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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Bob Holsworth
Turnout in Virginia's gubernatorial election appeared to be higher than some predictions, countering conventional wisdom that says negative campaigns depress voter participation.
In April, the gubernatorial campaigns of Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II were asked if they would provide videotaped responses to five questions from high school students across Virginia. But two weeks ago, Mr. McAuliffe abruptly backed out.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II could be getting their last, best chance to sway undecided Virginia voters Wednesday when they take the stage in a prime-time, televised debate hosted by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce.
The word Virginia voters most commonly associate with their gubernatorial candidates is "dishonest," according to poll results released Thursday that offer a glimpse into the collateral damage inflicted by the candidates' negative campaigns.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe, struggling to create a positive image for himself in Virginia's governor race, is setting the stage to shift the dirty work of negative advertising this fall to others.
She's been keeping a low profile, but Republicans say Hillary Rodham Clinton's potential presidential ambitions can only be hurt by the heavily covered recent stories involving her scandal-plagued friend Anthony D. Weiner's sexcapades in New York and her close confidant Terry McAuliffe's tangles with federal regulators over a former business enterprise.
Virginia Republicans started the 2013 gubernatorial campaign with ambitious plans to paint Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe as an ethically challenged Washington money man tied to many of the Clinton-era scandals.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell likely didn't quell a Republican backlash against him with a series of late-night amendments he added to legislation passed during the General Assembly session. But, analysts say, he also probably didn't make things much worse.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell faces some difficult decisions when it comes time to sign bills passed during this year's General Assembly, including whether to sign or amend a transportation bill that riled conservatives and could further alienate some members of his own party.
Virginia Democrats had finally picked up momentum in the 2012 General Assembly session after helping beat back two high-profile abortion-related bills — momentum that last week's standoff over budget issues threatens to halt.
Democrats on Thursday night voted in lock step against the Senate's budget proposal, and the topic du jour quickly shifted from "personhood" and ultrasounds to obstructionism and petty partisan politics, threatening to obliterate the party's potentially short-lived swagger after a string of disappointing electoral defeats.
Liberals won a long-fought victory in Maryland, passing a bill Thursday that would make the state the eighth in the nation to approve gay marriage, while across the Potomac River, Republicans backpedaled for the second time in a week on major abortion-related legislation.
President Obama's sinking job-approval rating in Virginia is so far having no impact on poll numbers for Senate candidate and close Obama ally Tim Kaine, despite Republican attempts to link the two together as their 2012 campaigns grind into gear.
Two years since Terry McAuliffe's quest for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination was thwarted by voters who viewed him as a carpetbagger out of touch with grass-roots Virginia, the multimillionaire entrepreneur is quietly mounting a second bid for the Democratic nomination for Virginia governor.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine announced on Tuesday a campaign for the U.S. Senate that promises to break spending records, become fiercely competitive and capture national attention.
"The fact that it's a little higher than expected, I think this election might show two things: Negative campaigns can have an impact on results, and it doesn't necessarily depress the turnout," said Bob Holsworth, a former Virginia Commonwealth University professor and longtime observer of state politics. "The constant barrage reminded people there's an election today."
Mr. Holsworth said he also had seen fewer public events with Mr. Cuccinelli in the past few weeks than he would expect in such a race.