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December 03, 2011



Since I know little about the inner workings of politics, I find your post very interesting, Chris. Based upon it,do you think that Cuccinelli can be elected governor?

If he requires lots of votes from NOVA to win, how will some of his actions as AG (attempting to get records from a UVA professor, filing suit against the health care laws, etc,) play with NOVAns of a more moderate persuasion? While Gov. McDonnell did well in NOVA, I think that is because his more conservative actions were under the radar for most NOVAns, and they saw him as a local. Although the Post seems to have a crush on our AG, I think that Cuccinelli and his actions as AG will be more prominent in his run for governor, and will trump his being a local.

While it might be in the best interest of NOVA to obtain the power in Richmond that corresponds to its population, I don't see that happening any time soon. When all is said and done, I think that the reason NOVA hasn't come into its own in Richmond is because of the NOVAns' focus on local and federal politics, and its focus on its social differences at the cost of its financial similarities. Richmond could be another country as far as local-focused voters are concerned,and the three Gs still trump schools and roads in the minds of a number of NOVAns.

Oh, and as for Cuccinelli's electoral wins, he hasn't always had the strongest opponents.


I think Ken an easily be elected governor because he learned running as a conservative in Fairfax you have to work twice as hard and be twice as organized to win . . . and he's done it every time.

But remember, this post is about the primary and power within the party.

As for his opponents, the only one you can make that argument for is Janet Oleszek, but when she ran against him she was a sitting at-large member of the school board, so she had been elected county-wide. Cathy Belter, who he beat in his first race, was a strong candidate. John Brownlee had the full backing of McDonnell, and Steve Shannon was considered a rising star in the Democratic party . . . the problem is that Cuccinelli is the one that exposes them and he brilliantly finds their one weakness and just goes after it.

In a general election, he will do much better in Northern Virginia than you think.

NoVA Scout

They're both essentially downstate candidates, at least in the general election. Cuccinelli's near death experience against Oleszek shows how poorly his goods sell in a general election in Northern Virginia, at least in close-in to DC areas. After that wake-up call, he had no choice but to run statewide. He probably would not have won another General Assembly election in Fairfax County (Oleszek was a weak candidate, and the Dems maybe don't have any strong ones, but they would have tried to find someone with a little more oomph after coming within 100 votes of knocking Ken off).


But wasn't the Oleszek in a toxic year for Republicans?


Tom it sure was, and when you look at how badly Jeannemaire lost in a district very similar it shows how good a campaigner he is. He did very well in NOVA in 09 also, and his opponent was from Ffx

Fairfax Volunteer

More importantly, Cuccinelli out-performed Bolling in NoVa in 2009, despite the fact that Cuccinelli was running against a popular Democrat FROM NoVa while Bolling was running against an opponent from downstate who was a virtual unknown up here.

Cuccinelli also significantly outperformed Bolling in several counties in southside, helping him to accumulate his 15,000+ vote advantage over Bolling in the final tally.

All of those tallies were in the same election year on the same ballot.


I really don't see how anyone can claim that Bolling is a better candidate. I went back and looked at the money. Bolling out spent Wagner by $900,000 in the general election while Shannon outspent Cuccinelli by $1,100,000. Bolling had a huge advantage in money but still didn't receive the votes Cuccinelli did.


Don't forget that Cuccinelli was virtually unknown statewide prior to the 2009 race and Bolling was an incumbent.


Can you explain a bit more the clash between Richmond business interests and Northern Virginia business interests? What are the programs that Richmond needs/wants funded that would be opposed/cut in order to pay for Nova's needs? I assume roads have a lot to do with it, but what else is there to fight over?


Money = Power. And northern Virginia business interests aren't as partisan as they are in Richmond. In Richmond they are the bedrock of Republicanism, and their interests have always been low-spending, low-services, and balanced budgets (much of the pay-as-you-go philosophy of Harry Byrd). Northern Virginia business don't care about labels - they have backed Tom Davis and Gerry Connolly just as hard as the other - they want funding for transportation on roads, on metro, and infrastructure that will make it more urbanized so the powerful developers can continue to make money hand over fist.

Richmond business types generally want very little government, but Northern Virginia wants $$$ for real needs that can't be met locally. Ken might be a small government conservative, but he had a saying that got around, "you can't fix abortion unless you fix potholes." They haven't always liked Ken, he's more slow growth and is especially against the Metro extension. But Tom and them are so angry at what happened in 2008, they will ride Ken and take their chances with him and stick it to Richmond

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