics reflect strenuous efforts to keep a foot in each of the warring camps of his party as he weighs a presidential bid. Is he an Obamacare-bashing tea-party hero who won't budge from conservative principles, like his possible 2016 rival, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas? Or is he the pragmatic Republican legislator open to compromise with Democrats to chart public policy, a la New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie? His supporters say it may be possible for the son of Cuban immigrants who frequently invokes the American Dream to find a middle ground.”
LOUISIANA: “Sen. Mary Landrieu said Wednesday she would propose legislation to ensure all Americans could keep their existing insurance coverage under Obamacare, a fresh sign of the political problems the law’s rollout has created for congressional Democrats,” Politico writes.
NEBRASKA: Former state Treasurer Shane Osborn has a heavy lead in the GOP primary for the state's open Senate seat, according to a Public Opinion Strategies poll conducted for his campaign, provided first to NBC News. In an Oct. 27-28 poll of 400 likely voters, Osborn tops a four-way field with 39% of the vote, while the other three candidates don't break out of single digits. Midland University President Ben Sasse, who was endorsed by Senate Conservatives Fund last week, only registers 7%, tied with banker Sid Dinsdale. Eighty-three percent of GOP primary voters have heard of Osborn, while 55% have a favorable impression. POS pollster Neil Newhouse writes in the memo: "Former Nebraska State Treasurer Shane Osborn is well-positioned in this GOP primary battle for US Senate; he’s well-known, well-liked, and has a significant early advantage over his opponents. Further, he pulls support from demographic groups critical to winning GOP primaries – Seniors, very conservatives, Tea Party supporters and strong Republicans."
NEW JERSEY: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of an obscure bill dealing with pig crates might not be popular in his home state. But it sure might sound good in Iowa,” Politico writes. “With the political world watching every move Christie makes for signs of his 2016 ambitions, even something like his rejection of a law passed by the state Legislature to ban gestation crates for pregnant pigs — which animal rights activists believe are cruel — can be interpreted as a purely political move that extends well beyond the Garden State. Iowa is the nation’s No. 1 hog producing state while New Jersey isn’t even in the top 20 in pork.”
NEW YORK: Bill de Blasio (D) leads 65-26% over Joe Lhota (R) in the race for mayor, according to Quinnipiac.
VIRGINIA: Washington Post: "Throughout Virginia’s gubernatorial race, Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate, has cast Cuccinelli as a tea party extremist, incapable of forging the centrist consensus necessary to manage the commonwealth. The portrait has stuck, according to recent polls; McAuliffe appears to be ahead in the race — and Cuccinelli’s conservatism is a leading reason. For years, he articulated that conservatism in the Cuccinelli Compass, honing a combative political persona and providing opponents with material that has now driven up his negative poll ratings and lifted McAuliffe. At the same time, Cuccinelli has accused Democrats of turning him into a caricature, seeking to scare off voters by distorting and lying about his record as a state senator and Virginia’s attorney general."
Richmond Times Dispatch: "Mark Obenshain, the Republican nominee for attorney general, reported $1.3 million in donations between Thursday and Monday, as Ken Cuccinelli, the party’s candidate for governor, reported $147,000 in contributions, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. It marked the first time that a down-ticket candidate had outraised the party’s candidate for governor in the first five days of pre-election reporting, according to VPAP, a nonpartisan tracker of money in state politics."
Norfolk Virginian Pilot: "Although Virginia's disclosure laws make decoding Terry McAuliffe's finances as difficult as grabbing water, this much is clear: His vast investments would require serious shifting if he becomes governor. Leveraged as McAuliffe is in municipal bonds, securities and business holdings - some with state connections - his campaign says they won't be a conflict if he's elected because the investments would go into a blind trust."
Mike Lee in a speech about conservatives’ future at Heritage said, “The gaping hole in the middle of the Republican party today, the one that separates the grass roots from the establishment leaders, is precisely the size and shape of a new unifying conservative reform agenda. The establishment will not produce that agenda.”
Roll Call: “In the speech entitled ‘What’s Next for Conservatives,’ Lee characterized his leading role in the government shutdown as part of a touchstone moment for Republicans fed up with party leaders who have strayed too far from conservative ideals. The GOP faces sagging approval ratings from its unsuccessful stand to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, but according to Lee, the fight evokes memories of Reagan and like-minded Republicans bucking the party line in favor of more conservative ideals in the late 1970s. At the time, pundits said the infighting served only to elect Democrats, Lee explained, but history would prove them wrong. And if Lee and others like him continue fighting, ‘our own vindication, our generation’s own 1980 is just around the corner,’ he said.”
Could the 2016 RNC convention be in Vegas?
Ted Cruz said President Obama has “absolutely been abusing his power.”
NBC’s Taylor Hiegel reports: A majority of voters in swing states support the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulations on carbon pollution for power plants, according to a new poll sponsored by the League of Conservation Voters and conducted by Democratic polling firm Hart Research, half of the NBC/WSJ poll. Nearly three in four voters, 74 percent, living in 11 states with competitive Senate seats say they support the suggested standards. This number includes 72 percent of independents and 58 percent of Republicans. The poll also found that voters were less likely to support a candidate who opposed the new regulations, rather than more likely, by a 48 percent to 17 percent margin. The 11 states surveyed were Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Virginia. Republican nominee Mitt Romney won seven of these states in the 2012 election, while President Obama won four.
ALABAMA: Roll Call: "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group that regularly spends millions to boost business-friendly congressional candidates, will endorse former state Sen. Bradley Byrne in Alabama’s 1st District special election on Tuesday....The Byrne endorsement marks the chamber’s first big move to combat tea party conservatives in the GOP whom they blame — along with many Americans — for the shutdown of the U.S. government earlier this month."
FLORIDA: Alex Sink is running again in Florida, but this time for Congress and the late-Bill Young’s seat. Currently, she lives 45 minutes outside the district but is looking for a home in Pinellas.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Gov. Nikki Haley (R) leads in her bid for reelection, 48%-39%, according to a new Harper poll.
VIRGINIA: A Quinnipiac poll shows a tightening race in the governor’s contest, with Terry McAuliffe (D) now holding just a 4-point edge, 45%-41%, a week before the election. Libertarian Robert Sarvis gets 9% and with him out of the race, it is even tighter with McAuliffe leading just 47%-45%.
The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent notes tough fav/unfav numbers for the GOP in the recent Washington Post poll.
Among likely votes: 32%-65%
White college grads: 31%-69%
McAuliffe has an op-ed in Politico about why he’s running for governor. He lays out what his priorities will be as governor: (1) Protecting environmental concerns, like rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, (2) Preserve open space, (3) Use gas royalties to pay landowners owed money, (4) Attract and retain talent by protecting researchers at places like the University of Virginia from investigations like Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s into a climate scientist.
Rachel Maddow found some striking similarities between Rand Paul’s eugenics/Gattaca speech in Virginia for Ken Cuccinelli and… Wikipedia.
A conservative crowd of Ken Cuccinelli supporters booed mentions of Chief Justice John Roberts.
WISCONSIN: A year before he’s up for re-election, Gov. Scott Walker is in a tight race with Democrat Mary Burke, a Madison school board member, up just 47%-45% in a new Marquette Law School poll. Walker gets a 49/47% job approval, and a 50/46% fav/unfav
There’s a reason Virginians are seeing the likes of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R), a Tea Party darling, and former Democratic President Bill Clinton in their state in the past few days. President Barack Obama and Vice Joe President Biden will also hit the trail, starting this weekend.
The Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D) campaigns for governor have brought in the big-name, out-of-staters in an attempt to rev up the base, because they fear low turnout.
"Political extremism does have one political virtue," Clinton said over the weekend. "Once you get people all torn up and upset, steam coming out of their ears, people will show up and vote."
In fact, just twice in the last 50 years has turnout in Virginia gone down from one governor’s race to the next four years later – 1985 and 1997.
And those elections have a couple of things in common that also resemble this year: Both were following the reelection of a president and involved candidates who, some would argue, didn’t start out or go on to be household names in Virginia politics.
The book “Virginia in the Vanguard,” for example, described Gerald Baliles’ (who is now head of the venerable Miller Center at the University of Virginia) tenure as “sandwiched between two celebrity governorships.”
Baliles, elected in 1985, was preceded by Chuck Robb and succeeded by Doug Wilder. Jim Gilmore, elected in 1997, was preceded by George Allen and followed by Mark Warner.
The one reason, though, that turnout could increase is a big one: money, as turnout guru Michael McDonald noted on Twitter.
"Factors in favor of higher turnout: more $ being spent on mobilization and (potentially) closer race than '09," he wrote.
So far, $22 million has been spent on advertising alone.
Here's a look at the raw turnout data:
2009: 1,985,103 (McDonnell 1,163,651 to 818,950) (40% turnout)
2005: 1,983,778 (Kaine 1,025,942 to 912,327) (45% turnout)
2001: 1,886,721 (Warner 984,177 to 887,234)
1997: 1,736,314 (Gilmore 969,062 to 738,971)
1993: 1,793,916 (Allen 1,045,319 to 733,527)
1989: 1,789,078 (Wilder 896,936 to 890,195)
1985: 1,343,243 (Baliles 741,438 to 601,652)
1981: 1,420,611 (Robb 760,357 to 659,398)
1977 - 1,250,940 (Dalton 699,302 to 541,319)
1973 - 1,035,495 (Godwin 525,075 to 510,103)
1969 - 915,764 (Holton 480,869 to 415,695)
1965 - 562,789 (Godwin 269,526 to 212,207)
This story was originally published on Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:02 AM EDT
Watching the turnout in next week’s Virginia race… Obama to campaign for McAuliffe on Sunday… Another poll shows Christie with a huge lead in New Jersey… The GOP establishment strikes back: McConnell goes after Bevin… And a health-care promise Obama couldn’t keep.
*** Watching the turnout in Virginia: Make no mistake about it: Democrat Terry McAuliffe is the front-runner in next week’s Virginia gubernatorial contest. A new Washington Post poll shows that he has opened up a 12-point lead among likely voters over Republican Ken Cuccinelli, 51%-39%. But if there’s one thing that worries the McAuliffe camp -- and that gives the Cuccinelli hope -- is turnout on Nov. 5. This line of thinking goes that if turnout is so low, then Cuccinelli’s ardent supporters could narrow the gap. That’s perhaps why the GOP nominee yesterday was exhorting his campaign audience that the race was a referendum on the president’s health-care law. And the potential for complacency among Democrats is highlighted by these numbers from the Washington Post poll: “Among those supporting [McAuliffe], 64% say they are voting against Cuccinelli rather than for McAuliffe. Meanwhile, among the attorney general’s supporters, 50% say they are casting a positive vote for the candidate while 44% say they are voting against McAuliffe.” (Of course, these numbers should not surprise McAuliffe, most of his campaign has been about “not being Cuccinelli.”) So here is a look at past turnout in Virginia’s gubernatorial contests going back some three decades, and note that turnout has dipped only twice from the previous election -- in 1985 and 1997. Interestingly, those two elections featured candidates who didn’t become household names for the long haul (Baliles and Gilmore), and they came after presidential RE-ELECTs. Will we end up adding 2013 to that list?
Molly Riley / AP
Sarah, of Alexandria, Va., who preferred not to give her last name, adds a button to her hat while waiting in line to see former President Bill Clinton and Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe at an election campaign event "Putting Jobs First" in Dale City, Virginia, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013.
2009: 1,985,103 (McDonnell 1,163,651 to 818,950) (40% turnout)
2005: 1,983,778 (Kaine 1,025,942 to 912,327) (45% turnout)
2001: 1,886,721 (Warner 984,177 to 887,234)
1997: 1,736,314 (Gilmore 969,062 to 738,971)
1993: 1,793,916 (Allen 1,045,319 to 733,527)
1989: 1,789,078 (Wilder 896,936 to 890,195)
1985: 1,343,243 (Baliles 741,438-601,652)
1981: 1,420,611 (Robb 760,357 to 659,398)
*** Obama to campaign for McAuliffe on Sunday: And turnout might explain this news we received overnight: President Obama will campaign with McAuliffe on Sunday in Democratic-rich Northern Virginia. This comes after McAuliffe’s earlier events with Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.
*** Looking at Virginia’s state AG race: We have one more point to make about Virginia: The very close race for state attorney general -- between Democrat Mark Herring and Republican Mark Obenshain -- is serving as a proxy for the kind of campaigns we’re likely to see in 2014. Herring, a relatively unknown Democrat, has been running TV ads linking his GOP opponent to Cuccinelli and the Tea Party, with a heavy emphasis on social issues. Essentially, a generic Dem message, “Vote for me, I’m not a member of the party that likes the Tea Party.” For his part, Obenshain has been running folksy ads trying to stay away from divisive issues and saying, “Washington stinks; I’m not from there; I’m a problem-solver.” Of course, this AG race is definitely dependent on the turnout dynamics that are being set by the GOV candidates.
*** Another poll shows Christie with a huge lead: Meanwhile, in New Jersey, a new Quinnipiac poll shows Gov. Chris Christie (R) leading his Democratic challenger Barbara Buono by a 2-to-1 margin, 64%-31%. The poll also has these figures: By a 48-41% margin, they think he should run for president, but by just a 42-43% margin do they think he’d be a good one. Still, the fact that he could break 60, let alone 55%, is really stunning given the history of Republicans in New Jersey.
*** The GOP establishment strikes back: Turning to the 2014 midterms, one of the questions we’ve had is whether GOP establishment senators who are now facing Tea Party primary challenges -- like Mitch McConnell, Lamar Alexander, etc. -- start fighting back. Well, it looks like the answer is yes, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. “McConnell caused widespread whiplash last week when he unleashed a blistering attack on Bevin, his Republican primary challenger, just days after the Kentucky senator had signaled he was looking past Bevin to likely Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes. Instead, several allies of McConnell and other Senate Republicans say the senator is now planning a two-front war: one against Grimes and the other against the fundraising groups that are supporting Bevin. McConnell's real targets are the Senate Conservatives Fund, which announced its endorsement of Bevin on Oct. 18, Heritage Action for America, Madison Project, FreedomWorks and other outside groups.” More from the story: “McConnell, along with Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and other Senate Republicans up for reelection next year, hope to win so big in their primaries that they eviscerate their opponents' financial backers in the process.”
*** This could play out one of two ways: On one hand, you can view the GOP establishment -- led by McConnell -- striking back at the Tea Party as a leadership moment. After the government shutdown, according to this thinking, Republican elders need to take the party back from the Tea Party. On the other hand, McConnell, Alexander, etc., could be matadors waving red flags and only emboldening (and possibly strengthening) the Tea Party. They are certainly DARING the right to come at them. And we won’t have an answer to this until next year. By the way, the McConnell campaign has a new web video playing up how McConnell was leading during the government shutdown.
*** A health-care promise Obama couldn’t keep: And on the subject of health care, NBC News reported this last night: “President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.” It’s important to note that the people who are receiving these letters -- those who have bought individual insurance -- make up just a SLIVER of the overall health-insurance market, and the law now gives these people more substantial insurance and protections than they had before. And these cancellation letters are not letters that say they won’t be offering new policies; they are being offered new policies, but with a premium hike because bare minimum policies now have to cover more basics. But the story does highlight that Obama’s words in 2009 and 2010 -- "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period” -- was a promise he couldn’t keep. Bottom line with the health-care law: Some Americans (particularly those without insurance and those with pre-existing conditions) are going to be better off; some Americans (those who have purchased cheap catastrophic plans) are going to be worse off; and most Americans will see little to no change. But the P.R. problem the White House is dealing with right now for the folks on the individual market is something they knew was coming, and yet they painted themselves into this rhetorical corner.
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NBCNews.com: “A federal judge Monday ruled that abortion restrictions authorized by Texas lawmakers in July are unconstitutional, and will not be implemented as scheduled on Tuesday.” An appeal of the ruling could wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
The New York Times: “A federal judge in Texas on Monday blocked an important part of the state’s restrictive new abortion law, which would have required doctors performing the procedure to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.” More: “Texas officials quickly said they would appeal the decision to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, and Judge Yeakel said that ‘at the end of the day, these issues are going to be decided definitively not by this court, but by either the Circuit or the Supreme Court of the United States.’ Courts in Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota and Wisconsin have blocked similar admitting-privilege requirements as part of the continuing battles over how much states may restrict the right to abortion granted by Roe v. Wade in 1973.”
Charlie Cook says the 2014 election could decide the balance of power in the Senate for years to come. Cook notes that the GOP can't afford to have any weak candidate if they want to win back the Senate: "The reason next year is so make-or-break for Senate Republicans is because in 2016, when all of the seats they won in 2010 come up—they netted a six-seat net gain that year—there will be 24 GOP seats up, compared with only 10 for Democrats, leading to some serious Republican overexposure. Seven of the 24 GOP senators up are hailing from states that Obama carried in 2012. After having had plentiful Democratic targets in 2012 and 2014, it will be Republicans in 2016 who will have the most incumbents in the crosshairs."
(Bottom line: If the GOP doesn’t win back the Senate in 2014, it’s hard to see how they win it in 2016.)
LOUISIANA: Roll Call: "The Senate Conservatives Fund has endorsed retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness over Rep. Bill Cassidy in Louisiana’s GOP primary for Senate, throwing its support behind a conservative underdog in one of the cycle’s most competitive races."
MISSISSIPPI: Joining Senate Conservatives Fund, Club for Growth and the Madison Project, FreedomWorks PAC announced Monday they were also endorsing state Sen. Chris McDaniel in the GOP primary over incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran, who hasn't announced yet whether he's running for a 7th term. FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe in a release: "The Senate needs new blood. It needs leaders who lean on principle, not on praise from the entrenched elite to make decisions, and Chris McDaniel is that kind of man. He led the fight for Mississippi’s lawsuit against ObamaCare and has amassed a strong record in the state Senate. His character as a conservative force is unquestionable. He will be a strong ally for conservatives in the U.S. Senate.”
NEW HAMPSHIRE: The Boston Globe: “Former senator Scott Brown has opened a state political action committee in New Hampshire, a move bound to stir further speculation that the Massachusetts Republican is interested in running for office in the Granite State. Brown, who has been making frequent visits to speak to GOP activists in New Hampshire, registered the People’s Seat PAC Inc. with the New Hampshire secretary of state’s office earlier this month.”
NEW JERSEY: Gov. Chris Christie (R) leads for reelection, 64-31%, over Barbara Buono (D) in a new Quinnipiac poll. By a 48-41% margin, they think he should run for president, but by just a 42-43% margin do they think he’d be a good one.
OHIO: The New York Times on Gov. John Kasich: "He embodies conventional Republican fiscal priorities -- balancing the budget by cutting aid to local governments and education -- but he defies many conservatives in believing government should ensure a strong social safety net."
RHODE ISLAND: Political Wire: “Herbert Claiborne ‘Clay’ Pell IV (D) confirmed that he's actively exploring whether to jump into the 2014 Democratic primary for governor of Rhode Island and expects to make a decision within weeks, WPRI reports. Pell is the grandson of the late Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-RI) and has never held elected office. He and his wife, the Olympic figure-skater Michelle Kwan, live in Providence.”
From the NBC Senate Madness brackets, in which Pell was a 16-seed: “Pell served in the Senate for more than 35 years (1961-1997), and he’s best known for authoring the legislation creating federal grants for college students -- or Pell Grants.”
TEXAS: Texas Tribune: "After a nationwide search, State Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth will tap veteran Democratic strategist Karin Johanson to run her race for Texas governor, her campaign announced Sunday. Johanson managed Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s successful 2012 campaign in Wisconsin and was executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee when her party took control of the House of Representatives in the 2006 midterm elections. The $11.5 million effort was one of the largest congressional voter turnout operations ever, covering 36 congressional districts."
VIRGINIA: AP: “President Barack Obama plans to campaign for Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Terry McAuliffe on Sunday. A spokesman for McAuliffe’s campaign says Obama will join McAuliffe at a rally in northern Virginia.”
Terry McAuliffe (D) has opened up a double-digit lead in a Washington Post poll over Ken Cuccinelli (R) 51-39%.
NBC’s Jessica Taylor and Ali Weinberg were at McAuliffe and Cuccinelli events yesterday. Rand Paul, campaigning for Cuccinelli, “stayed away from the socially conservative rhetoric he used at an earlier rally in Lynchburg. At an earlier at the conservative Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell, Paul said that DNA testing and abortion could lead to eugenics and allow the government to ‘select out the imperfect among us.’”
And get this: “Both Paul and Cuccinelli took the stage with Big Gulps -- a not-so-subtle slam against New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose gun control super PAC has dropped $1.1 million into the race’s final weeks to boost McAuliffe, who’s already heavily outspent Cuccinelli on the airwaves. ‘I figured after he got my Big Gulp, he was coming for my guns,’ the Kentucky senator laughed.”
Richmond Times Dispatch: "Democrat Terry McAuliffe has more than double the cash on hand of his opponent for the final week before Election Day, holding $1.6 million, compared with Republican Ken Cuccinelli’s $604,163. McAuliffe raised $8.1 million from Oct. 1 to 23, compared with $2.9 million for Cuccinelli, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan tracker of money in politics."
Democratic opposition research group American Bridge announced a new paid digital campaign to help Virginia voters locate their polling places. The new site http://letvavote.com/ also highlights GOP records on voting rights.