Roanoke Times has an interesting article about the struggles of Ken Cuccinelli in Southwest Virginia. The long and the short of it is that this is an area Cooch should be running up the score on BigMac. Last year Romney crushed Obama in this region winning some counties with over 70% of the vote.
However, due to a despite involving property owners and gas companies Cooch’s popularity has taken a big hit in this area. Voters think the office of Attorney General Cooch took the side of the gas companies instead of the locals. This has created an opening for Libertarian Robert Sarvis. One poll showed Sarvis getting 21% in some parts of Southwest.
Why is he doing so well in this area? Is it because people in Wise County have suddenly started reading Atlas Shruggled and are on the verge of heading off to Galt’s Gulch?
No. It looks more like he is simply none of the above. Sarvis is not Cooch who voters in this area think is siding with the gas companies and he is not Big Mac who is tied too closely to Obama.
This will probably be where Sarvis does his best next Tuesday. It doesn’t seem like there is anything to build on from that support. Why do I say this? What if Bill Bolling was the candidate instead of Cuccinelli? Does anyone doubt old Fireball Bill would be pulling in close to 70% here?
The answer is of course Bolling would because he wouldn’t have the connections to the gas companies that Cuccinelli does. Next time around you can bet that the Republican candidate, whoever they are, will go back to winning this area by big margins.
If Libertarians are ever going to become a real political force they will have to be able to consistently win areas or large groups of voters, not as a protest vote, but on their own with their own program. That does not appear to be what is happening in Virginia this year.