Shutdown an instant factor in 2013 elections
October 1st, 2013
09:42 AM ET
9 years ago

Shutdown an instant factor in 2013 elections

Updated 10/1/2013 at 1:36pm

(CNN) - The federal government shutdown is playing out immediately on the campaign trail.

In Virginia, which holds a gubernatorial election in five weeks, the campaigns of Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and businessman and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe are both trying to use the shutdown, which began at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, to their advantage.

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"As our nation is on the brink, Ken Cuccinelli’s silence has made it clear that he fully supports his extreme Tea Party allies' efforts to shut down the government in an effort to advance their own ideological agenda," said McAuliffe spokesperson Josh Schwerin, in an email blasted to reporters Monday evening.

And the campaign put out a web video that describes how 150,000 Virginians could be furloughed and then showcases a clip of McAuliffe saying, "Ken Cuccinelli needs to explain why he will not speak out to protect Virginia's jobs."

Cuccinelli was elected in 2009 with the strong support of tea party activists and he's become a darling of the grassroots conservative moment, which is fueling support for the push by GOP lawmakers in the House to defund or dismantle the new health care law. That drive, and the pushback by Senate Democrats and President Obama, led to the political game of chicken that resulted in the shutdown of the federal government.

The Cuccinelli campaign went up Tuesday with digital ads intended to reach federal workers who live in Northern Virginia. The ads drive towards a campaign video that the campaign says exposes McAuliffe for "threatening multiple times to shut down Virginia's government if the state lawmakers don't expand Medicaid."

An email release from the Cuccinelli campaign also says "McAuliffe will side 'with Democrats who refuse to bargin' in the federal shutdown fight."

The most recent public opinion polls indicate McAuliffe with a single digit advantage over Cuccinelli in the November gubernatorial election.

The winner will succeed lame duck GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell, who on Monday pushed back at Republican lawmakers in Washington.

"It's just not a good idea," McDonnell said during a press conference in Richmond.

"The primary solution is democracy. It's called the ballot box. That's how you resolve these issues. You don't shut down government and have the people that depend on government suffer because that's really what will happen," added McDonnell, according to press reports.

Virginia and New Jersey are the only two states to hold gubernatorial elections in the year following a presidential contest, and the campaign in the Commonwealth, a highly contested purple state, is considered by many to be a barometer of what may unfold in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

In New Jersey, where a special U.S. Senate election is just two weeks away, the campaign of Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the Democratic nominee, uses a clip of GOP Republican nominee Steve Lonegan saying "yeah, I'm a right wing radical." The spot, which the Booker campaign says will run in the New York City, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City, also says Lonegan favors shutting down the government.

Polls indicate that Booker holds a double digit lead over Lonegan, the former mayor of the northern New Jersey town of Bogota. The winner of the October 16 contest will fill the remainder of the term of the late Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

Filed under: Cory Booker • Ken Cuccinelli • New Jersey • Steve Lonegan • Terry McAuliffe • Virginia
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Sonny Ourai

    If the veterans and other "so call non assential" part of the government not getting paid! Why are the politians getting paid to do absolutely nothing!

    October 1, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Rudy NYC


    A True Conservative
    Perhaps you can remind us of the world changing things canada has given to the world......I'm waiting.....

    Hockey. No need to wait any longer for more. There are none
    How could both of you have forgotten about the Keystone Pipeline?

    October 1, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Deena Wagemann

    Call the DC office of your representative now. Don't post to any forum until you let your representative know what you think. If as many people contacted them as posted then they just might listen. I suggest you call the DC office. I did.

    October 1, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. Sonny Ourai

    Get rid of all the lawyers and all the frivolous law suits, Heath care will be affordable. get rid of the greety bussiness people life would be more affordable.

    October 1, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. Robert Neeley

    I'm all for the shutdown, spending needs to be cut. This president needs to stop taking vacations and manage spending of tax payers dollars.

    October 1, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. sonny chapman

    Since 1968, the Repubs. Political Strategy was to make "Liberal" a dirty word & hang it around the neck of all Dems.(even though the Spiritual Founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, as found in the Four Gospels, was the Greatest Liberal of 'Em All). Now, the Dem Strategy is to hang the label, "Tea Party" around the necks of all Repubs. Karma is hell.

    October 1, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |

    The Republicans are so terrified that Obamacare is going to be a great success that they cannot focus on any of the other issues at hand. How many millions of dollars have they cost taxpayers trying to repeal the ACA? Now they are holding the country hostage. It would be my guess that many of these Republicans constituents are the conservative poor who have no insurance and will indeed benefit from the ACA but cannot support anything this President is behind, even if they could potentially bebefit. Maybe some of the Republican flock will wake up and we can vote these losers out in the upcoming elections.

    October 1, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Vince

    I'm loving the shutdown! Keep it going! The GOP didn't learn its lesson in the 2012 elections and that's just fine with me! They can kiss the senate goodbye after this!

    October 1, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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