In the weeks leading up to the November elections, the race for governor has become particularly heated. Each candidate - Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe – have been launching negative advertising against each other. Such advertising is nothing new, of course, but what’s interesting is that neither side seems interested in attracting independent voters, including those who might be more moderate.
The local NBC affiliate, WSLS, spoke to Hollins University political science professor Dr. Ed Lynch about his take on the election campaigns. "It will decrease turnout among the more moderate voters, but I'm not sure that they're the deciding factor anymore," Dr. Lynch said. "The deciding factor in elections increasingly in this Commonwealth and in the country is who gets their most fired up voters to come to the polls." It is perhaps worth noting that not only is Dr. Lynch a professor of political science; he is also served as an aid to President Ronald Reagan.
In September, Purple Strategies, a bi-partisan firm, did a poll on the likability of both Cuccinelli and McAuliffe. According to this poll, the likeability of both candidates is extremely low. Whether this impacts the outcome of the election remains to be seen.
According to WSLS, the Virginia governor race is getting a lot of national attention because it is the only major contested election nationwide this November.
It will be interesting to see if Dr. Lynch’s prediction about voter turn out in November will be accurate.