The Virginia gubernatorial race remains neck in neck as Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli maintain their aggressive campaigns and starkly dissimilar platforms.
With only two months until election day, the country turns its eyes to Virginia, which in recent years has become a toss-up state and a bellwether for the general public’s sentiments on several key issues. Aside from the traditional tension between free market conservatives and big government progressives, a swath of social issues have come to the forefront of the gubernatorial race.
Despite the Old Media claims that social conservatism is what ultimately gave Mr. Obama a victory over Mr. Romney in last year’s national election, the Republican Party chose to nominate a strong social conservative as its candidate for Virginia’s governorship. Indeed, Mr. Cuccinelli has demonstrated throughout the campaign that he has no problem with articulating and defending his stance on every major issue.
Among his open stances on social issues, Mr. Cuccinelli founded a student group called S.A.F.E. while he was an engineering student at the University of Virginia. The group’s purpose is to increase awareness and lend support to female victims of sexual assaults. In line with his Catholic beliefs, Mr. Cuccinelli has ardently defended his call to enact strict limitations on birth control, as well as to maintain the view that marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman, which since 2006 has been the law in Virginia.
At the same time, Mr. McAuliffe frequently cites his Catholic faith as well, but he does not find contradiction between his religious beliefs and his stances on contraceptives and abortions, including his support of partial birth abortions. The Democrat nominee has chosen to follow Mr. Obama’s footsteps and talk about everything from climate change to gun control. According to Breitbart News, there is even speculation that outgoing New York Mayor Bloomberg is trying to court Mr. McAuliffe into enacting New York-style firearms bans. There has also been controversy surrounding Mr. McAuliffe’s claims to be a job creator with companies like Greentech and Franklin Pellets that was detailed by a Citizens United documentary called “Fast Terry,” as NBC 12 in Richmond reports.
Thus, the question persists: can Ken Cuccinelli, head of the Republican ticket described by Professor Larry Sabato to The New York Times as “the most conservative Republican ticket in the history of Virginia,” manage to win an election, and what could his win signify to the rest of the Republican Party?