Transvaginal Ultrasounds Close Out the Only Competitive 2013 Election in America

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 28 2013 1:58 PM

Transvaginal Ultrasounds Close Out the Only Competitive 2013 Election in America

Republicans are quietly resigning themselves to at least two big losses in the commonwealth of Virginia. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has so badly botched his campaign (the governor's yearlong donor scandal did not help) that there's already chatter about whom to blame. E.W. Jackson, a preacher who won the lieutenant governor nomination in a fluke (he gave a great convention speech!), is no-commenting on all of the stories that expose how badly he manages money.

This leaves the race for Cuccinelli's replacement as the last hope for a 2013 conservative Republican victory for statewide office. (Chris Christie will romp home in New Jersey, but conservatives don't count that one.) State Sen. Mark Obenshain had a narrow lead, for a long time; the Republican State Leadership Committee has thrown nearly $2.5 million at him to help him close.

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The Democrats' response:

You don't hear "medical rape" in too many TV ads. It was, arguably, the 2012 fight over transvaginal ultrasounds in Virginia that first turned Democrats on to the potency of a "war on women" message.*

*Republicans tied up the state Senate in the 2011 election, which meant that they had functional control of the entire Virginia government for the first time since 2000. 

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.