It was a matter of mere moments after the Virginia governor race was called for Democrat Terry McCauliffe that certain “Tea Party” groups were blaming the “GOP establishment” for Ken Cuccinelli’s loss. They claimed “the establishment” left him out to dry by only investing $3 million into the Virginia race, when in 2009 they spent $9 million.
However, as reported in the Washington Examiner:
But according to a donor search, none of those groups gave any money to the Republican or made independent expenditures for Cuccinelli, who lost by 2.4 percentage points to Democrat Terry McAuliffe, raising cries of hypocrisy from Republican associates who argue that Tea Party groups sold out their candidate.
The Examiner also notes:
the Republican Governor’s Association is the traditional campaign funder, not the RNC, and it coughed up about $8 million for Cuccinelli, more than the Democratic Governor’s Association did for McAuliffe.
There were also independent groups providing support:
- Americans for Prosperity, funded by Koch Industries, which spent $967,731 on TV ads.
- Citizens United, which spent $359,629 on TV ads.
- The National Rifle Association which spent $549,000 for Cuccinelli.
- Common Sense Virginia PAC, which spent $294,692.
- Focus on the Family, which spent $158,808.
- ForAmerica, which contributed $74,165 to Cuccinelli.
- The Susan B. Anthony List, which spent $800,000 on Cuccinelli’s behalf.
Ken Cuccinelli received plenty of support from “the Establishment” and independent groups especially when you consider that practically no one expected him to win. Remember, at one point there was a poll giving Terry McCauliffe a 17 point lead.
There are many reasons why Ken Cuccinelli lost election night, but playing the blame game is not going to move the party forward.