TAMPA – A crowning gem on President Obama’s 2008 victory was his victory in Virginia, a state won by the Republican GOP nominee in every presidential election since 1968, and 13 of the previous 14. Today, we sat down with Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli at the Republican National Convention, and asked him about Virginia in 2012.
“There’s no wave this year,” Cuccinelli said. “This is going to be fought out state-by-state. And I think Democrats are going to have a very hard time holding Virginia.”
He pointed out that over the past 25 years, we’ve seen Republicans winning big and Democrats barely winning — the highest Dem vote percentage was Mark Warner’s 52.2% in 2001. The lowest of the GOP winners was Jim Gilmore at 55.8%, while McDonnell and Allen both beat 58%.
As far as 2008, Cuccinelli attributed that to a national Democratic wave, which he said won’t happen this year.
Contra Cuccinelli’s evidence, I’d look at the top-tier state-wide elections (U.S. Senate, Governor, and President) since 2005, Democrats have won four of those five races. A major factor has been Northern Virginia’s tack to the Dems.
Cuccinelli chalked this NoVa shift up to the growth in government bringing in workers for the federal government or government-dependent industries. “They are obviously, generally, pro-federal-government. And that tends to be pro-Democrat instead of Republican.” See the video above for the AG’s discussion of Northern Virginia’s political moves.
While granting this progression, Cuccinelli argued that Obama can’t win by enough in NoVa to carry the state.
They’re just not getting the traction for the swamping win they are going to need in Northern Virginia. I don’t see it happening. I live in Northern Virginia. I grew up in Northern Virginia. I’ve seen it happen in some races and not in others. And it’s not happening here. They’ve got to win so big in Northern Virginia to overcome the rest of the state.”