Cuccinelli Agonistes: The last days of the Virginia GOP's Hero (Probably)

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 30 2013 9:22 AM

Cuccinelli Agonistes: The last days of the Virginia GOP's Hero (Probably)

186118951
Adios?

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

I spent Monday traversing the highways and byways and ... other things made of concrete in Northern Virginia to capture some of the gubernatorial race between Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe. No SlatePitches to be found—Cuccinelli was working his base, while McAuliffe was bringing out popular Democrats and emphasizing that he'd be as busy and mainstream as high-speed rail if he won the election.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

It so happened that during the McAuliffe rally, the final Washington Post poll on the election came out and gave the Democrat a 12-point lead. In 2009 that poll had given Bob McDonnell an 11-point lead, actually underrating the rout he'd win.

Advertisement

But since then, Quinnipiac has released its final survey, telling readers that the race is "going down to the wire" with a 45–41 McAuliffe lead.* That's closer than the last, 46–39 lead; it's enough, if you're Cuccinelli, to hope that the other polls are wrong, all the Libertarian voters come "home," and the candidate who has not cracked 41 percent in any three-way poll all year will win. I see that Politico calls the race a "nailbiter." This will probably be enough for the press, with no horse race to cover in New York or New Jersey, to hold off on the full Cuccinelli obit for six days.

*Quinnipiac also demonstrates a peeve of mine, finding a 47–45 McAuliffe lead in a Libertarian-free race, and calling that "too close to call." People: You do not "call" an election based on a poll. You would not say that the New Jersey governor's race, which Chris Christie is now winning by a 2–1 margin, can be "called." Although it sort of can be. You wait for the votes.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.