It’s over. At about 10 p.m., the AP called the Virginia gubernatorial race for Terry McAuliffe, the former DNC chair and prolific party fundraiser who will assume elected office for the first time in January. McAuliffe outspent Cuccinelli throughout the campaign, and, per the Washington Post, put more than twice as much money into TV ads from October 28 to November 3 than Cuccinelli did – $705,000 to $285,000.
Still, the race was closer than many expected a few weeks ago, when some polls showed the Democrat with a double-digit lead, during the government shutdown. Publicly, Republicans blame dirty Democratic politics, a glut of outside spending in McAuliffe’s favor, and a third-party spoiler who never should have been a factor (libertarian Robert Sarvis). Behind the scenes, though, the message is a little different; many Republican insiders tell National Review Online the blame should go to Cuccinelli’s resounding defeat in the fundraising game and to his campaign operation, which some charge was poorly run.