November 8, 2013
McAuliffe’s Narrow Victory Comes in Spite of Bloomberg’s “help”
Victory has a thousand fathers, as the saying goes, while defeat is always an orphan. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making sure everyone knows he has a claim for paternity when it comes to the narrow victory won by Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s gubernatorial race.
Bloomberg hit the cable-news airwaves the day after the Virginia election to argue McAuliffe’s narrow victory was proof the state’s voters were swayed by the $1.2 million he spent on TV advertisements pushing gun control measures during the last days of the race.
There’s just one problem. In the two weeks after Bloomberg got involved in the race by airing wildly misleading ads, Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli made a tight, competitive race out of what once looked to be a blowout. When Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC started airing ads that earned three Pinocchios from the Washington Post, McAuliffe was up 10 points in the polls and seemed on his way to an easy victory. By the time the final votes were counted, McAuliffe ended up winning by less than three percent. McAuliffe actually trailed Cuccinelli for much of the night on Election Day. This chart helps tell the tale.
According to NBC News’ Chuck Todd, some Democrats were pointing fingers at Bloomberg for the vanishing margin of victory. “Already heard from one nat’l Dem who quietly worries that Bloomberg’s gun ads late were not helpful and added to closeness” of the race, Todd tweeted on Election Night.
Now, to be fair, Bloomberg’s involvement and the Nanny Mayor’s gun control politics were likely not the only reason the race tightened. The botched launch of another big-government intrusion into people’s personal lives – Obamacare – played a significant role as well. In the “small world” category, the Washington Times notes that the same vendor responsible for the Obamacare website was also responsible for Canada’s hugely expensive gun registry, which was also riddled with errors.
Considering McAuliffe had a huge money advantage in the final weeks, and anti-gun organizations outspent the organizations like NSSF and the NRA by a 4-1 margin, the closeness of the race underscores voters’ repudiation of the big government agendas of Bloomberg and Obama.
Few Democrats walked away from the tight Virginia election feeling overly exuberant. But given Bloomberg’s track record – embarrassing defeats in the Colorado State Senate recall elections, losing members of MAIG over the summer, and having his overreaching nanny-state health agenda found unconstitutional – he’s happy to post a win any way he can get it. Even if he was the reason it almost became a loss.