- Terry McAuliffe was never able to shake the label of "outsider" or "carpetbagger" and by bringing in Bill Clinton for a statewide tour he reinforced that image among independents and energized Republicans. I'm all in favor of bringing in political heavyweights to fire up the base, but beware of unintended consequences in a campaign's closing days.
- With the right wing media bashing, and the mainstream media questioning, the rollout of ObamaCare, was it the right thing to bring the president and vice president to the state for campaign appearances? I think not. All that did was, in the minds of some voters, to tie McAuliffe to questions about the competency of government and to link him more with Washington than Richmond. Again, McAuliffe's campaign brought more Republicans out to vote and got many independents questioning him just as it was time to cast votes.
- Terry McAuliffe we hardly know you! At some point voters want to make a personal connection that establishes trust. Negative campaigns tarnish everybody - voters need at least a few positive reasons to support a candidate rather than simply voting against the other guy. Beyond the Democratic diehards, McAuliffe never succeeded in building that relationship. Perhaps McAuliffe should have taken a page from the Obenshain playbook and given his family a greater role in explaining Terry "the father and the man" to voters.
- I never thought a minor party candidate would garner double digits like some pre-election polls indicated. I wondered if, come election day and crunch time in the voting booth, more than 5-6% of the voters would decide to "send a message" or "waste a vote." Sarvis, with few resources or recognition, ran a pretty good campaign and aired some compelling TV ads but in the end about half of his "support" drained away, with most going to Cuccinelli.
Oh, I've got that day after the election "what if" hangover. ~Bill Bolling