|Republican Ken Cuccinelli|
But on Election Night, McAuliffe, who had spent $14 million more than his opponent, found himself neck-and-neck with Kuccineli, only managing to pull out a 48% to 46% victory. What happened?
Real Clear Politics describes the last minute change in Kuccineli's strategy that sparked his quickly closing what the polling firm Rasmussen had found was a 17 point lead for McAuliffe only two weeks earlier:
In the final days of the race, Cuccinelli framed it as a referendum on Obamacare, running ads suggesting that a vote for his opponent would be a vote for the controversial health care law. The Republican attorney general hoped the Affordable Care Act’s flawed implementation and the number of newly canceled insurance policies would spark conservative voters and drag down McAuliffe..."And it did.
The Democrats entire strategy was based on marginalizing Cuccinelli as some far right, tea party conservative well out of the Virginia mainstream. The Democrats got a lesson on how quickly that strategy will fall apart in light of the failures of Obamacare.