VA Gov Race Shocker: McAuliffe over Cuccinelli by 4 pts, Libertarian Sarvis at 9%

A new Quinnipiac Poll about the governor's race in Virginia shows an immense tightening between Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli. And then there's the Libertarian Party's Robert Sarvis:

The Virginia governor's race is going down to the wire with Democrat Terry McAuliffe clinging to a slight 45 - 41 percent likely voter lead over Republican State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and 9 percent for Libertarian Party candidate Robert Sarvis, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. 

This compares to the results of an October 23 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University, showing McAuliffe up 46 - 39 percent, with Sarvis at 10 percent. 

Today's survey shows that if Sarvis were not in the race, McAuliffe would have 47 percent to 45 percent for Cuccinelli, too close to call. 

 In the three-way matchup, 4 percent of likely voters remain undecided and 7 percent of those who name a candidate say there's a "good chance" they will change their mind in the next six days. 

More here.

What a difference a couple of weeks - and possibly, a campaign swing by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for Cuccinelli - makes. McAuliffe had been up by the high double digits at various points. So get ready for epic bitching and moaning from Republicans and possibly Democrats too about how these goddamned third-party candidates and weirdo libertarians are screwing up the machinery of democracy. Which is a load of bunk.

Read Brian Doherty's interview with Libertarian candidate Sarvis, a former Republican whose slogan for the state is "open-minded and open for business". Here's a snippet:

Reason: Why are you running outside the Republican Party now?

Sarvis: I got sick of the broken promises of Republicans on economic policy. In Virginia in 2009 the Republicans won the governorship and lieutenant governorship and in 2011 they achieved an effective majority in the state Senate—it’s a tie but the lieutenant governor is the tiebreaker. [The Republicans] had the House, Senate and governor’s office and we didn’t get tax reform, didn’t get regulatory reform, didn’t get school choice, that was frustrating. [The Party’s] social policy took a rightward direction and the GOP in Virginia is very socially conservative. I no longer really cared to invest in the GOP.

In a column for Time.com yesterday, I discussed the new 2013 American Values Survey, which as titled "In Search of Libertarians" and Rand Paul's recent campaign swing in Virginia. Here's part of that:

Ken Cuccinelli has called for reinstating sodomy laws struck down by the Supreme Court and is not simply against gay marriage but declared in 2009 that “homosexual acts are wrong and should not be accomodated in government policy.” While evangelicals and even Tea Party types might rally around such notions, there’s just no way to spin such positions as in any way, shape, or form libertarian. Yet Cuccinelli, the Old Dominion’s current attorney general, insists that he is “indisputably the strongest liberty candidate ever elected statewide in Virginia in my lifetime” and Paul has critiqued Cuccinelli’s opponent and Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis for suggesting new forms of taxation. “Not a very libertarian idea,” sniffs Paul.

With the race so tight - and Sarvis apparently pulling far more than the margin of error in the Quinnipiac Poll - expect to hear more and more howls from Republicans that the Libertarian is playing spoiler because c'mon, really, we all know Libertarians should really vote for Republicans, right? I mean, nobody really believes that, say, marriage equality or tolerance of alternative lifestyles matters more than a middling record on economic policy and promises to cut taxes and all that, know what I mean?

The simple fact is - and this is really the point of my Time column - that libertarians are a reasonably predictable bunch of people who are happy to vote for candidates who defend and promote what we at Reason call "Free Minds and Free Markets": that is, shrinking the size, scope, and spending of government across all areas of human activity. If the Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter) want to win the libertarian vote, all they have to do is embrace such a worldview. It's not complicated (and the fact that Rand Paul goes a very long way toward doing that explains why he is popular among libertarians and less likely among mainstream conservatives, who explicitly worry about his libertarian tendencies).

But the idea that Sarvis just might cost Cuccinelli an election against one of the great crony capitalists of our age is just bullshit. It's Cuccinelli that's alienated libertarian-minded voters (like George Will!) through his bizarre and intolerant views on sexuality and a range of other matters. As Reason's Scott Shackford writes

It’s problematic for anybody to treat voters as though they are there to serve a party’s candidate and not the other way around. If I were a Virginia voter, I would appreciate...efforts to make a libertarian case for Cuccinelli – it is certainly worth nothing the various intersections. But I don’t appreciate when pundits, analysts, commentary writers, or what-have-you attempt to tell me I should care less about some issues I care deeply about and instead care more about other issues (which generally just so happen the pundit also cares deeply about).

As a gay libertarian, I get this from both sides. I’ve been told I should vote for economic illiterates on the left because they support gay issues (even though I actually don’t support some of these issues, but that’s a whole other fight).

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  • Jordan||

    So, I might get some TEAM RED tears mixed in with the recent deluge of TEAM BLUE tears? Oh hell yes.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Ken Cuccinelli has called for reinstating sodomy laws struck down by the Supreme Court and is not simply against gay marriage but declared in 2009 that “homosexual acts are wrong and should not be accomodated in government policy.” While evangelicals and even Tea Party types might rally around such notions, there’s just no way to spin such positions as in any way, shape, or form libertarian.

    Not that statists of both the right and the left won't try. People have told me with straight faces that sodomy laws (as well as drug prohibition) are part and parcel of smaller government. Queen Carlotta's Law is in full effect.

  • Hans Bader||

    The above claim is erroneous. Attorney General Cuccinelli did not call for restrictions on sex among consenting adults.

    His office asked the Supreme Court to reverse a court ruling overturning a 47-year-old's conviction for soliciting sex with a minor.

    It never asked the Supreme Court to reverse its 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, or allow Virginia to ban sodomy among consenting adults. That decision did not invalidate sodomy laws in their entirety, but rather only as applied to among consenting adults in private, as law professors have noted.

    The Associated Press reported: "In 2005, a judge convicted William Scott MacDonald of criminal solicitation for allegedly demanding oral sex from a 17-year-old girl. . . .Virginia officials said the Texas ruling did not apply to sex acts between adults and minors. The lower court rejected that interpretation and justices won't reconsider that decision."

    After the Lawrence ruling, Virginia prosecutors kept on prosecuting people for things like sex with minors or in public. The attorney general’s office then defended these convictions after they were challenged in federal court, as was its responsibility. Most state attorney generals would have done likewise.

    Arguments like Cuccinelli's had been accepted by most state appeals courts after the Supreme Court’s Lawrence decision (like the Ochoa decision in Texas), but not by one federal appeals court, the Fourth Circuit, which rejected it.

  • sarcasmic||

    Libertarians are stealing votes that rightfully belong to Republicans! Those votes belong to us! Give them back you rotten thieves!

    /Ann Coulter

  • ||

  • RG||

    Virginia is one of the states most affected by insurance cancellations. Have those letters gone out yet?

  • John||

    Cuccinelli has about as much chance of reinstating sodomy laws as I do of dating Penolope Cruz. And suppose he hates the gayz. What is he really going to do about it as governor?

    I like gays and think sodomy should be legal. But I can't see why I should care what Cuccinelli's opinion of it is, unless you can show me how those opinions are going to make his being governor not just worse for it but so bad that Virginia is better off with Mccauliffe being governor.

    What is the point here? If it is to score points in the culture war, then Cuccinelli is clearly your guy or not your guy depending on which side you are on. If your point is to hopefully limit the size of government in Virginia in some way, then who is your guy? It still may not be Cuccinelli. I honestly don't know. They guy could be advocating full on socialism and all we would hear about is the gayz and the sodomy. But it seems to me that, not the rest of it should be the issue.

  • wareagle||

    What is he really going to do about it as governor?

    then maybe he should stop pandering to folks who are almost certainly going to vote for him anyway and focus on those who are undecided. When you go out of your way to be hostile toward a group of people, it's not likely that they will support you just because it may be hard to put your hostility into legislation.

  • John||

    Why should I care what he is pandering about if he can't do anything about it?

    Look at it this way, if he were pandering too the gays by claiming he was going to tell every school child being gay was great, would anyone on here care? No. Why? Because that is a ridiculous idea that would not mean anything in practice.

    Yeah, he is pandering. And you would like to punish him for it. That is called fighting the culture war. If that is your thing, have fun. But I really don't care and won't care until you show me why I should.

  • wareagle||

    you may not care but the folks who see themselves targeted by his pandering do. Why are libertarians NOT flocking to Cooch? His strident few toward the gayz might have something to do with it.

    The culture warrior group he is preaching to is going to vote for him anyway. Funny how you see someone backing away from a candidate saying stupid things as punishment. Preaching to the choir only works on the converted.

  • Rasilio||

    Because he *CAN* do something about it.

    Sure he might not be able to reinstate laws ruled unconstitutional but don't think for one second that he could not use some combination of executive action and laws passed by a cooperative legislature to target groups he finds icky is dozens of other ways.

  • John||

    Bullshit. Tell me those ways and those groups or admit you are talking out of your ass. There are tons of states like Oklahoma and Kansas where people who are a lot bigger SOCONS than this guy are in power and none of that happens.

    Just admit it, you guys are culture warriors. Cuccinilli could be promising to end the drug war and you guys would still be voting against you because culture war issues are the most important think.

    Free country. You are free to think that. But don't tell me how important size of government and things like gun rights are. You don't think they are that important or to the extent you do, gay rights and sodomy are more important.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Fuck off. Seriously, you can't see why people who have a serious problem with government regulating private consensual behavior have a problem with someone who wants to regulate private consensual behavior? Are you fucking daft?

    But but but he can't do anything about it! Yeah, bullshit, he just might be able to. You seem to think he is entitled to libertarian votes. Sorry, but he has to fucking earn them; we don't owe him a god damn thing.

  • John||

    Seriously, you can't see why people who have a serious problem with government regulating private consensual behavior have a problem with someone who wants to regulate private consensual behavior? Are you fucking daft?

    I am not daft. You are just too daft to understand my point. Yes you have a problem with. And it clearly is the most important issue to you. Otherwise you would be voting for Cuccinilli since he is better than McAuliffe on pretty much any other issue.

    And that is fine. Good for you. But that makes you a culture warrior. That means culture issues like this are more important to you than any other issues.

    Good for you. Now fuck off and go fight it out with the SOCONS over all of this bullshit while the rest of us suffer under socialism because no one will vote based on any issue not involving the culture war. Maybe if people voted on spending as the most important issue in stead of culture war bullshit, we might have a smaller government?

  • wareagle||

    Maybe if people voted on spending as the most important issue in stead of culture war bullshit, we might have a smaller government?

    and if they voted that way, for whom would they vote? The Repubs who love big govt to suit their goals or the Dems who love big govt for their reasons? Because neither is interested in cutting spending.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    But that makes you a culture warrior.

    No, John, it makes them principled.

    If Republicans want the libertarian vote, they are going to need to earn it. Quit running socons nad neocons and you might just get it.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    and

  • John||

    If Republicans want the libertarian vote, they are going to need to earn it. Quit running socons nad neocons and you might just get it.

    I completely agree. And the libertarian vote is about the culture war. Hell Cucinilli is hardly a pure libertarian. But none of the other stuff would have disqualified him like the culture war stuff does.

    All I am saying is that for most libertarians, the culture war issues are more important than economic issues.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    What ev.

  • grrizzly||

    Cuccinelli doesn't propose to criminalize what you, John, do in your bedroom. He want to criminalize what I do in mine. That might explain what there's no chance in hell I'd have voted for the guy if I'd lived in VA. And since my rights are not a big deal for you, you insist that I should just go over it. Nice try!

  • John||

    Vote however you like grizzly. But just admit the reasons you vote. For you things like Sodomy are the most important issue. That is fine. But don't pretend the other issues are more important. They are not.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    John, did 2012 pass you by? The idiotic "War on Women" meme WORKED. yes, the people who bought into are retards, but they are retards who vote. What is the point in alienating the retards further?

  • Robert||

    Maybe it's because you can't alienate the retards further, and you can't unalienate them either. What could Romney have said or done that would have absolved him of war on women?

  • some guy||

    But what can McAuliffe do, John? The VA House of Delegates is 67% GOP. They can shut McAuliffe down on anything. Cucinelli means 4 more of the same. McAuliffe means gridlock. Either way, nothing major is going to happen in VA over the next 4 years.

  • radar||

    BAHAHAHA....you obviously don't live here - you think shitstains like Walter Stosch will do more than grumble slightly before jacking up taxes?

  • John||

    Yes I know, vote Libertarian. Okay, but that is a protest vote. That guy won't win. So the question is is this the right time for a protest vote. And the answer to that question depends on how much worse either Mcaufffe or Cuccinile are compared to one another. If doesn't matter which one wins because they are both equally bad, then you should vote L. But if one is worse than the other, you should vote for the other guy in hopes you stop the worse one. And understand it could be either way. Maybe Mcauliffe is so much better than Cuccinelli that you shouldn't vote L so that you can keep Cuccinelli from winning. But whatever the answer to that question is, either of their opinions on gays or sodomy seems pretty irrelevant, since I don't see how the lives of gays or the availability of sodomy will change no matter who wins.

  • wareagle||

    it's only a principle if you stand to lose something by sticking to it. Otherwise, it's just an opinion.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    So voting to enact gun control - which McAweful has said will be a priority of his - Is an acceptable trade off for showing solidarity with teh gayz?

  • sarcasmic||

    But if one is worse than the other, you should vote for the other guy in hopes you stop the worse one.

    Republicans got me to believe that in 2004. Never again. The lesser of two evils is still evil. Yes I understand that my guy will never win, but I'd rather lose with a clean conscience than feel like I soiled myself.

  • John||

    You still believe it. It is that you have concluded no candidate from either party will ever really be that much different than the other. And maybe that is true. But suppose one of them was a no kidding Nazi. Would you make a protest vote L then? I sure as hell would. I would vote for McCauliffe then.

  • sarcasmic||

    Every time you think you know what I think, you are wrong.

  • robc||

    Everyone has zero votes at this point.

    So any of the 3 candidates can still win. You dont know otherwise until the votes are counted.

    Personally, I think all the GOP voters should realize Cuccinelli cant win and vote for Sarvis.

    Its the exact same fucking argument as the other way around.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    That's exactly right, robc.

    There are no votes in at the moment. And if more people started saying they were voting for Sarvis and then following through, then the polls would change too.

    Voting for the candidate who has a "chance" of winning is simply voting for who think is going to win. Hell, why not just Democrat all the time then?

    Conveniently, John never ever ever argues anyone should vote libertarian, ever, but he's not Team Red, oh no...

  • John||

    Yes I do. I often said people should vote for Johnson in 12. I went back and forth on the issue. But I was more "vote for Johnson" than not.

    And in retrospect, the people who voted for Johnson were absolutely right. Romeny winning would have been a complete disaster. He would never have gotten obamacare repealed, even if he wanted to, which is a very debatable question, and would have succeeded and ensuring that the Democrats could plan the resulting disaster on the Republicans.

    It is funny how everyone on here is so convinced what my views are and what I argue. I post on here all of the time. And to me at least my views are pretty clear. Yet, people constantly claim I am something that I am not.

    On the next thread, someone will be claiming I am a SOCON, even though other than being anti-abortion, I don't share a single thing with the SOCONS.

    You are claiming that I am a Team read hack. This despite the fact that I freely admit voting for Romney in 2012 was the wrong thing to do and post a "I hate the GOP leadership" post about a dozen times a day.

    I don't mind it that people disagree with me. But God it would be nice if they at least tried to understand what my position is rather than fantasizing that I believe something that I don't but makes them feel better.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    You freely admit that voting for Romney is the wrong thing to do...now, when it's convenient and no longer matters. When it mattered, you were cheerleading Romney in 2012, just like you were cheerleading McCain in 2008 and Bush in 2004.

  • John||

    When it mattered, you were cheerleading Romney in 2012,

    No I wasn't. I made tons of posts on how voting for Johnson was probably the right thing to do. You just didn't read them, just you didn't read the above post where I said I did, because you would rather argue with the strawman in your head than me.

    That is just not true and if it were I would admit so. I absolutely voted for McCain and Bush twice and have never said otherwise. But in 2012 it wasn't that simple.

    Amazing enough, people who disagree with you actually think about things and have honest opinions. I know it makes you feel good about yourself to think everyone who disagrees with you is just a hack. But it is not true. And you do yourself no favors thinking that it is.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    John, you can whinge all you like, but every time someone says they want to vote Libertarian, you pitch an absolute bitch and stamp your feet and say, "well, I GUESS if you want the DEMOCRATS to be in control, then FINE!", and then you hold your breath until you turn blue.

    Trying to cast yourself as a reasonable person in this regard is just laughable. You're flat lying.

  • John||

    but every time someone says they want to vote Libertarian, you pitch an absolute bitch and stamp your feet and say, "well, I GUESS if you want the DEMOCRATS to be in control, the

    Except in 2012 where I on multiple occasions made the case for voting for Johnson. So for the third time I will point out that you are wrong here.

    I am not whining. I am pointing out where you are wrong.

    And I will give you one last chance to admit you are wrong before I start posting links where I told people to vote for Johnson. Of course when I do that you will run away like the pussy that you are and pretend this never happened. I am going to thoroughly enjoy shoving those posts up your ass and will also post them pretty much in response to every post you make on here until you admit you are wrong.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    John, you pitched such a fit you said we should all go vote for OBAMA. Fuck you, post your goddamned links.

  • John||

    John|9.19.12 @ 11:17AM|#

    I go back and forth about that. Sometimes I think that is about right. Other times I think Obama would do so much damage and it would get so bad, especially if he gets a couple of Supreme Court nominees, there will be no fixing it. The attitude he and his supporters have displayed in the last two weeks towards the First Amendment sends a chill up my spine, especially when you combine that with all of the talk about how he only failed because he didn't "sell his policies to the American people well enough". That is nothing but a dog whistle for "the mistake we made was letting our opponents say anything."

    The other bonus of an Obama loss will be the misery and suffering of his supporters. I can't say I will be particularly happy at Romney winning. But God will enjoy misery of creatures like Shreek and Tony. The first Wednesday in November will be national Schadenfreude Day.

    That was me in August 0f 2012, when it mattered. And you can find about a hundred posts that are just variations of that theme, that Romeney sucked and sometimes I thought it was better for him to lose and other times I worried Obama was so bad there would be no fixing it after he was re-elected.

    What is funny about reading those posts is that I can't find any post where I ever told anyone to vote for Romney. Tons of posts of how I thought he would win. But not a single one where I ever said he was any good or anything better than "not as Obama."

  • prolefeed||

    It's the same retarded argument I got back when I lived in Hawaii, that I should vote for that shitstain McCain because Gary Johnson "had no hope of winning". When I pointed out that Hawaii's 4 electoral votes were a 100% lock for Obama, and by that logic everyone in Hawaii should vote for Obama to avoid "wasting their vote", the Rs in question failed to change their mind.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Republicans got me to believe that in 2004. Never again.

    I generally agree, but in this case McAwful will push gun control, maybe successfully which is a much greater evil than impotently raging against sodomy.

    And yeah, Cooch is a fucking moron for even going there.

  • some guy||

    I generally agree, but in this case McAwful will push gun control, maybe successfully

    How is gun control going to get through the VA House of Delegates, which is 67% GOP right now?

  • radar||

    Again, the VA GOP is worthless and would sell you down the river as easily as drinking a glass of water.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I generally agree, but in this case

    "I promise I'll hold the football, Charlie Brown"

    If you say you agree BUT, then you DON'T REALLY AGREE.

  • RightNut||

    Considering how the Democrats used the media to smear major Republican candidates for things fringe Republicans said(legitimate rape, dangers of contraception), you could argue a Mcauliffe victory would be a long term victory for Republicans by removing a likely source of future embarrassment from the Democrats/Media radar.

  • Generic Stranger||

    That and maybe they'll pull their heads out of their hindquarters and leave the homophobia back in the 20th century where it belongs.

  • Rasilio||

    Um, John if you believe in Republicans you better be praying for a McAuliffe win because 4 years of idiotic social warrior talk coming out of Richmond will damage the Republican brand beyond repair.

    Honestly Cuccinelli and McAuliffe are so bad that whichever one wins is a long term victory for the other party.

  • John||

    What will he do? Tell me in detail the actual things he will be able to do as governor that will cause all of that.

  • Rasilio||

    Hmm, attempt to get Intelligent Design into text books, unnecessary prosecutions of muslims for not being Christian, targeting of gays for other crimes (remember, 3 felonies a day they can always come up with something to charge someone they don't like with), but most importantly it is not what he has the ability to do that matters, it is what he has the ability to attempt and what he has the platform to say.

    Imagine Todd Akin level comments making the front page every 6 weeks from now until 2016. Imagine him in the interests of controling health costs doubling medicaid rates for gays, sure he'll lose that fight in court, maybe even in the legislature but every minute of that fight will reinforce the message that Republicans are all Christian Taliban who want to control what you do in your bedroom.

  • John||

    Hmm, attempt to get Intelligent Design into text books

    If your kid is so stupid he believes what the schools tell him, he is beyond hope. Seriously, I am supposed to care? God, you are a fucking culture warrior. Intelligent design? If there is a more idiotic political fight than that, I don't know what it is. Clearly, there is mountains of complete bullshit taught in school, intelligent design is a tipping point.

    unnecessary prosecutions of muslims for not being Christian

  • Rasilio||

    "If your kid is so stupid he believes what the schools tell him, he is beyond hope. Seriously, I am supposed to care? "

    You don't understand. I don't live in VA and as such don't care so much what he succeeds in doing. I said "TRIES", as in even the attempt to achieve that goal will conflate whatever positive views he has on economics with backward parochial thinking of Christian Conservatives

  • John||

    In other words, you don't like his culture. Good for you. But I don't care about any of it. I don't care how much is conflated or anything else. I just care about whether at the end of his four years, will VA government be bigger or smaller than it would have been had McAulliffe been elected. The rest is just emotional bullshit both sides use to keep people from noticing how much they are stealing.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Rasilio, this is a weak-ass argument. You really think the state of Virginia is going to manufacture a three-felonies-a-day case against gays? Come back to reality.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Oh, and if you say Christian Taliban with a straight face, you're, by definition, a moron.

  • Rasilio||

    "Oh, and if you say Christian Taliban with a straight face, you're, by definition, a moron."

    You clearly haven't met my family.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    My statement remains whether I've met them or not.

  • John||

    Fuck you Reason. You ate my post.

    targeting of gays for other crimes (remember

    He is the current AG you half wit. He could do that now, but there is no evidence he has.

    I get it. You hates him. Have fun fighting the culture war. But I really wish you clowns on both sides would get over yourselves and start voting on shit that matters.

    You are not better than some SOCON imbecile who stays home or votes D because some R candidate said something nice about pot users or once had an affair.

  • Rasilio||

    Matters? How.

    As someone else said below McAuliffe's ability to raise taxes and do what he wants will be at best severely limited because the legislature is controlled by Republicans.

    So basically VA has the choice between a slimy corrupt progressive who has VERY high odds of ending his term in jail for corruption or a hardcore Christian Conservative who considers social issues the most important things to spend his time on while throwing out a few small government platitudes who if he wins by virtue of his position and proclivities will keep Social Issues that Republicans lose votes over on the front page of every news paper for the next 4 years.

    Either way neither guy is going to have a ton of space to maneuver in implementing their agenda thanks to the close election and 4 years of relative gridlock are likely to ensue.

    But tell me, long term which is better for freedom...

    A high profile hardcore progressive governor of a battleground state being arrested for corruption

    A high profile governor from a battleground state saying dumb things about rape or sodomy or abortion or athiests or (insert any of a hundred social issues the SO Cons are loosing ground on daily) because he actually believes those dumb things and continually reinforcing the perception that Republicans are out of touch theocrats for the next 4 years.

    Maybe it is just me but I'll take #1 long term even if #2 might be slightly better for the residents of VA in the short term.

  • John||

    I get it. You care about the culture shit. It is important to you. I don't. I really don't. Nothing you say is going to convince me to care what either of them thinks about the culture war shit. I am just tired of it.

  • RightNut||

    Honestly Cuccinelli and McAuliffe are so bad that whichever one wins is a long term victory for the other party.

    Don't think so about McAuliffe hurting the Dems. When a liberal says they want to gather the rich in camps and grind them into a fine paste for human consumption you get crickets from the media. When a conservative says they don't like sodomy they are branded as a member of the Taliban by that same media.

  • Rasilio||

    It is if he ends up in jail for corruption, and given what I know about him there is no way he'll be able to keep his hands out of the cookie jar

  • RightNut||

    Cuz Rod Blagojevich's obvious corruption totally hurt Dems in 04, 06, and 08....

  • Rasilio||

    Last I checked Illinois was not a Battleground state.

    Political corruption in a state which is owned completely by 1 party or the other is not going to move a national election. Political corruption in a battleground state will because the party opposite the corrupt guy will make it an issue in the election

  • ||

    It's not a protest vote. Well, not exclusively. If Sarvis gets the magical 10%, the LP becomes legit in VA and can participate in debates and get on ballots without signatures.

    It's a big deal.

  • some guy||

    -2 arbitrary political barriers

  • ||

    I didn't make them.

  • some guy||

    Understood. I agree with you that Sarvis hitting 10% would be a very good thing.

  • Virginian||

    Yep this.

    My Sarvis voting friend convinced me to vote for Sarvis, if I do make it to the polls at all, over Cooch and that was one of his arguments. Along with the legislature being GOP ensuring that we'd have some level of gridlock.

    Although I will say that Cooch has been a good AG, fighting the good fight against junk science and fraud, against the Obamacare law, and he's been quietly excellent on freeing innocent men from prison. I just don't think him being in the big chair with a compliant legislature is a good thing for VA at this time.

    And if he'd been willing to actually call for VA to join WA and CO, I would be right now pounding the pavement for him.

  • Doctor Whom||

    That guy won't win.

    Who is arguing otherwise? The point, at least as I see it, is to demonstrate that politicians need to start taking freedom-minded voters seriously. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a piece now to win the game later.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Thanks to the Libertarian option, I've gone to the polls regularly for more than 30 years. Absent that "L" option on the ballot, I just wouldn't vote (except when tax issues were being decided).

  • ||

    “homosexual acts are wrong and should not be accomodated in government policy.”

    You can disagree with the former, but the latter shouldn't be all that controversial for libertarians, should it? Why should any sexual preference be "accommodated in government policy"?

  • wareagle||

    and had Cooch followed up with your second question, that would be well and good. But he didn't. He's quite alright with the state accommodating consentual behavior he approves and not accommodating that which he dislikes.

  • ||

    He may not have meant it that way, but the statement itself is basically meaningless. Regardless of their rightness or wrongness, sex acts of any nature or moral standing shouldn't be accommodated in public policy. You don't have to make accommodation for acts that aren't even the proper or constitutional purview of public policy. It concerns me a tad that a lot of libertarians are okay with making accommodation in public policy for particular sex acts instead of asserting, as SCOTUS has, that it's outside the constitutional purview of government anyway.

  • Mr. Soul||

    if you like your current sexuality you can keep it.

  • ||

    +1 sexuality mandate

  • SugarFree||

    What Cooch means by "accommodation" is "not illegal." When sodomy is legal it's an unfair advantage the government gives to gay people.

    The real reason to not vote for him is that he's an idiot.

  • robc||

    Has anyone ever run for office who wasnt an idiot?

    I consider the process of signing up for the ballot to be proof of idiocy.

  • SugarFree||

    I gracefully concede your point.

  • ||

    Which is utterly retarded and molests the language to the extent it should be a criminal offense. "Accommodation" suggest something proactive. SCOTUS has rightly ruled that this isn't even the purview of government. There's nothing to "accommodate".

  • Zeb||

    It depends on what you mean by "accommodated". The government shouldn't be doing anything to promote or discourage any particular sexual practices or lifestyles. But accommodate could also mean getting out of the way and letting people do their thing.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    In today's political climate, accomodate means punishing businesses which "discriminate" against gays, teaching pupils in govt schools that sodomy is OK, and giving same-sex couples the same government benefits as married couples (family leave, survivor benefits, etc). How could this possibly be spun as libertarian?

    We've gone far past the point of discussing whether consensual sodomy between adults in private should be a crime - Cuccinelli acknowledges that it isn't.

  • Rasilio||

    Except Cuccinelli wants to make consensual sodomy between adults in private a crime.

  • ||

    Yep. Including straights who like a little butt play now and again. Cooch's policy positions don't just affect the gays.

  • Rasilio||

    Don't forget oral.

    Remember, Sodomy is not just anal play but basically anything but PIV sex

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Except Cuccinelli wants to make consensual sodomy between adults in private a crime."

    Because he stands with the courts of his own state against a 2-1 decision of a 4th Circuit panel to release a sex offender? The guy who asked a teenager to sodomize him and then told the police she raped him?

    Is the Obama-appointed 4th Circuit judge who wanted to keep the creeper in prison also in on the anti-sodomitic conspiracy?

  • KPres||

    Who gives a shit? That's not how it's perceived. This is politics, you react to perceptions. He knew what he was signalling to voters, and it's what he wanted to signal.

  • kbolino||

    Sodomy now includes speech?

  • KPres||

    Exactly. We're not talking about the standard socon anti-gay marriage position (basically just a piece of paper), the guy actually wants to ban a completely harmless behavior. Are we living in Iran all of the sudden?

    I can't think of a better time to split with socons. Sends a nice message about how far libertarians are willing to go before breaking off.

  • Rasilio||

    Um, by accommodated in government policy he means "made legal to engage in", not given special preferences.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    What makes you so sure? That sodomy bill he opposed which would reduce the penalties for non-Lawrence-protected activities?

  • kbolino||

    "non-Lawrence-protected"

    You could, you know, at least try to hide your contempt.

  • KPres||

    "You can disagree with the former, but the latter shouldn't be all that controversial for libertarians, should it?"

    Except it's one sentence, the two can't be separated while preserving the meaning. What he's saying is "The reason homosexual acts should not be accomodated in government policy is because I think they're wrong". He would have no objection to behaviors he thinks are right...and there's nothing libertarian about that.

  • creech||

    One's views on issues that "he cannot do anything about" still have the power to inform his views on issues that he can do something about. If he is clearly irrational on the issue of sodomy, then what else - maybe some issue that isn't even on the radar yet - is he likely to be irrational about??

  • Warty||

    If Cucinelli were smart, he'd offer some concessions to the Libertarian voters, offer to put Sarvis in his cabinet (or whatever they call it in Virginia), do something to try to get those votes. But no, TEAM RED will be happy to lose and then bitch for years about how they're owed libertarian votes.

  • Brett L||

    Negging used to work on us before we got jaded by all the PUAs.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    +1

    good one man. made me laugh.

  • RightNut||

    offer to put Sarvis in his cabinet

    That is a terrible idea, political campaigns never want to give free publicity to a rival, and Sarvis has little reason to accept.

  • John||

    It wouldn't work. Libertarians are single issue sodomy voters. He already has made some very positive statements on legalized marijuana and no one cares.

  • Warty||

    If he loses because he wants to criminalize buttfucking, it's his own goddamned fault. Only lunatics want do do that, and you know it.

  • wareagle||

    single issue sodomy voter. Seriously? Jesus on a fucking biscuit. What the hell?

  • RightNut||

    As a Republican I'm all for voting Republican if said election ends up increasing liberty. In this case, one candidate wants control over your economic decisions well the other wants control over your personal ones. The only real reason I can think of for any one who values liberty to vote for Cuccinelli would be to try to tilt Virginia in the 2016 Presidential election. Which assumes Republicans nominate someone decent and Cuccinelli governs sanely.

    I don't live in Virginia, but if I did, I would vote for Sarvis.

  • ChrisO||

    I admit I'm wavering a bit on this one. Frankly, it comes down to MY self-interest. I'm not a big fan of Cuccinelli, but do I personally stand to lose money or freedom if McAuliffe is elected? That's a bit hard to say.

    He definitely *wants* to raise my taxes, but it's a good question as to whether he'll be able to. The Virginia legislature is closely split, and I doubt either guy will have a lot of room to get any Big Ideas passed.

  • radar||

    I'll guaran-damn-tee you that our taxes are going to go up with McAuliffe. I have zero faith in the the state GOP.

    Actually, the kind of interesting thing in this race is that both Sarvis and Cooch were outsiders in the party. The state GOP establishment DESPISES Cuccinelli, which is why a slimy, carpetbagging piece of shit like McAuliffe is even competitve, let alone running ahead in the polls. Trust me on this one - got family embedded in the VA GOP and they hate Cuccinelli more than any Democrat. If Cooch had the full support of the state party, he'd likely be ahead in this race.

    I know this isn't the prevailing opinion here, but oh well, I'm not really a doctrinaire libertarian - I really wish a bright guy and attractive candidate like Sarvis would infiltrate the Republicans from within than waste his time on hopeless LP campaigns. Like it or not, third parties in this country are almost certain losers at the statewide level and up. That's just the way the system is designed. Doesn't make it good, but it's reality. The only real way to move things in a positive direction is to take over one of the existing parties. The leftist scum did it successfully with the Dems by destroying the old DLC "Third Way" faction. Libertarians need to do the same with the GOP, as Paul and Amash are attempting, else they'll continue to languish in purgatory with the LP.

  • ChrisO||

    I've lived in Virginia for almost 20 years, and I'm still not entirely sure what the state GOP actually believes in.

    For most of my time in this state, the GOP and the Democrats here have never seemed that far apart ideologically. The GOP is slightly more averse to taxes, but they love spending Other People's Money just as much as the Dems, especially on big splashy projects.

    Cuccinelli's still a bit amorphous to me. I know he goes for all the so-con stuff, but I also don't get the impression that's a crusader for those things.

    VA is tough ground for libertarians, since it's a state full of tax eaters of one variety or another.

  • Virginian||

    Pat Robertson wields a lot of influence in the state GOP. Combined with the huge amount of military spending and government contracting, and you get a GOP which is not free market in any meaningful sense. To them competitive is a word which is attached to government contracts.

  • ChrisO||

    It's also worth noting that the Democrats here still seem to have a strong southern and rural influence. Even a lizard like McAuliffe has to pretend that he's a "businessman."

  • Robert||

    Maybe Pat Robertson is different from the way he was 30-35 yrs. ago, because I remember his giving a chalk talk back then about 2 kinds of "conservative". His kind was not the one aligned with the "fat cats", as he put it. I don't remember the other distinctions, there were 3, maybe 4.

  • KPres||

    Self-interest is for markets, you vote on principle (or rather, you vote whatever strategy advances your principles). To me, that's a must for any minarchist. Anything else is hypocrisy, and quite frankly, cronyism.

  • ChrisO||

    Politics, in this sense, is a market. Sorry if that violates your principles. I'm never going to vote to beggar myself.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Paul has critiqued Cuccinelli’s opponent and Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis for suggesting new forms of taxation. “Not a very libertarian idea,” sniffs Paul."

    Wait, what? Is this true? Could we get some discussion on this point? Hello?

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    I like Rand, but fuck, you're standing next to the dude that would make sodomy illegal if he could, ixnay on the ibertarian-ay.

  • Rasilio||

    What's to discuss, Rand is not a pure libertarian.

    But you know what, If Libertarians are New Hampshire, establishment Republicans are Nevada, Democrats are California, and Rand Paul is Ohio.

    Basically he's closer to a libertarian than he is politically to any President that has been elected in more than a century.

  • ||

    I don't think Ed was saying he wanted to discuss Rand Paul's libertarian bona fides. He wants to discuss what Sarvis has said about new taxes.

    I'm curious about this, too. But Rand Paul is a politician who is actively campaigning for someone else, so I'm more inclined to believe he's engaging in a bit of hyperbole, if not outright lying about what Sarvis has proposed.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yes, I want to know if Paul was telling the truth or not. Why hasn't Reason covered this one way or another? Isn't Sarvis' position on taxes just as interesting in Cuccinelli's position on sodomy?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Where is Sarvis' indignant denial? Have I missed it?

  • ||

    Here's Sarvis's positions on the economy and taxes.

    Very principled, IMO.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    He wants to get rid of several taxes, but also supports

    "Moving to a uniform consumption tax on all final retail sales of goods and services."

    I would be for this if it actually reduced taxes on the whole while making them fairer. But I don't have the local knowledge to say whether this is the case.

  • ||

    More here

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The journalist who presided over the debate Sarvis was excluded from now covers Sarvis and interviews him. Very classy. Almost as classy as having him in the debate in the first place.

    The guy also acknowledges that Sarvis is getting double digits in polls - gosh, too bad this happened too late to include him in a debate where double-digit polling would have qualified him to participate! Funny how that works.

  • ||

    And here

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Ah, interesting:

    "Sarvis told Chuck Todd he didn’t actually favor more tax cuts, but finding savings through more “efficiency”. In that interview, he also endorsed expanding the Medicaid program in the state under Obamacare – which most libertarians in Virginia have been fighting tooth and nail (even Chuck Todd seemed mildly surprised at Sarvis’s willingness to trade vaguely defined “flexibility” for expansion, which the candidate described as “ideal”).

    "Despite going through George Mason’s program, he doesn’t sound like he shares their views, telling Reason: “I’m not into the whole Austrian type, strongly libertarian economics, I like more mainstream economics and would have been happy to go elsewhere.” That makes sense, given that he’s endorsed more transportation taxes, too – including higher gas taxes and instituting a vehicle-miles driven tax in the state."

  • KPres||

    What is the political climate like in Virginia? If there's no political energy to lower taxes, then a libertarian candidate SHOULD support the status quo. You didn't see Obama running on gun-control did you? But what happened when the climate shifted a little in his favor? That's how you win elections AND advance your agenda.

    He sounds like a smart politician who understands that change is an incremental thing. That's so refreshing. I hope he keeps running, because this guy won't embarrass me every other month the way low-IQ libertarians like Rand Paul and Gary Johnson do.

  • ||

    VA isn't dealing with any major crises right now. The housing market is reasonable, taxes are so-so (compared to two of our our immediate neighbors - DC and Maryland), gun laws are middling (comparatively), crime is fairly low, unemployment is not outrageous, business-friendliness is pretty good. There's really not much of an impetus for change.

    This is all a recipe for Dems to hold the governorship.

  • KPres||

    "“I’m not into the whole Austrian type, strongly libertarian economics, I like more mainstream economics and would have been happy to go elsewhere.”"

    Full quote....

    I went to Mason mostly because they are nearby and have a strong free market bent to it. I’m not into the whole Austrian type, strongly libertarian economics, I like more mainstream economics and would have been happy to go elsewhere [as well].

    In other words he's a Friedman libertarian not a Rothbard libertarian. Is that supposed to be a knock against him?

  • Fluffy||

    Here are some reasons to not care if McAuliffe wins:

    1. The Virginia legislature is controlled by Republicans.

    2. I don't live in Virginia.

    3. Many people who DO live in Virginia, such as most of the population of the northern counties, are parasites of one sort or another, so if McAuliffe messes up their state, so much the better.

    These can also be expressed as:

    1. McAuliffe won't be able to do anything that bad.

    2. If he does, he won't do it to me.

    3. Many of the people he WILL do it to deserve it.

  • John||

    All true. Here is the thing. The only good reason to vote against Cuccinilli is the sodomy statement. And that is a perfectly fine reason to vote against him. There are a lot of good reasons to vote against McAuliffe, mostly variations of the fact that he is a crook. But in fairness to McAuliffe there is no reason to think he has any problem with sodomy or gay people.

    The question is which offends you more, McAuliffe being a crook or Cuccinilli not liking gay people. If McAuliffe wins it will because the majority of Virginia either like their governor being a big government crook or dislike their governor having an issue with gays more than they dislike having a governor who is a crook.

    So really, if McAuliffe wins everyone who voted for him or the L candidate should be happy. Sure, things may get worse in other ways. But there will be no danger of the governor trying to ban sodomy or in any way oppressing gays. So everyone at least gets the issue that is most important to them even if they don't get everything.

    Democracy in action.

  • ||

    I feel it deserves mentioning that Robert Sarvis looks exactly like Mac from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in that picture.

  • radar||

    Regarding the great anti-buttfucking campaigns of Ken Cuccinelli - I guess I'd care more about that if he had a snowball's chance in hell of actually doing anything tangible about it. He doesn't. McAuliffe, however, stands an excellent chance of pumping up taxes and state spending regardless of the spineless GOP majority in the GA.

    I'm still voting for Sarvis because I'd like to be content with my voting choice, but I'm absolutely hoping that Cooch ends up beating the slimeball for the simple reason that I'd rather not have my taxes raised nor see my state running huge deficits.

    Plus, the frothing, incoherent rage a Cooch win would inspire among Carytown hipsters in Richmond would entertain me for YEARS. Don't sell that pleasure short. It would feel almost as good as buttfucking.

  • ChrisO||

    I have to admit, the reaction of the progs to a Cuccinelli win would give me a serious smile. Those derpshits have actually made me more like Cuccinelli more, when in fact I have serious reservations about him.

  • John||

    I have yet to hear anyone convince me of why I should care about the things that I don't like about him. I care about spending and gun rights and taxes and not a lot else. McAuliffe is a disaster on those issues. So whatever kind of disaster Cuccinilli is on gays or sodomy or whatever, is not as important as the things McAuliffe is bad on.

    I wish Cuccinili hadn't said all of the dumb shit that he did. But more than that, I wish everyone on both sides would stop caring so much about it. Lets fix a few other things and then go back to fighting the culture war.

  • Rasilio||

    "I wish Cuccinili hadn't said all of the dumb shit that he did. But more than that, I wish everyone on both sides would stop caring so much about it. Lets fix a few other things and then go back to fighting the culture war."

    But the Democrats will never let you get away from the culture war because THEY won't stop fighting in an arena where they consistantly win big.

    As long as there is 1 Republican out there doing or saying dumb culture war shit they will use it to show how out of touch and backwards Republicans are and everytime Cuccinelli opens his mouth he is handing them ammunition for the culture war

  • JoeS54||

    One day people will realize that Democrats are the ones who won't shut up about social issues. The attitude you're accepting, and applying to Cuccinelli, is getting to the point of treating anything outside left wing dogma as an Orwellian thoughtcrime. What has Cuccinelli actually done in his role as AG? What has he stated he would do as governor?

    People who base their views on REASON would find out what Cuccinelli's actual record is, rather than buying into left wing propaganda.

    And people who prioritize social issues over economic issues are not libertarians.

  • JoeS54||

    - Sarvis is a liberal Republican running as a Libertarian as a matter of convenience.

    - The hysterics about Cuccinelli's positions on social issues would be more valid if they weren't based on massive distortions of his record.

    -Supporting government-sanctioned, subsidized and regulated same-sex marriage is not a libertarian position, period. Never will be, no matter how many so called "libertarians" take it.

  • JoeS54||

    To be more specific here, Cuccinelli is a Catholic, and he has stated his belief in the teachings of the Catholic Church in public. He has not stated a goal of writing them into law. The one thing many libertarians seem to not care about at all is religious liberty.

  • Wintermute||

    How about SINGLES "equality, Gillespie?

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