Chris Graham: Weak spots for McAuliffe, Cuccinelli
Both Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli have what they want … sorta, kinda. McAuliffe, the presumptive Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee, and Cuccinelli, the presumptive Republican nominee, have clear paths at the 2013 general election. The possibility that Bill Bolling, the sitting Republican lieutenant governor, will enter the race as an independent is still out there, but not likely.
Leaving us McAuliffe and Cuccinelli, both of whom have their own, ahem, issues.
For McAuliffe, it’s what one friend at a recent dinner party referred to as the “slimy factor.”
“He just seems slimy to me. I want to take a shower just thinking about voting for him,” said the friend, a lifelong Democrat and Barack Obama campaign volunteer in 2008 and 2012.
I know more than a few liberal Democrats who feel the same way.
Cuccinelli doesn’t have to worry about his party’s wing – conservatives love the guy. It’s the middle that he has to worry about. Moderate Republicans were aligning themselves behind Bolling and preparing themselves for a pitched fight for the GOP nomination. How they react to what Bolling has been pushing as a forced departure from the governor’s race will play a role in determining Cuccinelli’s fate.
Expect to see Bolling stalwarts sit out the race. Also expect to see a number of Democratic volunteers on the sidelines to avoid the slime.
Both sides will have less troops to build their campaigns around. Neither side will have trouble raising money – McAuliffe tapping into his past as having been the Clintons’ chief fundraiser, Cuccinelli tapping into the crazy-nut fringe that loves him for his efforts to combat ObamaCare and climate-change research.
Less troops, more money, more negative ads … it’s going to be an ugly 2013 in Virginia.