Chris Graham: The Terry McAuliffe Problem
They like Barack Obama. They really like Tim Kaine. They love Mark Warner. Terry McAuliffe … eh.
They didn’t jump on board four years ago when the alternative was a state senator from Bath County who, God love him, couldn’t seem to get out of his own way. And they’re not fighting amongst themselves to be the first to support him in 2013 when the alternative is a Republican attorney general whose main goal in political life seems to be to return the Commonwealth to life as it was in 1858.
Evidence of the enthusiasm gap relative to McAuliffe is clear in a recent Washington Post poll of Virginia voters, which has T-Mac even with Cuccinelli among women, trailing the Republican among under-40 voters and running 26 points behind where President Obama was last year in Virginia among non-white voters.
It’s looking like a repeat of 2009 is soon to be in order. Deeds tried to hang McDonnell on a threads of a graduate-school thesis written in the 1980s that showed alarming insensitivity toward members of any sociodemographic group outside of the white Christian severe conservative bubble that the extreme right wing calls “the base,” and voters didn’t care.
McAuliffe, no doubt, will try the same strategy with Cuccinelli and his numerous witch hunts aimed at women, academics, Democrats in general and Obama administration officials in particular and anybody and everybody else who happens to get in his way, and, well, we all know where this is going.
This 2013 campaign is going to be ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly, and in the end, if Democrats don’t get on board with their guy, it’s not going to matter a fig.