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. Data Driven

    Instant factor? Really? I see no change here. Cuccinelli's supporters will support Cuccinelli; McAuliffe's supporters will support McAuliffe.

    Try harder, CNN.

    October 1, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  2. Wake up People!

    I'm taking a vacation day that day so that I can take as many people to the polls as possible. Starting the moment they open. It's time to send all of these gun loving traitors home.

    Their America where every American over 4 can have as many guns as they like, where every day old fetus has rights at least until they are born, but where only the wealthy deserve health care.

    What a wonderful place.

    October 1, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    We Virginians are not voting for that ideologue Cuccinneli. The man is more extreme than McDonnell. Not to mention that he's just as corrupt as McDonnell. Our minds were made about Cooch way before this shutdown began.

    October 1, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

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

    What does a "single digit advantage" mean? 1%? ... 2%? ... 3%? ... 5%? ... 7%%? ... 8%?

    October 1, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. Wake up People!

    I'm not referring to the VA election, I'm referring to next years btw.

    October 1, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. Wow

    The American people do not have to except this garbage! Both parties are to blame for the shutdown. WE THE PEOPLE need to vote everyone out of office. I know that sounds crazy but People we can do better than this. These senators are being voted back into office every term we their same agenda Republicans and Democrats.

    October 1, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Silence DoGood

    After watching the whole Dem-Repub circus, I wish the American voter would do the same thing you do when your laptop is seized up. Reboot with NEW political parties!

    October 1, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota


    So, it is the Senators, not the House of Representatives whom you find need to be voted out? Interesting double talk you are presenting.

    October 1, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    The Dems are simply demanding they be given dictatorial control of all of America.........and frankly, half the country says "absolutely NOT!"

    October 1, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. Gurgyl

    Get rid off all Rethuglicans nonsense.

    October 1, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. not perfect yet

    republicans digging their own graves! proving how irrelevant they are.

    October 1, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  12. mightyduk

    We need to replace the congress and senate with a jury type selection process. Selectees spend 1 year in the position receive pay an 401 k contribution. At the end of the year they return to their previous employment. No more carreer low life politicans.

    October 1, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    House Republicans only passed "take it or leave it" funding bills, which funded the government for few weeks and gutted the ACA. Then they had the gall to demand compromise on their bucket list of amendments. The Democrats compromised by not dumping their own bucket list of demands onto the table.

    October 1, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  14. just saying

    wake up america... democrats now know they can force you to do anything they want, including forcing you to buy something, or face a large government fine/tax. leaving these extreme leftist in power or electing them to new offices is to endanger every aspect of freedom you think you have. wake up america. obamacare is just the first thing they will force down your throat. there is far more to come if you give them the chance.

    October 1, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. Gunderson

    American people don't have to except this garbage? EXCEPT? Ok, want know who responsible for this garbage? Look in Mirror. You vote for it, you got it. Don't like it? You can start booking your own life anytime you choose.

    October 1, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    Uh-Oh, guess what day it is? Guess. What . Day. It . Is. Hey, Just Saying, guess what day it is? Aww, come on, I know you can hear me. Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna, what day is it Donna? Gunderson, guess what today is?

    Obamacare day! Woo Hoo!

    October 1, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. CanadaONE

    You need to get rid of all the Repubs so that your country can be a true democracy. Universal Health Care is a RIGHT not something you delay and thus allow people to die because of a lack of access…

    Here in Canada we live about seven years longer than Americans because we have universal health care and higher levels of education. If you can get the Repubs out your health will be better and your IQ higher

    Love Canada

    October 1, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. Wow

    Both parties are to blame! Replacing Dem-Repub Senate is a good place to start and yes the House of Representatives are to blame as well. We can do name calling on both sides of the isle but look at where that has gotten us NOWHERE!! All of us are to blame WE THE PEOPLE deserve what we vote!

    October 1, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  19. Wake up People!

    ROFLMAO Tom Paine!!

    I love that commercial!!! And I love reading your insightful, intelligent comments. Keep up the good work!

    October 1, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. A True Conservative

    Yup now that the Republicans have finally stood up for themselves – they have my vote!

    BTW CanadaOne – WE are a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy. Health care is NOT a right – it is a service. Canadians better educated? I would certainly like to see the proof of that claim! Perhaps you can remind us of the world changing things canada has given to the world......I'm waiting.....We also really enjoy the insults – reminds me of the good old days on the elementary school playground!

    October 1, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  21. brownie

    obama willing to terrorists countries like iran and syria or those who supports terrorists like muslim brotherhood BUT he does not want to negotiate with his fellow americans in politics

    October 1, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. debra hauger

    i think the america people as some can not even afford the care that obama started. they will be fined for not having insurance then how can they afford insurance with fine they have to pay, so what good is coming from obama ?

    October 1, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Many federal government employees may not be getting paid, but many Republicans are. Most of them are riding a giant wave of fund raising because of the shutdown battle, which causes them to think that they've won because they see support.

    October 1, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    A True Conservative wrote:

    Yup now that the Republicans have finally stood up for themselves – they have my vote!

    BTW CanadaOne – WE are a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy. Health care is NOT a right – it is a service.
    Since when is health care not a part of your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Yours is the voice of greed.

    October 1, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  25. Donna

    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.

    October 1, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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