Chris: There’s a job for six men, watching over a village, south of the border.
Bernardo: How big’s the opposition?
Chris: Thirty guns.
Bernardo: I admire your notion of fair odds, mister.
The Magnificent Seven 1960
Yesterday Protein Wisdom:
The rhetorical ground is already being set, with these two races its supposed proofs: look at how well Chris Christie did in a blue state! Look at how Cuccineli’s extremism lost us Virginia!
And PJ Media
Every GOP mainstream politician and consultant will spend the next few months completely incapable of saying little more than “Chris Christie!” They will have polls-OH!-will they have polls. Everyone will be taken as undeniable proof that Christie can beat Hillary, the zombie apocalypse, and the 1927 Yankees once time travel is a thing.
told us what the post election spin would be today and on Cue Morning Joe is going on today both about Ken Cuccinelli made told you what the MSM would say the lessons of VA & NJ are. If only Cuccinelli was not so extreme, and Chris Christie proved how the GOP can win in a blue state and is the model of 2016.
Let’s start with NJ
Chris Chrsitie won by 20+ points and a lot of credit has to be given to his policies and himself in winning that state at all, let alone by 20 points. He was and is clearly better for NJ than the democrat and the voters recognized it, but what nobody talked about until election day itself was in a state where National Democrats decided not to play:
From President Obama, who twice toured New Jersey with Christie after Hurricane Sandy and then failed to endorse Christie’s challenger
Hold on President Obama didn’t even offer a pro-forma endorsement of the Democrat Pro-abortion woman?
to the Democratic National Committee, which sent just one staffer to the state to fortify local efforts,
The DNC sent one staffer?
to major donors and high-profile party leaders such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, powerful Democrats have stayed on the sidelines in the blue state contest
(A cynical person might consider this the pro-quo for that arm the week of election day but I digress)
Well while the left and Morning Joe (which usually likes quoting the Daily Beast didn’t find that story newsworthy they DID report on the exit polls in NJ that showed Chrsitie doing well in all demographics.
There are some significant stats that give good news to the GOP nationally which I’ll talk about tomorrow but lets note the following, Chris Christe won men by 37 pts & women by 15 pts in the poll. He won latinos by 6 pts and took 21% of the black vote in a sample that approves of Obama with 51%.
All of that speaks well of Chritie who has done a good job in NJ (The 85% approval of the job he did with Hurricane Sandy.) but of all the stats from that poll, here is one that makes all the difference in the world.
The pollsters asked who would they support in 2016 Hillary Clinton or Chris Christie.
Well that should be an easy one. You have a poll of voters who just voted for Christie overwhelmingly this has to be the most favorable polling sample possible sample for Chris Christie. If Christie is going to win NJ for the GOP in 2016 he has to win this sample:
Christie loses to Clinton by 4 points, FOUR POINTS?
Excuse me? You have a race where no democrat money was spent, where you have photos of Barack Obama with an arm around Chris Christie, and a polling sample of people who voted for him by over 20 points and thinks he did a great job and from that sample he couldn’t outpoll Hillary Clinton in New Jersey?
I’m sorry The lesson is clear: If Chris Christie can’t outpoll Hillary with those advantages what does that say about his chances of winning democrats elsewhere when the full power of Democrat party and the MSM against him are slim and none and slim left town.
This is a trap set for the GOP in 2016 if they fall for it then it’s all over.
Now lets look at VA.
After leading by double digits for weeks Terry McAulffe managed to beat Ken Cuccineli by 3 points. The Narrative is he lost because he is a tea party candidate.
It is fair to say that in VA where so many gov workers the shutdown hurt the GOP (never mind the back pay voted meaning those workers essentially got a paid vacation) but here are some stories that got very little note.
Before Obamacare, before the shutdown Robert Stacy McCain said this
If Bob McDonnell had resigned Monday, there was about a 50-50 chance Cuccinelli could somehow change the subject between now and November and pull out a narrow win over McAuliffe. Every day that McDonnell remains in office, those odds diminish.
This is fact, not opinion.
Odd that the GOP wasn’t willing to do something about this to help out their candidate for Governor.
Then there is the libertarian who had an interesting source of funding:
A major Democratic Party benefactor and Obama campaign bundler helped pay for professional petition circulators responsible for getting Virginia Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert C. Sarvis on the ballot — a move that could split conservative votes in a tight race.
Campaign finance records show the Libertarian Booster PAC has made the largest independent contribution to Sarvis’ campaign, helping to pay for professional petition circulators who collected signatures necessary to get Sarvis’ name on Tuesday’s statewide ballot.
Now this is a tactic that people in elections have been using for years but it’s funny that it didn’t break until the day before the election and not in any MSM venue? Even odder was that the MSM didn’t even bother to mention the 3rd party candidate much until yesterday and Today Cokie Roberts had the audacity to claim it didn’t hurt the parties equally.
Yeah that’s why the Democrats funded him. Even Joe Scarborough wasn’t buying that.
Then there is the social conservative argument, the MSM contends that Cuccinelli’s social conservatism doomed him but there was an interesting story that got no press yesterday:
Del. Scott Lingamfelter, a Republican, said he received a robo-call on Sunday evening claiming that Cuccinelli supports the Affordable Care Act and taxpayer financing for abortions.
Cuccinelli vehemently opposes Obamacare, as the law is commonly known. He was the first state attorney general to challenge the law in court. He is also strongly opposed to abortion.
The recording said the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) paid for it, Lingamfelter wrote in a post on his Facebook page.
“They are shameless in their lies,” he wrote. “I guess they are trying to suppress GOP voters” in the governor’s race.
Tell me if Cuccinelli’s pro-life position was a problem for him why does the left bother to spend money? That’s a good question and I’d love a good answer.
Finally lets look at the GOP establishment and their actions, or shall we say inaction:
Four years ago the national GOP spent 9 million dollars in VA to elect a GOP governor. This time around?
They spent 3 million.
Now the idea that Terry McAuliffe Mr. UBER fundraiser was able to outspend Cuccinelli is not a surprise but the idea that the GOP cut their spending in the state by 2/3 well that wasn’t received well:
WE COULD HAVE WON THIS RACE. FOR THE REASONS I HAVE EXPLAINED HERE AND ON THE AIR, GOP ESTABLISHMENT AND DONORS LEFT THE FIELD. NOW, NOT ONLY THE LIBERALS BUT THE RINO MOUTHPIECES CONTINUE WITH THEIR MANTRA ABOUT THE DEAD TEA PARTY AND THE RINO FUTURE. ABSOLUTELY APPALLING! (And they did not spend even $3 million, that was a phony number.)
RT@seanmdav: In 2009, the RNC spent $9M to win VA by 17 points. Looks like it’ll have spent $3M in 2013 to lose by a hair. Dummies
Well that doesn’t prove the establishment wasn’t behind Cuccinelli I mean it’s not like popular GOP candidates didn’t show up for him to campaign.
Huh? I remember in 2012 Christie showed up to support Ovide Lamontagne in NH I covered him there.
Christie went to NH to campaign for Ovide and REFUSED to take a day during a race he was winning by 20 points to campaign for Cuccinelli?
I think that’s incredible, we are constantly told that Tea Party republicans need to hold their noses and stand by GOP moderates as I did with Mitt Romney and Gabriel Gomez. This tells me that as far as the GOP is concerned the opposite is not true.
So what is the lesson of Virgina? It’s this: To the Establishment GOP (and to Chris Christie) a victory by a Bill Clinton Democrat like Terry McAuliffe is preferable to a Tea Party candidate winning the governorship of Virginia.
In February after the GOP convention where the establishment used some interesting tactics to defeat a tea party candidate in Massachusetts I left the GOP ON camera
If the party wants me and people like me they’ll have to earn me. When the GOP can convince me that they are serious about growing the party, when they convince me they are serious about treating the tea party et/al as valued members as opposed to a source of temp labor and occasional funds. I’ll be happy to return to the Republican Party in as public a fashion as I’ve just left it.
If the GOP is wants to be a minority party that gets their share of graft rather than a majority party that reforms the government this is the way to do it.
Update: Via Instapundit
VIRGINIA: Did The GOP Blow It Because Of Fear of the Tea Party?
Short answer YES. The details:
it’s hard to deny the conclusion that the Republican party decided it was better to abandon Virginia to the Democrat party than to allow the Tea Party and social conservatives to win.
Here they are:
The Republican National Committee spent three times as much in 2009 on the same race as they did this year.
The Chamber of Commerce spent one million dollars in the last Governor’s race, and not one dime on Cuccinelli.
While its often claimed that Tea Party candidates do poorly among independents, Cuccinelli actually won independents by 9 points, 47 percent to 38 percent.
“McAuliffe outraised Cuccinelli by almost $15 million,” and in the last weeks of the campaign, this left Cuccinelli with nearly no media exposure.
Even Politico wonders if Cuccinelli was beginning to turn the tide against the “War on Women” narrative, as he drove down McAuliffe’s lead among women from 24% in polling to 9%.
Update 2: For some reason the left hasn’t found Ramesh Ponnuru all that quotable today:
The “party establishment” (to simplify) is putting some of the blame on the shutdown, and the anti-establishment conservatives are putting a lot of the blame on the former’s stinginess; Cuccinelli’s campaign manager is blaming both. The results in the state legislative races, and the possible victory of Mark Obenshain in the AG race, make it hard to credit any theory that the Virginia electorate is just hostile to conservatism in general, or to social conservatism in particular. (emphasis mine)
I wonder why?
Update 3: Jonah Goldberg NAILS it
For all the talk about how the base needs to cooperate with the establishment more, it’s worth remembering that the base almost always does its part on Election Day. Its the establishment that is less reliable in returning the favor.
Because the love our votes but love the K-Street spending more.
Update 4: Dan Riehl:
I don’t care if you want to blame the RNC, the RGA, the NRSC, the media and young dumb Republicans like a Josh Holmes, Brian Walsh and Brad Dayspring who live to run to it to get their names in print bashing their own base.
The fact is, the establishment GOP cost, not just conservatives, but its own damned party the governorship in Virginia.
Someone, or some few people need to be held to account and yes, some heads should roll. Now, all they want to talk about is ObamaCare. As far as I’m concerned, there’s a little unfinished business to address before we get there.
Update 5: Mark Levin vs Renice
Apparently Christie will have time to campaign for Lindsey Graham.
It’s Wednesday and I need 13 tip jar hitters of $20 to make my $305 paycheck.
With the need to support myself and cover Chris, Vin, Harry & Bernardo next week it’s not a good sign.
But you can change that, if you think this analysis is worth your while please consider hitting DaTipJar below