Sunday, April 28, 2013

Behind the Ad: Ken Cuccinelli tries to define himself as not crazy in Virginia

By Richard K. Barry

Who: Ken Cuccinelli campaign for governor

Where: Virginia

What's going on: Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II has an awful record on social issues (think trying to stop prohibitions on gay discrimination at state schools, mandatory ultrasounds, etc.). Even right-wing journalist Jennifer Rubin agrees that his record is precisely the kind of thing Democrats mean when they talk about the right's war on women.

Thus, as Rubin writes, it isn't surprising that Cuccinelli's first ad is "anticipatory defensive,' with his wife trying to make the case that he has actually done some women-friendly things.

Part of Cuccinelli's game plan has to be to convince women and Northern Virginia moderates that he is not a radical conservative.

His opponent is former Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe.

Brian Coy, a spokesman for the Democratic Party of Virginia, responded to the ad:

Ken Cuccinelli’s attempts to paper over his extreme record won’t distract Virginians from his attacks on women’s health, his radical politicization of his taxpayer-funded office or his shady conflict of interest with Star Scientific. Just this week, Cuccinelli’s real agenda as Attorney General was clear as his effort to shut down women’s health clinics in the Commonwealth began to take effect.”

A recent poll conducted by Roanoke College* shows Cuccinelli leading McAuliffe by a 34 to 29 percent margin, though more than a third of Virginians are undecided. 

(Cross-posted at Phantom Public.)
*Interviewing for The Roanoke College Poll was conducted by The Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College in Salem, Va. between April 8 and April 14, 2013. A total of 629 Virginia residents were interviewed. The sample of land lines and cell phones was prepared by Survey Sampling Inc. of Fairfield, Conn. and was created so that all cell phone and residential telephone numbers, including unlisted numbers, had a known chance of inclusion. Cell phones constituted 23 percent of the completed interviews.

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