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VIRGINIA SQUEAKER SENDS SHIVERS THROUGH DEMS - Vulnerable Democrats must have watched in dismay as Democrat Terry McAuliffe barely clung to victory on Tuesday. Having spent three times more money than his rival and with the backing of his popular patrons, Bill and Hillary Clinton, McAulliffe was breezing to victory just three weeks ago. But his once-stout lead in the polls over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli nearly vanished as voter outrage over the crash landing of ObamaCare nearly wrecked the race. A double-digit lead turned into a three-point scrape. Exit polls showed intense opposition to ObamaCare that helped Cuccinelli, who was written off by the national GOP and who had to lug along the scandal-plagued administration of Republican incumbent Gov. Bob McDonnell.
[Watch Fox: Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, previews Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ Senate hearing in the 9 a.m. ET hour]
Exit strategy - It looks like if Cuccinelli had another week to tag McAuliffe for his unflinching support of President Obama’s unpopular new entitlement, the race might have ended differently. What if he would have had another year? That’s the reality facing vulnerable Democrats on the 2014 election cycle. As Republican candidates without Cuccinelli’s structural problems contemplate months and months of public frustrations with administrative failures, cancelled policies and premium spikes, the path to a Senate majority starts to look a little clearer as the fortunes of Democrats in red states and swing states continues to dim.