Virginia women could decide governor’s race

Terry McAuliffe on stage at the Friday Night Jamboree.
Terry McAuliffe on stage at the Friday Night Jamboree.
Terry McAuliffe on stage at the Friday Night Jamboree.

From an Associated Press story today by Philip Elliott and Ken Thomas:

Women may hold the key in Virginia’s slash-and-burn race for governor, rendering a final judgment on a campaign marked by fights over social issues.

Democrats have not relented in their criticism of Republican Ken Cuccinelli’s positions on abortion, women’s reproductive health and even divorce, and it’s taken a toll, especially among female voters. Polls show Cuccinelli consistently struggling to connect with women in his race against Democratic Terry McAuliffe.

Heading into Tuesday’s election, the cash-poor Cuccinelli campaign is trying to set the record straight at every stop, with the state attorney general telling allies, “The truth is our friend here.”

The timeline is not.

In the race’s waning days, Cuccinelli is essentially silent in paid television ads.

He plans to urge supporters to tell their neighbors, especially women, that he’s a better candidate for them. The former state senator talks about his wife and daughters at every chance, and how he formed the first sexual assault-prevention group when he was an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, after his roommate was a victim.

But time is running out. He’s facing a massive deficit on campaign advertising, and he was outspent by a margin of 25-to-1 for most of the week. A late-week ad buy cut in that, making it a 10-1 margin.

Polls show major hurdles with female voters. A Quinnipiac University poll last week found women backing McAuliffe by 50 percent to 37 percent. An earlier Washington Post poll showed Cuccinelli trailing among women, 34 percent to 58 percent.

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