Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How did Cuccinelli manage to leap Bolling?

From Mr. Brannon asked on Twitter: Why didn't Bill Bolling run for governor? Gilmore (after Allen) and Kaine (after Warner) both rode predecessor's pop. to victory.

That is a great question - and tough to answer.  Part of it I assume has to do with Bolling's relationship, or lack thereof, with the kingmakers of the Virginia GOP, a party apparatus that keeps its cards close to its chest - Bolling is a more moderate Republican than either the Governor or Attorney General when it comes to most issues and clearly less of a party man - he is one of the founders of the so-called Virginia Mainstream Movement and when he was pressured to leave the race for Governor he publicly toyed with making a run as an independent and then, perhaps most tellingly, apparently encouraged at least one political action committee (PAC) to support to McAuliffe over Cuccinelli - maybe just sour grapes, maybe a sign of serious ideological splits, but either way a rational foundation for loss of Republican confidence at the elite level.

There are other possibilities as well - notably that he might not have been perceived as being able to pull the northern and eastern Virginian voters that would have been necessary for the ticket (Bolling is an Appalachian Virginian with roots in West Virginian and southwest Virginian coalfields).

Honestly, I think that Bolling is a man to watch - as the Republican party of Virginia continues to adjust to demographic shifts, especially if it comes out weaker from these elections, he has a chance to become a very influential man.