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Virginia Governor’s Race Now Looks Like A Democratic Win

Cuccinelli McAuliffe

NBC and Marist College are out with the latest poll in the Virginia Governor’s race and, just like every other polls over the past month or so, it shows Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe with a solid lead over Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and perhaps the first indication that the government shutdown could have real world implications for Republican candidates going forward:

National Republicans may be glad the midterm elections are a year away after polls have shown the party’s favorability at all-time lows because of the federal government shutdown. But one Republican – in a swing state – is caught in the buzz saw.

A new NBC4/NBC News/Marist poll finds Republican Ken Cuccinelli slipping further behind Democrat Terry McAuliffe, 46 to 38 percent in the race for Virginia governor among likely voters. That’s 3 points wider than McAuliffe’s 43 to 38 percent lead a month ago – before the shutdown. Libertarian Robert Sarvis gets 9 percent.

Virginia was one of the top states impacted by the shutdown — with hundreds of thousands of federal workers, contractors, and military service members and retirees in the state. And a majority (54 percent) in the poll blames Republicans for the shutdown. Just 31 percent of likely voters blame President Barack Obama.

Four-in-10 – 39 percent – said either they or a family member has been affected by the shutdown, whether it’s employment, services or benefits.

Many say the shutdown will have an impact on their vote — 38 percent of registered voters said it would have a major impact on it; 21 percent said it would have a minor one. Among respondents who said it has had a major impact on their vote, McAuliffe is winning them 55-27 percent. Among those who say it is a minor issue, McAuliffe also leads, 52-33 percent.

Cuccinelli only leads with those who say the governmtent shutdown is not an issue, 49-36 percent.

“Just when Cuccinelli needed to start closing the gap against McAuliffe, the government shutdown became a huge roadblock,” said Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll.

The Republican Party brand appears to be badly damaged in the commonwealth – 62 percent said they had an unfavorable view of the party, while just 33 percent said they viewed the party favorably. Among independents, it was even worse. By a 71-23 percent margin, the GOP was viewed negatively.

The Democratic Party and President Obama get better scores – 45-50 percent unfavorable for the party, 50-48 percent favorable for Obama.

(…)

McAuliffe has expanded his lead with independents from 2 points in September (36-34 percent) to 8 points now (41-33 percent). In September, Cuccinelli got a 31-45 percent unfavorable score with the group. Now, a majority give say they view him unfavorably – 34-51 percent. McAuliffe doesn’t fare much better — with a 36-47 unfavorable, but that might not be the point.

“It’s not that independents are enamored with McAuliffe,” Miringoff said, “they just dislike Cuccinelli more.”

In addition to the shutdown and Independents hurting Cuccinelli, the poll also confirms what we’ve seen before, that Cuccinelli is losing women by a massive margin:

With less than three weeks until Election Day in Virginia, Republican Ken Cuccinelli’s woman problem is only getting worse.

A new NBC4/NBC News Marist poll of next month’s hotly contested race for governor shows Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s lead growing-thanks to a widening gender gap along with a backlash toward the GOP for the shutdown in the Old Dominion.

McAuliffe now leads the race by eight points,46%-38%, with libertarian Robert Sarvis taking 9% of the vote. But the Democrat’s lead with women is now at 20 points-a two-point jump since last month’s NBC poll-with McAuliffe up among female likely voters 52%-32%. Cuccinelli still leads among men, 44%-40%, but that’s been cut in half since his eight point lead with likely male voters last month.

But while the socially conservative Cuccinelli is especially succeptible to attacks aimed at female voters, pollsters say it’s indicative of a larger trend nationwide for the GOP.

“What we’re finding increasingly mirrors what the national polls say as well,” said Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll. “It’s not surprising this is the case. When you have a candiate that’s open to the the kind of issue attacks Cuccinelii is, the Democrats know how to take full advantage of that – and they are right now.”

McAuliffe’s campaign is indeed relying on the growing gender gap and is working to reinforce it in the race’s final days. On Saturday, the Democratic nominee will bring in Hillary Clinton for a rally in the vote-rich Northern Virginia suburb of Falls Church. The trip to the critical swing state is her first foray back onto the campaign trail since leaving the State Department.

His latest ad on the airwaves is harsh against Cuccinelli on social issues, featuring shadowy footage of Cuccinelli talking about abortion at an event for a Christian group, ending with the fade-to-black tagline, “too extreme for Virginia.”

Interestingly, the other Republican running for Governor in 2013 isn’t having any problem with female voters at all. According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, Chris Christie has a twenty point lead among women over his Democratic nominee Barbara Buono despite the fact that Christie is, at least on paper, as much pro-life as Cuccinelli. The difference, of course, is that Christie does not have the political record of pushing a far-right socially conservative agenda during his career and, indeed, has barely talked about the issue during his first term. Assuming that this gender gap continues, and there is no reason to think that it won’t then it’s hard to see how Cuccinelli makes inroads in areas like Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, which is likely going to be where the race will be decided. This is especially true given the fact that the McAuliffe campaign continues to push heavily on Cuccinelli’s record on these issues in its ad campaign.

Not everyone agrees with the idea that Cuccinelli’s record on social issues is what’s hurt him in this campaign, though. In a truly odd Op-Ed in today’s Washington Post, Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage argues that Cuccinelli is losing because he hasn’t been socially conservative enough:

The one lesson Republicans probably will not learn from Ken Cuccinelli’s troubled campaign for Virginia governor is the most important: Politically, the “truce strategy” on abortion fails. If it is not abandoned, it will drag down the GOP.

Democratic charges of a Republican “war on women” are predicated on the GOP’s self-imposed truce on social issues: Republican candidates pledge not to run ads on topics such as abortion. When social subjects arise, GOP candidates go mute, retreat and change the subject.

For an example of the truce strategy in action, recall the July 19 debate between Cuccinelli, a Republican, and his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, a man whose position on abortion is far outside the Virginia mainstream.

Debate moderator Judy Woodruff asked Cuccinelli whether he would push for tougher laws on abortion. The state attorney general responded: “I do not expect to use the political capital of the governor’s officeto be moving those pieces of legislation. My focus is on job creation and job growth.” Translation? He doesn’t want to appear to care about the issue enough to govern on it.

(…)

The truce strategy demoralizes the GOP base and makes it hard for the grass roots to care about Republican candidates. Conservative candidates are advised to deflect or retreat when social issues are raised, and their refusal to speak clearly and hold the line allows Democratic candidates to adopt more extreme positions, energizing their own base and unleashing a flood of money at no political cost. Democrats are confident that their opponents will not make an issue of their positions. Republican candidates’ apparent discomfort discussing such issues makes it look like they have something to hide, confirming to many voters Democratic suggestions that GOP candidates’ positions are extreme.

My one question for Ms. Gallagher would be what truce?  The last time I checked, when former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels suggested the idea of a “social issues truce” back in 2011, he was shot down across the board. The 2012 Republican platform certainly didn’t emphasize the idea of a truce, and Cuccinelli hasn’t exactly run away from his previous positions even if he hasn’t emphasized them. The fact that he’s talking about the economy isn’t a sign of a “truce,” it’s a recognition of the fact that the economy is the issue that voters care about the most. No doubt, though, if and when Cuccinelli does lose, people like Gallagher will argue that it was because Cuccinelli, the most conservative Gubernatorial nominee in the recent history of Virginia, wasn’t “conservative enough.”

The other factor that has clearly hurt Cuccinelli, of course, is the government shutdown, and that has happened despite the fact that he made every effort during the course of the shutdown to distance himself from the Republicans on Capitol Hill. Does this mean that there will be long-term damage to the GOP brand from the events of the past three weeks heading into 2014? It’s quite obviously too hard to tell because it will depend largely upon how the upcoming budget negotiations go, and most especially what happens in January and February when we find ourselves at the deadlines for government funding and the debt ceiling. If we end up with another shutdown, or even just the threat of one because of the actions of a minority of Republicans in the House and Senate, then the ability of the party to recover from its disastrously stupid actions this October will be impeded significantly, and the party’s efforts to pick up the six Senate seats it needs to grab control of that body.

Getting back to the Virginia Governor’s race, McAuliffe now holds a +7.4 point lead in the RealClearPolitics average both in a head-to-head match-up with Cuccinelli and in a three-way race that includes Libertarian Robert Sarvis, who continues to average about 9% in the polls. McAuliffe’s lead has been solid and growing for more than a month now, while Cuccinelli remains mired around 38%, a level that he has not been able to break out of since the summer. Some Republicans seem to be assuming that the people telling pollsters that they’re supporting Sarvis are going to “come home” to Cuccinelli at some point, but I’m not sure that they’re right. To a large degree, Cuccinelli’s problems in the polls are due to his own unfavorability and, no doubt, a lot of the people lining up behind Sarvis right now are likely people who might be typically Republican voters, but who can’t bring themselves to vote for Cuccinelli. Perhaps if the GOP had nominated a different candidate Sarvis would not be doing so well, but the Virginia GOP made its choice to go with Cuccinelli, and now they have to live with it. Given that Sarvis’s numbers have been relatively solid over the past two months, why should we think that these people are going to suddenly decide to vote for a guy they clearly don’t like? It seems to me that that it’s more likely that they’d either stick with Sarvis or stay home. In either case, that’s not going to help Cuccinelli get out of the hole that he’s in.

At this point, it would take a major development in the race to change momentum, and that just doesn’t seem to be likely to happen. For all his faults, and there are plenty, McAuliffe seems to be running a fairly good campaign so I don’t think that Virginia Republicans should count on their opponent making a major mistake. Additionally, Cuccinelli has spent the entire campaign trying to define himself as something other than the socially conservative hard-right Republican that Virginians know him to be, and he’s failed miserably. There’s no reason to think that will change any time in the next three weeks. Therefore, absent some kind of exceedingly unlikely major change in the tone of the race, it looks like Virginia Democrats are going to defy recent history and pick up the Governor’s mansion1 this year.

1 In every Virginia Governor’s race since 1981, the winning party has been the opposite party of the one that one the White House the previous year. A McAuliffe win this year would break that trend.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    “It’s not that independents are enamored with McAuliffe,” Miringoff said, “they just dislike Cuccinelli more.”

    And really…who could blame them?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 4

  2. DC Loser says:

    I want to know what kind of weed Maggie Gallagher is smoking, and where can I get some? :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  3. Mikey says:

    In a truly odd Op-Ed in today’s Washington Post, Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage argues that Cuccinelli is losing because he hasn’t been socially conservative enough

    When others here in the OTB commentariat suggested Cuccinelli’s loss would be blamed on not being conservative enough, I didn’t buy it. “There’s no way,” I thought, “that this guy, as openly and obviously conservative as he is in both words and deeds, could possibly get tagged as not conservative enough.”

    Not being too proud to admit when I’m wrong…wow, was I ever wrong. And I’ve learned a valuable lesson: never, ever underestimate the fringe right’s ability to construct alternate realities.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 2

  4. DrDaveT says:

    We know who loses in this election — Virginians. Just not as badly as they might have.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  5. george says:

    @DC Loser:

    I want to know what kind of weed Maggie Gallagher is smoking, and where can I get some? :)

    I think she’s a rather obvious Democrat plant. No one could really be stupid enough to think he’s not conservative enough …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  6. Woody says:

    I’d also add that Virginia is changing in the same way the United States is changing – but at a faster pace (change is never evenly distributed).

    Mr Mataconis has noted in many previous VA Gov posts that Northern Virginia is increasingly a District periphery. Population and businesses have flocked to the area to serve within its major employer and to serve those who work for its major employer. This, in turn, means more of Virginia’s economic elite come from that area.

    This has altered Virginia’s population metrics – it now has a higher percentage of its population within an urban/suburban zone, which tend to run less Eurowhite and less conservative than in exurban/rural areas.

    Mr Cuccinelli represents the Virginia power bloc of the 20th century. Mr McAuliffe benefits from the change in demographics in the 21st.

    This is going to happen throughout the nation, the demographers believe (I know, science). Virginia, by its location next to the Federal seat, is simply the first wave.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  7. C. Clavin says:

    “…In a truly odd Op-Ed in today’s Washington Post, Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage argues that Cuccinelli is losing because he hasn’t been socially conservative enough…”

    It’s not odd…because that’s what is driving these numbskulls. McCain and Romney lost because they weren’t insane enough. The Shutdown failed because they weren’t insane enough. Ted Cruz isn’t insane enough. And this isn’t going to stop. They are going to continue moving further and further to extreme madness.
    Crazy…but entertaining…if not for the damage they are inflicting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Translation? He doesn’t want to appear to care about the issue enough to govern on it.

    No Maggie, the correct translation is “I am a lying sack of sh!t. Given half a chance I will be up in every Virginia vagina I can find.” What ever else Virginians might be, they’re not stupid enough to fall for that flim flam.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @george:

    No one could really be stupid enough to think he’s not conservative enough …

    Sir? May I say that you WAY overestimate the collective intelligence of the Tea Party. Not only can someone say it, the Tea Party will believe it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  10. CSK says:

    Well, Gallagher and her ilk WILL indeed claim that Cuccinelli lost because he was insufficiently socially conservative, because they truly believe that the top priority for Virginians (and Americans in general) is ending abortion. The same people will tell you with a straight face that Mitt Romney lost because he was far too left-wing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  11. DC Loser says:

    How are they gonna explain the wacko E.W. Jackson losing the Lt.Gov race?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  12. CSK says:

    @DC Loser:

    Oh, that ‘s easy: Racism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  13. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Regarding the point about Christie doing well with women in the NJ race despite being pro-life, three thoughts:

    1. He says he’s pro-life, but if he’s actually done anything while NJ governor to restrict access to abortion, contraceptives, or women’s healthcare, I haven’t heard about it. That effectively makes me pro-life in a very pro-choice sort of way. i.e. “I personally believe abortion is wrong…”

    2. He demonstrated vividly during the aftermath of Sandy that he truly cares about the well-being of the people of New Jersey and that he genuinely loves his State. Open displays of positive emotion go a long way with voters.

    3. Along with #1, I’ve never gotten any sort of Puritanical “must control the womenfolk” vibe from Christie. He can be a real d-bag at times, but I’ve never seen it manifest in a misogynist way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  14. @Mikey:

    Once they’ve decided that it’s axiomatically true that a “true conservative” would win, it logically follows that anyone who didn’t win must not have been a true conservative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  15. @Gromitt Gunn:

    He can be a real d-bag at times, but I’ve never seen it manifest in a misogynist way.

    American culture has a long standing tolerance for assholes, provided you’re an asshole to everyone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  16. wr says:

    @CSK: “Well, Gallagher and her ilk WILL indeed claim that Cuccinelli lost because he was insufficiently socially conservative, because they truly believe that the top priority for Virginians (and Americans in general) is ending abortion.”

    Actually, it’s to stop women from having sex without their permission. Abortion is just the tool they use.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  17. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Exactly. It’s a “no true Scotsman” deal. Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  18. DC Loser says:

    But that’s not stopping the GOP from its tried and true tricks to steal the election.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/10/17/virginia-election-officials-purging-almost-40000-voters/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  19. steve says:

    Controlling women? All time best cartoon on controlling WO.in.
    http://www.jesusandmo.net/2011/09/07/women2/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  20. Latino_in_Boston says:

    This, incidentally, should have an impact on 2014 because the restrictive voting measures that Cuccinelli was planning will not be imposed.

    As to Gallagher, what else is she going to say? Of course she says he’s not conservative enough. She can’t admit that voters are rejecting a guy with an impeccable profile as a social conservative because that would mean they would also be rejecting NOM’s agenda.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  21. Pinky says:

    Gallagher’s not saying that Cuccinelli isn’t conservative enough. She’s saying that he got all the negatives for a pro-life position among moderates without getting any of the benefits of a pro-life position among conservatives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  22. Chris Raimund says:

    McAwful hasn’t won yet. It appears the so-called libertarians on this board favor a McAwful win. I guess hatred of social conservatives outweighs the thought of VA being governed by crony capitalist Clinton sycophant like Terry McAwful. Since when do libertarians favor tax payer funded abortion on demand and state recognition of gay marriage? We (i.e., social conservatives) voted for your loser moderates McCain (pro amnesty) and Romney (pro abortion). You stay home or vote for the Dems when a social conservative is running. I will proudly vote for Cuccinelli win or lose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

  23. Chris Raimund says:

    @Stormy Dragon: It’s actually to prevent the taking of a human life.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  24. Chris Raimund says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’ll put my tea party intelligence up against your phone libertarian sophistication any day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  25. Chris Raimund says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Mikey: @Latino_in_Boston: Restrictive voting measures? Showing a photo ID?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  26. PJ says:

    @Chris Raimund:

    tea party intelligence

    “Tea party intelligence”? Talk about an oxymoron.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  27. Chris Raimund says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: He (Christie) cares about New Jersey by spending vast sums of money forcibly extracted from federal taxpayers from other states. Wonderful.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  28. David M says:

    @Chris Raimund:

    He (Christie) cares about New Jersey by spending vast sums of money forcibly extracted from federal taxpayers from other states. Wonderful.

    You know, if there’s just one thing the federal government shouldn’t help with, it’s cleaning up after natural disasters. As was said before, “Please proceed, governor”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  29. Chris Raimund says:

    @PJ: What are the chances of Republicans winning elections without social conservatives?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  30. PJ says:

    @Chris Raimund:

    He (Christie) cares about New Jersey by spending vast sums of money forcibly extracted from federal taxpayers from other states. Wonderful.

    Not sure what you’re talking about? Relief for Sandy? The fact is that New Jersey is among the states that receives the least back for every federal tax dollar collected.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  31. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Chris Raimund: You’re freaking hilarious, bro. Its been a while since we’ve had someone come in and do a really solid Idiot Teabagger impression. Kudos, and thanks for the laugh!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  32. Chris Raimund says:

    @David M: NJ needs federal money to clean up debris? How pitiful are these people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  33. PJ says:

    @Chris Raimund:

    What are the chances of Republicans winning elections without social conservatives?

    What are soc cons going to vote for instead?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  34. Chris Raimund says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Thanks Gromitt (real name?). Glad to be of some entertainment value.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  35. Chris Raimund says:

    @PJ: They could stay home but they generally vote for the lesser of the evils. I held my nose and voted for McCain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  36. PJ says:

    @Chris Raimund:
    On one hand you say this:

    I will proudly vote for Cuccinelli win or lose.

    And then you say things like this:

    NJ needs federal money to clean up debris? How pitiful are these people.

    Are you living in NJ? If not, how are you going to be able to vote for Cuccinelli? Voter fraud?

    Edit: A bit of a brain freeze…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  37. PJ says:

    @Chris Raimund:

    They could stay home but they generally vote for the lesser of the evils. I held my nose and voted for McCain.

    Which is what voters in VA is doing.
    The lesser evil.
    Which is why McAuliffe is winning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  38. David M says:

    @Chris Raimund:

    A state needs federal money to clean up debris? How pitiful are these people

    Fixed it for you and good luck taking that message national. Really, I see no downside to you repeatedly making that argument as forcefully as possible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  39. Chris Raimund says:

    @PJ: @Gromitt Gunn: I’m sure those uber high income people commuting to NYC to work for hedge funds are just paying their “fair share”. Also, this data is bogus. “Federal spending (i.e., outlays) includes all federal outlays consisting of retirement, disability . . . and salaries and wages.” This includes salaries for gov’t employees and military. In NJ, old people move to Florida and there are relatively few feds and military.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_taxation_and_spending_by_state

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  40. Chris Raimund says:

    @David M: Are you saying NJ couldn’t deal with the cleanup themselves? Christie seems to be saying that they are among the wealthiest in terms of income. Of course I understand that Christie wants to shift the cost to the Feds and hence to the taxpayers of other states.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  41. David M says:

    @Chris Raimund:

    No, I’m saying that the idea that federal government should not help people recover from natural disasters is ridiculous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  42. stonetools says:

    @David M:

    Hey, don’t dissuade him. Let the Tea Party take national the message that the federal government should get out of helping the states with disaster relief and focus instead on a national campaign to force women to go through unwanted pregnancies. Sounds like a winning message to me, Tea Partisans!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  43. thomm says:

    Regarding chris’ s assertion aboit seniors and nj, I am currently assisting my father who lives in a sizeable seniors only village (must be 55+ to be primary owner). His “village” is numbered three pout of 6, there are also at least four other communities nearby with multiple villages as well as residential care facilities and nursing homes. There are many cars that are Florida registered meaning thier owners are claiming homes in Florida that they go to in the winter months as thier primary residence for the homestead exemption as well as lower insurance rates. Also, regarding military, close enough to hear artillery practice is fort dix, a naval sub base and maguire afb. This is just in the sparsely populated south western part of the state. These senior communities exist all over the shore and a wildly popular. The only place I have ever had problems getting an electric cart at the grocery store even though they have 7 of them. Nj’s high average income and beefy state funded programs (keeping them from needing the feds to prop up the state’s failures to it’s citizens) is what makes it a donor state not a lack of seniors or military.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. thomm says:

    Oh..and ranchers in the Dakotas must also have something wrong with them if they just couldn’t wait for some ice to melt before crying to the feds. Selfishness is not a virtue no matter what stossell claims. Help your fellow man. You never know when you might need help yourself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  45. george says:

    @Chris Raimund:

    McAwful hasn’t won yet.

    You know, playing around with names like that makes reading anything you write afterwards pointless – that kind of name mockery is what six year kids do.

    That’s so obvious that I actually wonder if you’re trolling, just trying to make McAuliffe’s opponents look bad by pretending to be one and acting like an elementary school kid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  46. FLEX THIS says:

    McAuliffe doesn’t care if he’s the governor of this state. He just wants to become the governor of SOME state. That shazizzle was good. :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  47. Pinky says:

    @thomm: I wonder if you realized the way you framed this. Sure, Chris doesn’t come across as the most charitable person, but you’ve implied that there are only two possibilities, federal funding or selfishness. First of all, I don’t think that federal funding is particularly selfless, and secondly, there are lots of other methods of helping those in need.

    Is it selfless to call for federal aid? I don’t see how. You’re calling for persons A, B, C, etc. to help person Z. You’re not doing anything yourself, except maybe contributing 1/25 of the aid. But since we’re talking federal government, we’re really only contributing maybe 2/3 of the aid collectively and borrowing the rest, so you’re contributing 2/75 of the aid yourself and sending the government to confiscate 48/75 from others, and telling them to borrow another 1/3. But let’s be honest, since this is being done by a bureaucracy, maybe half of the aid actually gets to the people who need it, and half of that gets to them anywhere near the time they need it the most. So you’re paying people to confiscate money from other people to give to another group of people who may not get it in time. Where’s the virtue in that?

    Sure, there’s no virtue in doing nothing. But there’s no virtue in doing something obviously ineffective, or so obviously flawed that it’s only going to be marginally effective.

    Other possibilities include volunteering yourself and giving to a private charity. It also may be more effective to have government involvement, but at the local level without as much red tape. Lastly, there will be situations that only the federal government can handle. But that should be the last resort, for the same reason that you’d rather send SEALs than an aircraft carrier to do a job.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  48. Pinky says:

    @george: I have the same reaction to people who do “fixed it for you”s.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  49. george says:

    @Pinky:

    @george: I have the same reaction to people who do “fixed it for you”s

    Not a bad point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Pinky: The whole point of disaster relief in situations like Sandy or Katrina or the Joplin, MO tornados or extensive wildfires across the mountain west or volcanos erupting or what have you is that it isn’t practical or cost-efficient to have each municipality or state maintain a whole cadre of natural disaster professionals on the payroll. It is collectively in everyone’s best interest to have well-funded and well-trained centralized teams on a national level who are experienced in disaster relief and recovery.

    Obviously someplace like Hawai’i should invest in volcano and tropical storm preparedness. Alaska should prepare for extreme winter weather. Florida should have hurricane recovery teams. But how is it in the best interest of Alabama to maintain an entire fleet of snow plows and de-icers just in case a freak blizzard hits? Or for Connecticut to maintain a full-time Department of Earthquake Recovery?

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  51. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    But let’s be honest, since this is being done by a bureaucracy, maybe half of the aid actually gets to the people who need it, and half of that gets to them anywhere near the time they need it the most. So you’re paying people to confiscate money from other people to give to another group of people who may not get it in time.

    And this is why people don’t take conservatives seriously. They make up facts to suit their argument, and use nonsense words like “confiscate”.

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  52. Pinky says:

    @David M: OK, how about “an unknown percentage” and “take”?

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  53. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    The whole premise is ridiculous, especially without something to back it up.

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  54. Mark Harshman says:

    I don’t know how stupid Cuccinelli thinks people are, but to claim that these social issues really are not his focus is a little much to take. This guy has been sticking his nose into people’s personal affairs since he came out of the womb. He has a LONG history of this nonsense and some people find it very offensive. Will the GOP “get it”? Not on your life.

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  55. thomm says:

    Pinky

    Honestly, it was more a rhetorical flourish on my part. Rarely are politicians from this area complaining about natural disaster relief funds, so when two hit the area in two years after many years without one, the comments about something being wrong for needing help, almost with a tone of moral failing, kind grates.

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  56. B Rob says:

    So what you are saying is the new voters want free stuff. Got it!

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