Unlike America’s elected officials in the U.S. Congress (i.e., Republicans in the House of Representatives), two recent poll that puts Terry McAuliffe ahead of Ken Cuccinelli by 5 points in the governor’s race demonstrates the sanity of the electorate of Virginia.
One could of course argue that given Cuccinelli’s extreme views, McAuliffe should be ahead by more than 5 points. But the allure of the Republican Party in Virginia has not receded even with the clearly inane views of Virginia’s attorney general.
With the exception of Cuccinelli’s surprising position on the government shutdown and the need for government funding, Cuccinelli has been the poster boy for the extremists in the so-called Tea Party (whatever and wherever these individuals are). The right of gays to marry? Nope. The right of individuals to choose how to have sex in the privacy of their own homes? Not on your liberty. And the list goes on.
This leads to the paradox that is Cuccinelli. On the one hand, he holds identifiable libertarian views, but these are mixed with a toxic brew of conservative beliefs that informs his politics and contradicts his otherwise ‘hands off’ ideology that has placed him in the libertarian camp, according to some political commentators.
The primary argument against McAuliffe, on the other hand, is essentially that he has made mistakes. Is there anyone on this planet who hasn’t made a mistake, or lots of them? The difference between McAuliffe and Cuccinelli, however, is that the former is willing to admit when he’s made a mistake. I can’t remember when Cuccinelli gave a hint during his time as attorney general that he could have made a mistake along the way.
More importantly, though, McAuliffe is willing to listen to different viewpoints with a relatively open mind.
This has not appeared to be true of Cuccinelli. While much of the country appears torn into bitterly partisan camps, Virginia still possesses a strong sense of respecting the viewpoints of others, even if those viewpoints are different from our own. In this way, McAuliffe is clearly a better choice for governor of Virginia, and according to the recent polls mentioned above, most Virginians think so too.