We in Virginia are finally free of the erroneous and obnoxious ads from the Cuccinelli and McAuliffe campaigns. The ‘Cooch’ lost by a much smaller margin than most polls had predicted, but he lost nonetheless…and to a rather smarmy and schlocky McAuliffe.
But, predictably, the Virginia GOP supporters have turned their ire on those who voted for Libertarian Robert Sarvis, who garned a Virginia record high 6.6% [or so] in his third party bid for the Governors job. Unfortunately, this is short of the hoped for 10% which would have given the LP automatic ballot access in the next general election, much to the chagrin of the duopoly.
The GOP meme is that Sarvis voters enabled McAulliffe to win. This is a false argument. To believe this line of thought, one’s logic has to be provably predicated on the assumption that those voting for Sarvis would have otherwise been more likely to vote for Cuccinelli, had Sarvis not been in the race. Exit polling says otherwise:
And no, Cuccinelli can’t blame his loss on scandal-plagued outgoing GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell or third-party libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis.
Despite his scandals, Virginia voters said they approve of McDonnell’s job performance by 11 points, 52% to 41%. And if Sarvis had not been in the race, exit polls indicate McAuliffe still would have beaten Cuccinelli by two points, 48% to 46%.
Finally, while it didn’t change the outcome, the third-party candidate in the race, Libertarian Robert Sarvis, may have made it closer for McAuliffe than it would have been otherwise. Had he not been on the ballot, a third of his voters said they’d have supported McAuliffe – slightly more than twice as many as said they’d have gone for Cuccinelli.
Additionally this tired line of excuses presumes that votes are proprietary to the Democrats or the GOP in the first place, which is rather elitist and presumptive reasoning. Republicans should be asking themselves and their party, why didn’t more registered Republicans show up to the polls? Why didn’t more doners give to the Cuccinelli campaign?
Scott Shackford at Reason sums it up nicely:
Once you wade out of the red team versus blue team fight, you have to set aside the mentality that comes with it. Too many folks were still making the argument that Cuccinelli was better than McAuliffe when they needed to be making the argument that Cuccinelli was better than Sarvis.