With elections just a few months away, the latest Quinnipiac Poll is showing Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe with a 6 point lead over Virginia’s current attorney general and Republican hopeful Ken Cuccinelli. The poll has McAuliffe at 48% while Cuccinelli sits at 42% with a 2.9% margin of error.
This is going to be a very important election for the state of Virginia, as Ken Cuccinelli embraces many conservative ideals that will without a doubt set this state back a few decades. With his almost comical quest to reinstate Virginia’s age-old anti-sodomy statute and regressive opinions on abortion, immigration, marriage equality and LGBT rights, it is a must that Virginia’s progressive independent voters make their way to the polls in November.
While most have made a joke out of his quest to have a stay of execution for the anti-sodomy law, there is a very real, very scary agenda being pushed here that tells you just how he will handle his duties as Governor if elected — with his bible in one hand and gavel in the other.
The law was struck down by a three-judge panel of the 4th United States Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia in March of this year as it was declared unconstitutional. Judge Robert King and Diana Gibbon Motz both voting to overturn the law against oral and anal sex on the grounds that it violates the Constitution’s due process clause. They based their decision on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in the Lawrence v. Texas case, which brought the end to a similar anti-sodomy law in other states through-out the country.
“It is shameful that Virginia continued to prosecute individuals under the sodomy statute for 10 years after the Supreme Court held that such laws are unconstitutional, this ruling should bring an end to such prosecutions.” – Rebecca Glenberg, Virginia ACLU
Cuccinelli filed an appeal with the Supreme Court over the decision, but his request was denied by Chief Justice John Roberts.
This is exactly the type of action by Cuccinelli that leaves him at odds with many Virginia voters, and not just for the obvious reason. A blanket law banning oral and anal sex would leave a massive grey area leaving the door open for broad prosecutions not in the spirit of the law’s intent, which Cuccinelli has argued was to protect minors from sexual predators. Some Virginians have expressed concern that the law, if reinstated as-is, could also be used to prosecute gay and lesbian residents of the state.
With all this working against Cuccinelli among the states growing progressive population, he is likely also feeling some negative effect from the dark cloud hovering over current Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R), who is embroiled in scandal over whether or not he and his wife received gifts and financial compensation in exchange for aiding Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams Sr. on the launch of his company’s latest product. While he has said he plans on serving out the rest of his term as the state’s governor, many are calling for his prosecution and/or resignation. None of this scandal bodes well for Cuccinelli, who in the past has had close ties to Governor McDonnell. In 2009, the pair were on stage together raising their hands in victory when both were elected to their current positions — and yet now McDonnell can’t even endorse him publicly due to concern it could further hurt his turnout.
Both McAullife and Cuccinelli are showing at least 90% support from their base and a 44 to 42 percent split among independent voters; the poll also found that the number of likely Democratic voters should outnumber Republicans 39 to 32 percent. Coincidentally, that’s the same number from the exit polls in the 2012 presidential election. It will be a very interesting race to say the least, and one that could have great influence in the 2016 presidential election depending on the victor in November. Both candidates have also ramped up the attack ads of late, and we’re coming down to the wire so it’s bound to get even nastier.
Here’s to hoping that independent voters could be the group that helps keep the progressive train chugging in Virginia.
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