Democrats are dosing Republican Ken Cuccinelli with a “poison pill” in the Virginia gubernatorial race, a leading GOP strategist says.
“The Democrats are using radioactive terms to appeal to three constituencies: students, women and minorities,” Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union, told Watchdog.org in an exclusive interview Thursday.
“The women’s health issue is working. Every female Democrat repeats the mantra,” Cardenas said from ACU’s Washington, D.C., office.
Polls show Cuccinelli trailing Democrat Terry McAuliffe among female voters by 12 or more points – a margin that is keeping the unabashedly pro-life Republican 7 to 9 points behind overall.
“I’m surprised by the margin,” said Cardenas, whose organization hosts the widely attended national CPAC conventions.
“It looks like all the stars are lined up against Cuccinelli.”
Cardenas said the government shutdown also worked against tea party conservatives in an increasingly “purple” Virginia laden with federal workers.
But he’s not convinced that a middle-of-the-roader like Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling could do any better in the current environment, citing Gov. Bob McDonnell’s ongoing “giftgate” scandal and the governor’s tax-raising transportation package.