4 encouraging takeaways for conservatives from Tuesday's elections

The ruling class in both parties will have to do much more before they get to write the Tea Party’s obituary  Photo: Tea Party/ AP

HOUSTON, November 8, 2013 - Despite the fact that Ken Cuccenilli, a principled conservative, had his hopes of becoming the next governor of Virginia dashed by the Republican establishment while Chris Christie, the RINO du jour waltzed to an easy landslide victory in deep blue New Jersey, there is more reason for encouragement for constitutionalists than the mainstream media would have the public believe. The following four facts should provide serious motivation for constitutionalists going into 2014 and 2016.


SEE RELATED: Republican establishment sabotages Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia


1. Moderate Chris Christie is NOT a strong national candidate.  

Following Christie’s nearly 20 point victory on Tuesday the national media have all but coronated him as the 2016 Republican nominee for president. The argument is that if Christie can win with such a wide margin in deep blue New Jersey, he will be able to beat Democrats in any state. Additionally, Democrat and Republican pundits, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, continue to spout the lie that Republicans must nominate a moderate in order to win. These assertions overlook some very critical facts, however.


SEE RELATED: GOP civil war: The Battle of Virginia


First, there is absolutely no evidence that a moderate Republican can win a national election, as the losses of Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt “the only one who can win” Romney clearly indicate. Ronald Reagan, the last Republican who was truly a conservative to run for president, won 44 states in 1980 and 49 states in 1984 (losing Minnesota by less than 3,000 votes). The echo chamber from the mainstream media also told him he could never win.

Secondly, on a day that Chris Christie won over 60% of the vote in New Jersey, an exit poll still showed him losing to Hillary Clinton in a prospective matchup for President by a total of 6 points, 49-43. When considering nominating Christie for president, this is the most critical number from the entire night.

2. Conservatives and Tea Partiers do have universal appeal

One of the major themes the media and the Republican establishment are constantly repeating is that Tea Party candidates and constitutionalists cannot win the all-important independent vote, and that is why the GOP needs to nominate a moderate. Ken Cuccenilli, whom Democrats branded as an extremist in an avalanche of attack ads leading up to the election won independents by a   margin of 9 points, 48-39.

3. There is no denying it or hiding it anymore; The GOP establishment is dead set on destroying the Tea Party and the conservative movement at any and all costs.

According to the Washington Post, Cuccenilli’s campaign manager told them that the national party did not donate one penny after October 1st, the same day that the incredible failure that is healthcare.gov rolled out. This was an absolutely critical time in the election, in an election that Cuccenilli would eventually lose by about 50,000 votes, with 37% of total turnout. In his concession speech Cuccinelli said that his campaign was outspent 15 to 1, despite Cuccenilli matching the same fundraising total that moderate Republican candidate and victor, Bob McDonnell, raised in his 2009 bid for governor.

The national party spent 9 million dollars to support Bob McDonnell in his successful bid for governor of Virginia in 2009, which he won by 17%. They spent less than 3 million in this race. The Chamber of Commerce spent over one million dollars to support Bob McDonnell in 2009 and did not spend a dime in support of Cuccinelli. Governor McDonnell’s Lieutenant Governor, Bill Bolling, refused to endorse Cuccenilli and repeatedly badmouthed him to the press. Chris Christie refused  to campaign for him, even when his victory was a certainty. George Will, establishment GOP mouthpiece and columnist for the Washington Post, wrote an article titled “Cuccenelli is far from the best choice for Virginia,” and endorsed the third party candidate, who had no chance at victory. There was a concerted effort on the part of the GOP establishment to make sure the Tea Party did not get credit for this victory, even if that meant delivering a critical swing state to the Democrats.

4. Obamacare will be an albatross around the neck of every Democrat come 2014 and 2016.

Starting on October 1, Obamacare was rolled out. The exchanges still do not work, the website is a national joke, and tens of millions of Americans are getting cancellation notices from their insurance companies. These facts completely changed the trajectory of the Virginia governor’s race. In just over thirty days Cuccenillli made up close to ten points in the polls. That is unbelievable, considering the national party did not donate one penny from October 1 on, and according to him, he was outspent 15-to-1 in the final month.

Cuccenilli was the first attorney general to file suit against Obamacare. If the GOP had won this race, it would’ve been seen as a referendum on Obamacare and scared the daylights out of the Democrats up for re-election in red states next year. Unfortunately, the GOP establishment made it clear that their first and foremost priority is to destroy the conservative movement.

The fact that this is now out in the open, before the establishment can sucker punch the conservative movement in the midterm elections next year will guarantee that the conservative movement will be ready for this sabotage in the future. 

The ruling class in both parties hoping to write the Tea Party’s obituary following these elections will not be very happy come 2014 and beyond. Democrats and their RINO partners expected a MUCH larger victory for the Democrat in Virginia, especially with the third party candidate siphoning off 7% of Cuccenilli’s vote, and the national GOP starving Cuccenilli for money at the time that could’ve easily swayed the race. All things considered, Cuccenilli lost by a mere 3.5%.

The message to take from these elections, regardless of what the mainstream media professes, is that the Tea Party is as strong as ever and is not going away. The GOP establishment should not take the conservative vote for granted. To think that conservatives will back moderate, establishment candidates in the future when conservative candidates get trashed by the establishment is very foolish. The establishment should be very careful trashing and sabotaging conservatives in the future – or risk going the way of the Whigs.   


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James Richard Edwards

James R. Edwards is a medical malpractice defense attorney in Houston, Tx. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree from LSU (Geaux Tigers!) in Psychology and subsequently went on to attend the University of Houston Law Center. James became interested in politics in law school because of the consistent and oppressive disgust and revulsion shown by the staff and Professors for the Constitution and for America in general. He is a tireless advocate for federalism and minimizing the impact the federal government has on all of our lives. 

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