Lessons from the Cooch

While everyone is writing about how Terry McAuliffe won, it is important to recognize the factors that allowed Ken Cuccinelli to come so close.

  • Big guns need to stay away when the sentiment towards Washington is this bad. Does bringing a big name into the state help? Often it hurts. Voters feel like they are being conned by the parties. They still elect a candidate. His friends don’t matter, especially in this political climate. And they don’t like outsiders gaming their elections.
  • A weak candidate can lose an election even if he is the only one running. Candidates are the key. All the money in the world cannot make a person likable, and in the end, voters decide a lot on who they like. McAuliffe may be the next Mother Theresa, but his campaign was mediocre at best.
  • Obamacare can giveth, but Obamacare can taketh away. Exit polls to the contrary, when you are faced with a gnawing doubt about the ability of one party to actually accomplish anything, it casts a bad light on every person in that party running for office.
  • The awful truth is no matter how you feel about the other guy, about 47% of the population will vote for him. We are a split nation. The candidate who understands this knows that center is the only group that can help win the race. Please your base all you want, but don’t alienate those folks.
  • The Tea Party is not dead. It needs a purge, and some horse-sense, but don’t think for a minute they just folded their tent. The fundamental issues they stand for still ring in their follower’s hearts. They want less government, and no one on the other side is arguing that point.

The 2014 elections have officially begun.