Of Course It Will Be Nick

Much like Charlie Brown and the football, professional Libertarians like Nick Gillespie can’t resist temptation.  His temptation is not kicking a ball but proclaiming that EVERY little thing is a sign that we are at the dawn of libertarian nirvana.

If you have a minute for the latest evidence of this check out this post. The former teen magazine editor proclaims that 2014 may be the most libertarian year ever.  Citing people’s dislike of Obamacare, one poll that says people think government is the biggest threat to their liberty, and hope that the mid-term elections will bring more libertarian minded people to power (yeah, I can see a whole bunch of pro-gay marriage, and pro-pot legalization Republicans getting elected, I can also so England winning the World Cup too) are his proof of this laughable claim.

Gillespie of course ignores what happened last year politically, except the parts he likes.  Let’s remember the GOP’s most successful politicians won after openly embracing Obama and the federal governments help in dealing with a natural disaster (where was the magic of the market).  The country’s largest city elected a mayor who wants to tax the rich and keep Bloomberg’s public health work (smoking bans and cigarette taxes) in place.  In the Virginia, the GOP lost the Governor’s office to a guy who wants to dramatically expand Medicaid.  Just for good measure Reason should also remember a declared Socialist was elected to the city council in Seattle.

So before everyone starts telling of the upcoming libertarian era they may want to look at reality.


Is Virginia Still A Southern State

Virginia Postcard

Greetings from the Ex-South?

Of course, Virginia will always be associated with the South.  After all it was home to the capital of the Confederacy.  But politically is it still a Southern state?

A few weeks ago the Democrats swept the statewide offices in Virginia.  Granted there is a recount to go in the Attorney General’s race, but Herring does on in to it with a lead.  What’s most interesting about this is that all three candidates supported same-sex marriage, abortion rights and gun control.

Would a Democratic ticket that took all three of those positions be able to win in Georgia, Tennessee or Alabama?  Hell no.

Given the changes that have happened in the state, particularly the growth of Northern Virginia and an increase in non-white voters, it doesn’t make sense to look at Virginia the same politically as say Louisiana or Georgia.

Now of course there are part of the state that still vote the same as Mississippi or Tennessee but they are not big enough for the GOP to win statewide.

If statewide Virginia is no longer a Southern state, where does the political South start?  Is it the Virginia North Carolina border? Where that line is has a big implication for the GOP.

For years the GOP could count on a winning the majority of states in the Old Confederacy (minus Florida) by spending little time or money there during a campaign.  That freed up resources to win states like Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Michigan.

If Virginia and possibly North Carolina cannot be count on as easy wins (Obama almost won North Carolina in 2012 after winning it in 2008) the GOP could be starting the Presidential race with serious ground to make up and have to divert resources to win places that are critical for them but not necessary for the Democrats.  A.k.a. they would be up Shit’s Creek.

In an environment the party would turn to people who it thinks gives it a chance to win in states like Michigan or Pennsylvania.  Do you think that benefits someone like Chris Christie?  Is the Pope a Catholic?

The Big Take Away from Virginia

Forget Obamacare and the Shutdown when talking.  In the end they cancelled each other out and should leave the GOP with some things to think about.  Going to  2016 or 2017 the elections will not be impacted by either.  What they will be influenced by is the demographic changes that propelled Terry McAuliffe to victory.

Terry McAuliffe did his best in Northern Virginia and where whites are 60% or less of the population.  Cuccinelli in contrast did his best in rural areas and areas with 85% or more of the population being white.  The problem for the GOP is Northern Virginia and the population of nonwhites are growing and their strongest areas are not keeping up.  If the party doesn’t figure out some way to reach these areas races for governor and President could get much harder.

You can bet Chris Christie is definitely going to make the case that he could’ve reached both those groups in way Cuccinelli, or a similar Republican, simply couldn’t.

Sarvis Did Better Than I Thought

I will admit it when I am wrong.  Robert Sarvis did better than I thought.  He pulled 6.6% instead of the 4% I thought he’d get.

Sarvis really ended up being a factor, especially in places like Bath, Craig and Alleghany counties were he pulled 10%.  In all three of those counties Obenshain ran up bigger scores against the Democrats than Cuccinelli did against the Republicans.  The vote for Sarvis is the key reason for that.

Before Libertarians start celebrating too much, remember the Sarvis vote there was not ideological. As I wrote earlier, that vote was driven by anger at Cuccinelli over a dispute with the energy companies and land owners.  If that dispute didn’t happen or Bolling had been the nominee those counties most likely give the GOP nominee the same margins they gave Obenshain.

Of course, I am sure some in the media will ignore that last part and proclaim this as another example of the Libertarian moment dawning in America.

BigMac Wins It

For a guy who just barely pulled it out, Terry McAuliffe sure didn’t act like it.  He knows he has a great deal of work to do to now govern Virginia.  McAuliffe’s mention of Thomas Jefferson’s 1800 Inaugural was a sign that he wants to move beyond the campaign.

Somewhere the Clintons are smiling, knowing that their guy is now in charge and will give them a big leg up on 2016.

At the same time you can hear both wings of the GOP ringing their hands over what might have been.  These differences will soon play themselves out in 2014 and beyond.

If You Don’t Vote I Win

That seems to be the message of the Virginia GOP in the final days of the election.  Over the weekend Republican Party of Virginia Chair Pat Mullins spelled it out when he said:

“If turnout is in the 30s, the low 30s, we’re gonna win. If it gets higher up in Fairfax [in Democratic-leaning Northern Virginia], say like 40, it’s likely we won’t. I don’t think it’s going to hit 40 anywhere. I’m looking at 32.”

What an inspiring message for a campaign to head into the final days with.  I can only imagine that the Cooch was not particularly thrilled to hear that the more people who vote the better BigMac’s chances get of winning an election.

Regardless of their ideology, it is not a sign of a strong party that they know they can’t win if people vote.  After Tuesday’s vote, if things don’t work out for Cooch and company, hopefully they will begin a long look at what they need to do to become a party that wins when voter turnout is high.

Reince In the Garden State


See ya’ in New Jersey.

I guess Reince Priebus can feel which way the wind blows.  Rather take the metro over the Potomac to Virginia, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is going up I-95 to spend some the day in New Jersey.

Gee, way to send a subtle message about where you think the good news is going to be on Tuesday night.  I am sure the Cuccinelli family appreciates the free knife you just put in their back.

You can’t really blame the guy. If I had a choice between a blow out victory party with all the Springsteen one can handle or a defeat that will turn into angry finger pointing before the night’s over, I would probably go to Jersey as well.

The reality is that a Virginia loss, especially if it’s a sweep, will outshine the GOP win in New Jersey.  Christie is a personality who has crafted his own appeal.  The Virginia ticket was exactly what the activist base wanted.  Their getting refuted by voters say a great deal more than a unique persona beating an underfunded opponent.  Hopefully, someone will call Priebus out on that point.