US Politics

Purple Virginia

Terry-McAuliffee1

By Stewart Shoemaker

Virginia most often earns the title of a “purple” state, it being an interesting admixture of extremely rural, sparsely populated, and reliably conservative districts in its central and western portions, with a dash of dark blue covering the densely populated, highly educated, and ultra-wealthy suburbs that line the outskirts of our nation’s capital.

Despite being home to an incumbent Republican governor and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Virginia has trended to the left in recent major elections, including Obama’s notable victory in 2012. This leftward slide is largely explained by demographic shifts in Virginia’s population, and Terry McAuliffe simply surfed this demographic wave to victory in last Tuesday’s Gubernatorial race. For a more detailed analysis on this very issue see the Atlantic’s article on the matter here.

Beyond demographics, McAuliffe’s electoral chances benefitted from the nature of his opposition: Sodomy-hating Ken Cuccinelli and the Reverend E.W. Jackson, who once profoundly proclaimed that Obamacare is worse than chattel slavery and that gays are possessed by the devil. Such extreme candidates are not formidable opponents, no matter the demographic change, and yet McAuliffe could muster only a narrow victory over these two hardline conservatives.

This unconvincing victory begs the question: if a purple Virginia is rapidly transforming to blue, how could the race have been so close?

The answer, while not a refutation of the notion of a nearly-blue Virginia, still gives Democrats significant reasons to worry. McAuliffe, the former head of the DNC, is immensely unpopular, even among his fellow Democrats. His recently penned memoir paints the portrait of a man who nearly missed the birth of his first daughter to attend a Democratic fundraiser and who was kicked out of the labor unit during the birth of another child following a heated argument with the attending physician regarding Clinton’s healthcare plan. Had it not been for his somehow even less like-able opponents, McAuliffe would almost certainly be sitting at home in Fairfax County today, rather than heading to the Governor’s Mansion in Richmond.

Herein lies the main problem for Democrats in Virginia. McAuliffe, universally unlikable as he is, was the only candidate to enter the Democratic primary. On its face, this may not seem like a terribly troubling issue, given the changing demographics of the state, as I cited above. But reducing electoral politics to mere political demography would be a fool’s errand for the Democrats in Virginia.

Look no further than the Gubernatorial race in New Jersey for evidence of the failure of demographics to guarantee electoral victory. When an exceptional politician like Chris Christie steps into the mix, traditional political mantras fall by the wayside. Replace Cuccinelli with a gregarious, moderate Republican, and Virginia’s identity as a blue state quickly evaporates. For the Democratic party to cultivate and bolster its support in the Commonwealth, it must find better politicians to run for public office.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/07/in-virginia-terry-mcauliffe-s-memoir-comes-back-to-haunt-him.html

Advertisements
Standard
Pub Coverage

Long Overdue Coverage: The Columbia Libertarian Blog

why are you looking at this?

If only political ideologies could be graphed and modeled on a 2D plot

For the past week The Cub Pub has been covering the CPU  debate between the Columbia Democrats and Republicans. However, we’ve been forgoing one political group on campus: CUL, Columbia Libertarians. Last week they had an event as well:  The Young Americans for Liberty’s Civil Liberties College Tour. Several speakers attended such as Bruce Fein, Glenn Greenwald, Jacob Hornberger and Jack Hunter. The event had a huge turn out: around 180 people came to listen to the panel and it’s a shame that The Cub Pub did not have reporters to cover it. This absolutely wil be rectified for future political events on campus, CUL sponsored or otherwise. You can read up about the speakers and the event itself on the Columbia Libertarians blog here.

Speaking of the CUL blog, it has to be the most regularly updated and supported political blogs on campus, besides The Cub Pub of course. This is somewhat unexpected because CU Libertarians are a smaller group on campus than the College Dems and Repubs. The Libertarians’ have published four articles since the start of the semester. That may not seem like much but in comparison the post recent articles on both the Democrats’ and Republicans’ sites are still on SOPA/PIPA.

But there is a larger issue. If you read though all these blogs you’ll find that there’s hardly a single comment on any post. This is a problem. There’s no way to incite meaningful political conversation on campus if so few people are writing it and discussing it. Journals, reviews, and publications are nice but they they lack an online presence where real discussion can take shape. That’s the domain of blogs and that’s why the political blogs on campus are so important. The Cub Pub encourages all political groups to keep their blogs updated, keep the content fresh and timely, keep the conversation going. We have our own work cut out for us when it comes to creating discussion but in this case we are fortunate that it’s a tide that raises all ships.

Standard
Debate Coverage

CTV Debate Coverage!

Last Tuesday the Columbia Political Union held a debate on affirmative action between the College Republicans and Democrats. It was an impressive display from both sides, but if you missed out, don’t fret! We have minute by minute live blog coverage right here. Also, thanks to our friends at CTV we were able to film the debate for your viewing/reviewing pleasure. Want to get a better feel of what went down. or want to relive some juicy moments? Well, we have the closing statements right here, and embedded below we have CTV’s own news piece on the event. Enjoy!

Standard