First of all, I would like to say that I am a proud supporter of the statewide GOP ticket of Ken Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson and Mark Obenshain. It is quite refreshing to have the opportunity to vote for some true conservatives. In far too many elections, as was the case in last year’s presidential election, we are stuck with choosing between a far left liberal and a mushy middler.
But I am concerned about the direction of the campaign so far. Cuccinelli has been allowing his opponent, Terry McAuliffe, to play the ridiculous “I’m a moderate, Cuccinelli’s an extremist” card. And this has had a somewhat adverse effect on Cuccinelli in the early polls.
It seems to me that Cuccinelli is missing a great opportunity here. He should be making this election a referendum on Obamacare, much in the way that Jim Gilmore successfully turned the 1997 gubernatorial election into a referendum on the car tax. Public opinion polls overwhelmingly indicate that Obamacare is unpopular in almost every state, including those like Virginia, which voted for President Obama twice.
All Cuccinelli would have to do is repeatedly and vigorously emphasize the fact that he is against Obamacare while McAuliffe is in favor of it. That would be a guaranteed winning strategy – assuming it stuck. Although McAuliffe would be unable to credibly deny his support of Obamacare, and defending it would be politically risky, he would likely attempt to change the subject, with a little help from his friends in the media. Still, Cuccinelli would have nothing to lose by tying McAuliffe to an unpopular public policy and placing him in a position where he has to either defend it or dodge it.