Tea Party Rejected: Terry McAuliffe Wins, Democrats Take Virginia

mcauliffeIn what some people are calling “Obamacare” vs. the tea party, Democrats can celebrate in Virginia with Terry McAuliffe winning tonight’s election and becoming the state’s next governor.

McAuliffe was the chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001-2005 and served as one of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairmen during her 2008 campaign.

In a race that featured visits from President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, both Bill and Hillary Clinton along with several leading tea party Republicans, Democrats claimed victory in probably the biggest race of this election night.

This is just another sign that the tea party is losing influence with mainstream America.  Granted, the tea party has become very popular among the most ardent conservative voters, but it’s quickly falling out of favor with the vast majority of Americans.

While the tea party claims they’re “listening to Americans,” it’s clear that they’re only listening to what the most radical members of their party are saying.  Their radical right-wing “anti-establishment” stances seems to only appeal to those on the extreme base of their party and as time goes on continues to alienate many conservatives from the majority of Americans.

McAuliffe’s opponent, Ken Cuccinelli, ran on a clear premise of being a “true conservative” and an “anti-Washington” tea party Republican—and failed.  Despite strong support from the tea party, Mr. Cuccinelli couldn’t overcome his Democratic opponent in a result that should be eye-opening for the GOP.

But the results tonight really aren’t overly surprising — polls had shown McAuliffe with a clear lead over Cuccinelli, and a lot of who won tonight depended heavily on voter turnout.

This also confirms what most polls showed where Americans overwhelmingly blamed Republicans — and more so tea party Republicans — for the ridiculous 16 day government shutdown last month.

This is a great victory for Democrats, as it signals that Virginia is shifting towards being a “blue” state.  It’s also a clear sign that with most Americans, the radical tea party message simply isn’t resonating.

Tonight marks the first step towards next November when the stakes couldn’t be any higher.  While every election night is extremely important, next November’s elections will present liberals the golden opportunity we’ve all be waiting for to take power back in the House of Representatives and seize more control in the Senate.

I congratulate Virginia and governor-elect Terry McAuliffe.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • barbaralee12

    I am a proud Virginian!With the help of the Tea-Party !

  • Baby Jesus

    Trust me when I say I despise the Tea Party idiocracy as much as the next person, but let’s not hyperbolize this victory as some sort of a mandate or definitive defeat. It was a squeaker…much more so than polls indicated. And with the ACA rollout proving to be a disaster and it becoming clear that Obama misled the American people about how ACA would (and wouldn’t) change things, had this election been held next week, the results may have been quite different. The fact that McAuliffe won by just a few percentage points against a loathsome extremist should give us progressives cause for concern.

    • dbssbd

      Obama did not mislead Americans about the ACA. Read the details, not just the headlines.

      • Baby Jesus

        I’m sorry, when the President says “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period” (a direct and exact quote), and then millions of Americans receive notifications that their existing health care policies are being cancelled, well…I would call that a lie. Perhaps you can spin it some other way.

      • Tracy Rowe

        And if you read further, you would find that the insurance companies are discontinuing certain policies because it simply isn’t profitable for them to keep them. The President didn’t mislead anyone. Once again it is corporate America profiting on the backs of the working class and shifting the blame.

      • Baby Jesus

        Actually, my dear liberal apologist, they’re canceling them because they don’t meet the requirements set forth in ACA.

      • Marion

        Actually, policies that existed prior to 2010 were grandfathered in. No insurance company was forced to cancel a policy. The insurance companies made the decision themselves.

      • strayaway

        “The law did allow “grandfathered” plans — for people who had obtained their insurance before the law was signed on March 23, 2010 — to escape this requirement and some other aspects of the law. But the regulations written by HHS while implementing the law set some tough guidelines, so that if an insurance company makes changes to a plan’s benefits or how much members pay through premiums, co-pays or deductibles, then a person’s plan likely loses that status.

        If you dig into the regulations (go to page 34560), you will see that HHS wrote them extremely tight. One provision says that if co-payment increases by more than $5, plus medical cost of inflation, then the plan can no longer be grandfathered. (With last year’s inflation rate of 4 percent, that means the co-pay could not increase by more than $5.20.) Another provision says the co-insurance rate could not be increased at all above the level it was on March 23, 2010.” -Washington Examiner

        This is what happens in places like Zimbabwe and Venezuela. When government institute price controls and simultaneously print money causing higher costs, shelves get empty.

      • fremen9

        Then they were really crappy plans.

      • Baby Jesus

        True indeed…so that excuses Obama from telling the American people that “If you like your plan you can keep it?” Y’know, I used to be like many of you, defending Obama at all costs and being wholly intransigent. But doing so makes progressives no better or less stubborn than the Tea Party. There is freedom in being independent and not regurgitating every talking point released by party leaders, and actually questioning what you’re told and seeking real truth. Have I lost faith in Obama? Yes. Will I ever cross to right of center? Absolutely not.

      • regressive rightwing trash

        I doubt that as totality of a statement,,,,, insurance co’s cancel as they see a loss of profit. that’s why regressive rightwing trash crybabies are crying———– the lobbyists for INS co’s KNOW that now they actually have to COVER people

      • fremen9

        We live in a capitalist society!! Companies can choose to stop offering services if they want to! Obama can’t force companies to do anything other than let you sign up for a plan if they offer plans to anyone else. But if they choose to get rid of expensive plans that’s their right being that we’re not a communist country.
        Obama was saying that the Affordable Care Act didn’t cut you off from any existing health plans. But its incredibly naive and ignorant to think that the president or anyone in government can predict or tell us what private companies will sell.

      • ThoughtfulProgressive

        And just imagine the howls of government overreach by the republicans had Obama had the power to force them to keep policies that met the ACA requirements, which the insurance companies are now discontinuing…

      • Baby Jesus

        So y’all are basically saying, “Oh don’t blame Obama, he didn’t really have any idea what he was saying…” That’s like saying “Don’t blame Bush for pushing the Iraq War, he didn’t know what he was saying…” Sorry, but America’s CEO should be held to the highest standard of honesty and accuracy. I know, pipe dream, right?

      • Baby Jesus

        Apparently ACA doesn’t have that kind of authority to force insurance companies to maintain their existing plans. So Obama lied.

      • strayaway

        No, this is what he said,”If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period,” “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”

        What we got was bait an switch. Corporations would be sued for pulling a scam like this. I don’t see anything in his wording saying that insurance companies or the government would take it away. Ever played a game with someone who makes his own rules as he goes along. That’s what we have here.

        ‘Glenn Kessler, who writes The Fact Checker for The Washington Post, awarded the president’s claim four Pinocchios, a classification reserved for The Washington Post awarded the president four “whoppers.”The president’s statements were sweeping and unequivocal — and made both before and after the bill became law,” Kessler wrote. “The White House now cites technicalities to avoid admitting that he went too far in his repeated pledge, which, after all, is one of the most famous statements of his presidency.” _USA Today

      • regressive rightwing trash

        hey————————– wanna bet me 50K that in 3 1/2 yrs this is a great law and the regressive crybaby rightwing FOX “news” machine is not touching the story??? Hmmmm????

      • strayaway

        What? Based on its flaming start? The website fix seems doable though. The Obama administration will claim it a success no matter how many people lose their insurance and doctors, jobs become part time or are transferred overseas, no matter how many doctors retire early, it costs increase more than expected like its website, or no matter how much private premiums go up. It is guaranteed to be a success because the president wil declare it a success and we know he doesn’t lie. You will win. I concede.

      • Baby Jesus

        Honestly I hope you are right!

      • brownp51

        I don’t believe the president lied when he said if you like your plan keep it. What Americans cannot wrap their hands, and pocketbooks, around is that their plans did not want them. This faulty thinking comes from people who do not understand insurance. They don’t know that plans have been for years looking for reasons to drop people who cost them money along with small groups who with one employee who might have a single catastrophic accident or illness keeps big insurance from enjoying their record high profits. Insurance companies have been demanding higher premiums on a regular basis for years, and some of the people who are complaining about an out of pocket increase would have experienced this without the ACA. It appears to be easier to blame a president they don’t like than to have to look big insurance and their managed care shenanigans in the eye. I’ve found that some people, primarily Tea Party supporters, who are experiencing higher premiums or dropping have not even gone to the exchanges to look at their options. I guess they will show us. . I would like to recommend Wendell Potter’s book “Deadly Spin” or his interview with Bill Moyers which is available on the PBS site to look inside these companies to see and hear first hand what the major carriers have to say behind the backs of their customers.

      • regressive rightwing trash

        keep watching FOX “news” and keep crying about Hillary dominating 2016 -2024

      • Baby Jesus

        I don’t watch Fox News, and I’m not crying about Hillary (although I think she’d be a disaster as a president and would have so many barriers put up against her to make any positive progress). See? You’re just proving my point: many progressives are just as bad as Tea Partiers when it comes to having logical, constructive discourse. Resorting to name-calling and baseless schoolyard taunts makes us progressives no better than they are. And we HAVE to do and be better.

    • regressive rightwing trash

      I agree,,,,,,,but can U IMAGINE if cucc won???? FOX “news” would be trumpeting the downfall of the liberal movement

    • strayaway

      The main thing is that this was a Democratic victory no matter how close the race. McAuliffe won by 3% while 7% of the vote siphoned off to the Libertarian candidate and hurt Cuccinelli. Democrats did a good job of bringing in their top celebrities. Presidents always attract the most attention. Democrats spent at least 60% more money on this campaign than Republicans. Cuccinelli was complaining today that the RNC only provided $3M to his campaign; down from the $9M it provided the previous republican candidate. In the last week in October, McAuliffe was leading by 9%. The late Cuccinelli resurgence suggests that the (un)ACA and the shutdown did not have much effect on this race. An exit poll showed that Virginia voters opposed rather than favored the (un)ACA by a 53 percent to 45 percent margin. Another exit poll claimed that of Northern Virginia voters, 47 percent of voters said Republicans in Congress and 46 percent said Obama was more responsible for the shutdown. Another ominous note for Democrats was that the Virginia exit poll showed voters ages 18 to 29 favoring McAuliffe over Cuccinelli by a 45 percent to 40 percent margin. All of that said, Democrats won the election and unless Republicans can unite and get their act together, they might not do much better elsewhere.

  • Greg H

    The tea party and GOP will say that this is not a mandate and does not mean anything all the while touting Chris Christie’s win and saying America has given them a mandate.

  • Matthew Reece

    Expect spoiler accusations from the Cuccinelli camp, with Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis getting far more votes than the difference between McAuliffe and Cuccinelli.

    • regressive rightwing trash

      yep– loving it. “libertarian” slicing off the regressive rightwing vote ala nader doing it to dems

      • Matthew Reece

        The exit polling does not support Sarvis being a spoiler; in fact McAuliffe may have won by a slightly larger margin without Sarvis. Of course, statists of any stripe don’t tend to let facts get in the way of their arguments.

  • Andy

    I love how the article claims “the radical tea party message” simply isn’t resonating when McCauliffe had 48% of the vote and Cuccinelli had 46%. That’s only a 2% difference and let’s not forget the 6% who voted for the Libertarian candidate (which Democrats helped to get on the ballot to help split the vote). Looks like more people wanted someone other than McCauliffe.

    • Baby Jesus

      Exactly. This isn’t a celebration. It’s a (very close) wake-up call.

  • glt777

    This race means nothing about Obamacare or the Democrats. McAuliffe is a slimeball Washington insider and Clinton bag man. He would have lost against any reasonable candidate. The problem is the Cuccinelli was not a reasonable candidate. He is a repulsive fascist and scared the hell out of a lot of voters, especially women. It turns out that “Small Government With Big Vaginal Probes” is not a winning platform.