The Ads Continue To Roll Out

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With only five days left in the governor’s race, the candidates are continuing to release television ads in an attempt to get the last minute votes. Both candidates are trying to paint themselves as the best choice for Virginia.

An ad released by Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe quotes many newspapers saying great, inspiring things about him, like “More capable of governing effectively,” and “Virginia will remain open, tolerant and pragmatic, friendly to business and committed to job growth.” McAuliffe is trying to paint himself as Virginia’s hero and portrays his opponent Republican Ken Cuccinelli as dark, evil and uncaring.

Cuccinelli’s spokeswoman, Anna Nix, said in an email to The Washington Post, “He’s done this because he lacks a positive vision for Virginia’s future or a single credible plan to move the Commonwealth forward. Ken Cuccinelli, by contrast, is the only candidate with a record of fighting for Virginia and the only candidate with serious plans to create 58,000 jobs and ease tax burdens by $700 for every Virginia family.”

Meanwhile, Cuccinelli’s ad highlights what makes him different from McAuliffe and doesn’t try to excuse his conservative views, but instead explains why they’re the only option for Virginia. The commercial states, “Terry McAuliffe – expand Obamacare, increase taxes. Ken Cuccinelli – create jobs, cut taxes. To stop Obamacare and higher taxes, there’s only one choice.”

In response to that, McAuliffe’s spokesman Josh Schwerin said, “Terry, on the other hand, is committed to governing in a fiscally responsible way, and will invest in our education systems so all Virginians have access to quality education. Ken Cuccinelli’s false and desperate attacks may appeal to his extreme Tea Party base, but they won’t fool mainstream Virginians who want a governor focused on creating jobs and keeping Virginia competitive for future generations.”

The polls are all over the place and, with five days left in the race, it’s almost impossible to determine just how far ahead Terry McAuliffe is. These last minute attacks are getting deep and personal, which brings up the question of whether or not it will ultimately change the anticipated outcome. 

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Three Different Polls, Three Different Answers

With just six days left in the governor’s race, public opinion polls from all over the state have varying statistics on the voters. Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe is definitely in the lead, but by exactly how much? CNN posted an article earlier today on about the conflicting public opinion polls.

The Quinnipiac University Poll showed McAuliffe as only have a slight 4 percent lead on his Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli by a 45%-41% vote. As the race has come to a close, McAuliffe’s advantage has gone down from a previous 7 percent.

The Roanoke College Poll shows McAuliffe having a 14-point lead over Cuccinelli, 46%-31%. This is a huge leap from Quinnipiac’s poll and brings up the question of validity. The last poll is the Washington Post/Abt SRBI survey, which we reported on in yesterday’s article, which shows McAuliffe having a 12-point lead on Cuccinelli, 51%-39%.

Terry McAuliffe definitely has the lead but with these varying numbers it’s hard to gauge just how far ahead he really is. According to all the surveys, McAuliffe leads with women while Cuccinelli leads with men. It’s now going to become crucial for each of the candidates to pick up the votes of the people who support Libertarian candidate, Robert Sarvis.

In the CNN article, Dr. Harry Wilson, director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research says, “At this point, Cuccinelli has to hope that voting for him is a much stronger motivator than voting against him. McAuliffe’s comparatively lower ratings on honesty and intelligence do not suggest that voters are enamored of him. As many voters anecdotally told our interviewers, he is the ‘lesser of the evils’.”

It’s almost impossible to really know where the two candidates lie with only six days left in the race and we’ll just have to wait and see what ultimately happens at the polls.

Is this the End for Ken Cuccinelli?

According to the Daily Kos, the final polls seem to show Republican Ken Cuccinelli falling below Democrat Terry McAuliffe, with a score of 51-39. Among women, McAuliffe leads 58-34 and this could greatly be attributed to Cuccinelli’s social conservatism and his stances on issues that significantly affect women.

Terry McAuliffe has raised a more compelling amount of money with $1.6 million left on hand, while Cuccinelli only has $604,000. By having more money, McAuliffe and his campaign team have been able to create more TV advertisements attacking his opponent, which could be a huge factor as to why the numbers have jumped so much in his favor.

It’s been nine years since the governor of Virginia has been from the same party of the President. If McAuliffe wins this race, like it’s looking, the long streak will end. McAuliffe shouldn’t feel too good though because in one of the questions in the poll it asks, “Is your vote for McAuliffe or more against Cuccinelli?” and 64% said it’s against Cuccinelli, which means McAuliffe still might not be as liked as he thinks.

In the Lt. Governor’s race, it also looks like the Democrats are going to win, with Ralph Northam ahead of E.W. Jackson with a score of 52-39. In the attorney general race, looking to take over for Ken Cuccinelli, Mark Herring (D) is also leading Mark Obenshain 49-46 as of Monday’s recent polls.

It looks like the Democrats are going to take over in every race and we’ll see if this final week can change anything for the Republicans.

Clinton Takes on Virginia

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With barely a week left in the governor’s race, Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe, has brought former president and long-time friend Bill Clinton along for a final four-day, nine-stop tour in Virginia.

By now, both of the nominees have seemed to their likely voters, and McAuliffe wanted to bring Clinton along to make sure of that. For an election that is this close, it is imperative that both nominees get everyone out to vote, especially the ones who haven’t made up their mind yet and could be swing votes that could ultimately determine the outcome.

The polls have shown McAuliffe ahead of his Republican opponent, Ken Cuccinelli, for quite some time now and bringing Clinton along to Richmond is a strategy to help him stay in that number one spot.

As we know, McAuliffe and Cuccinelli are polar opposites on almost every issue they would have to face, and in an article written by The Raw Story, Clinton was quoted as saying, “Debate is good. We should all have our philosophies and our general outlook, but if we become ideological, then we’re blind to evidence. We can only hear people who already agree with us. … You can choose that course here. But I was governor for 12 years and president for eight years and I can tell you that is doesn’t work.”

In an article published by Politico, spokeswoman for Cuccinelli, Anna Nix, said, “It’s not surprising that Terry McAuliffe, who has been unable to present a positive case for Virginia’s future and whose campaign has been nothing but negative and false attacks, needs folks like President Clinton to speak for him.”

Clinton’s tour with McAuliffe should be done later today and it will be interesting to see what the last week of the race will be like for both candidates.

The Candidates’ Stances on Education

With two weeks left in the election, it’s not surprising at all that the two gubernatorial candidates are butting heads once again. This time, they’re disagreeing about education, specifically charter schools. A charter school receives public funding but functions privately and this raises a lot of discussion when talking about funding and where the money should go in the school system.

Ken Cuccinelli (R) wants to help both charter and private schools in Virginia compete with the surrounding public schools. In a radio interview with 105.9 WMAL, Cuccinelli says, “We have kids trapped in areas where they can’t succeed. The only quick way to salvage those kids’ education is to put it in the control of their parents.”

The legislation that he wants to pass would give the State Board of Education the right to approve charter schools instead of the local districts. By doing this, public funds would go to private schools and act as scholarships or tax credits that would let parents take their kids out of public schools and transfer them to private schools if they wanted to. He wants to make it possible for more children to be able to have alternatives to public school.

On the other hand, Terry McAuliffe would like to see more spending on public education and a rise in teachers’ salaries. In an article published by The Washington Post, he said, “It’s time to restore and fully fund the standards of quality.”

There is one thing the two candidates both agree on though: getting rid of the Standards of Learning tests, which measure what each students learns in each grade. Standardized testing is becoming a major issue all over the country and at least these two men are able to see eye-to-eye on something!

Ken Cuccinelli Partners with Fellow Republican Paul Ryan

Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial nominee, Ken Cuccinelli, has been falling behind his opponent, Terry McAuliffe (D), in the polls and has been struggling to make last minute attempts to jump ahead of him with less than two weeks left in the race.

On Tuesday, Cuccinelli teamed up with Wisconsin representative, Paul Ryan (R), to continue bashing the Affordable Care Act. They called out McAuliffe on his plans for Medicaid and, in an article published by The Washington Post, Ryan was quoted as saying, “This is like budget pixie dust claiming that this money is all of a sudden going to come raining in from Washington and pay for all the things you want to do in state government,” Ryan told reporters. “It’s just not so. It’s misleading.”

Both Cuccinelli and Ryan have also publicly asked President Obama to fire Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sibelious, for causing all of the problems with the law’s online enrollment system.

Ken Cuccinelli is taking these final two weeks as the time to really show the difference between him and Terry McAuliffe on these important issues. He stated, “This is a critical issue in our campaign. It’s probably one of the top issues, and that is the difference between Terry McAuliffe — on Obamacare and health care in general — and myself.”

McAuliffe has openly supported and advocated for expanding Medicaid in the state of Virginia because it will lower health care insurance for families who can’t afford it, open up thousands of jobs and save the state of Virginia millions of dollars.

It seems like Cuccinelli is going to focus on this issue for the next two weeks and hope that he can persuade the people of Virginia to elect him as their next governor.

It’s Almost Halloween!

For all you Halloween lovers in Virginia, we hope you’re planning some safe and fun activities for this weekend! Here are some ideas in a couple of areas:

Coastal Virginia – Hampton Roads

Shenandoah Valley

Central Virginia

Northern Virginia

  • Fields of Fear, Oct. 26-27, Nov. 1-2 – Centreville – Cox Farm is filled with haunted cornfields, hayrides, bonfires, snacks, and more! Not recommended for children under 12. An adult must accompany all children under 14. $$
  • Spirits of Rippon Lodge, Oct. 25-26 – Woodbridge – Tour of the haunted house and grounds. $$
  • Haunted Happenings, Oct. 26 – Manassas – Trick or treat through Old Town Manassas. There will be games and costume contests.
  • Town Center Trick-or-Treat, Oct. 27 – Ashburn – Welcome Center provides snacks and is open to the public.

Chesapeake Bay

  • Kilmarnock Kandy for Kids, Oct. 31 – Kilmarnock – FREE trick-or-treating event in downtown Kilmarnock on Main St. for children of all ages.

Blue Ridge Highlands

Heart of Appalachia

Democrats Continue to Release Television Ads

On Tuesday morning, the Democrats running for lieutenant governor and attorney general both released more TV ads to help themselves in attempts to hopefully give them a final push in the last two weeks of their election races.

Senator Ralph Northam (D), who is running for lieutenant governor against Republican minister E.W. Jackson, released an ad that highlighted Northam’s personal side  and showed some of his accomplishments in the military and as a pediatric neurologist.

In the ad he says, “I have treated wounded soldiers and children with brain injuries. I believe in service, especially to those who have fought for our freedom, and to those who are our future.”

Jackson and his campaign team declined to comment about the ad, but The Washington Post quotes a fundraising letter from the minister: “Make no mistake my friends, electing Ralph Northam would be a disaster for Virginia.”

In a separate race to succeed Ken Cuccinelli as attorney general, Democratic nominee, state Senator Mark Herring, released an ad that seemed to directly target his opponent, Sen. Mark D. Obenshain (R).

In the ad, Herring highlights all of the times Obenshain has made comments Herring thinks will be bad for Virginia. Herring’s ad also directly ties him to Ken Cuccinelli, who is the Republican nominee running for governor. He says, “Obenshain and Cuccinelli: When you focus on their record it’s clear they’re wrong for Virginia.”

In response, Paul Logan, Obenshain’s spokesman, was quoted in that same Washington Post article as saying, “Mark Herring is engaged in the same negative politics as usual that has him down in the polls, behind in fundraising, and without a positive reason for voters to support him.”

The governor’s race is not the only election race in Virginia that is heating up with less than two weeks to go. Will these ads by Ralph Northam and Mark Herring hurt their chances at winning or will it secure their spot?

McAuliffe Launches Two New Ads

With only two weeks left in the Virginia governor race, Democratic nominee, Terry McAuliffe, is holding nothing back. He is continuing to create television ads that stab at his opponent Ken Cuccinelli (R), in an attempt to give him a leg up in the race.

The first ad features former delegate Vince Callahan, who is endorsing McAuliffe even though he is the longest-serving Republican in state House history. He also came forward and supported the Democrat in March along with two other retired republican delegates, Jim Dillard from Fairfax County and Katherine Waddell of Richmond.

Callahan says in the video, “We need someone to oversee our state who is committed to keeping Virginia on the right track. That’s why I cannot support Ken Cuccinelli. I want an independent Governor who focuses on jobs and works with everyone to do what’s best for Virginia.”

In the second ad, Senator Timothy Kaine addresses the public in Spanish and called McAuliffe a “strong supporter of the Hispanic community” and also mentioned how he supports the DREAM Act with “his entire soul.”

In an article published by The Washington Post, Cuccinelli’s spokeswoman, Anna Nix, called Terry McAuliffe out by saying his “campaign promises would raise taxes on the average Hispanic family by $1,700 each year. Ken Cuccinelli, by contrast, has detailed plans that would create 58,000 new jobs and save Virginia families $700 a year by lowering the individual income tax rate and closing special interest tax loopholes.”

It’s going to be interesting to see if Cuccinelli and his team create an ad in response to these and fire back at the Democrat. There are less than two weeks left in this race and the debate is only continuing to heat up.

Ken Cuccinelli Speaks About Public Transportation

There are only two weeks left in the Virginia governor’s race and Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli has presented the state with his plan for public transportation. He would like to give the county and local governments most of the control over what happens to their roads, instead of leaving it in the hands of the state. With the Clintons’ recent endorsement of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, it’s no surprise that he is trying to get a final push in the race.

Like almost every other issue that has been brought up during this election year, the two candidates have vastly different opinions on what to do with the transportation system. While Cuccinelli wants to give control to the local governments, McAuliffe would like to keep Richmond as the fundamental role and hold the state responsible for secondary roads.

Cuccinelli wants local governments to be the one’s assigning projects and figuring out what is priority for their county. Congestion and road capacity are two major problems that come with secondary roads and he would like the locals to decide how to deal with them. VDOT’s responsibilities would go down and the counties would start to take over.

Bob Chase, president of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, was quoted in an article published by The Washington Post as saying, “If there’s not a lot of secondary-road money available, there’s not a lot of incentive for local buy-in. Devolving secondary-road decision-making doesn’t guarantee money will be well spent. All politics are local. The fact that some local residents are pleased with some projects that help them does not mean money is well spent.

Will Cuccinelli be spending the state’s money wisely if he wins and goes through with this plan? With two weeks left, is this going to be enough of a final push for him to win?