Ken Cuccinelli's election of strategy of running on his long-standing opposition to homosexuality might have worked in 2009, when Cuccinelli won the attorney general race in Virginia. But the country's shift on gay politics didn't miss the state, putting Cuccinelli at risk of losing key Republican donors and the governor's race.
The timing of his embrace of anti-gay rhetoric couldn't be much worse. Cuccinelli is running in a close race with Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Several polls, including one from Quinnipiac University last week, show McAuliffe with a slight lead. But in another metric, fundraising, McAuliffe is far ahead — thanks, in part, to reticence from pas Republican donors to give to Cuccinelli. Bloomberg reports that Cuccinelli's adamant social conservative positions are a key factor in that antipathy. That attitude can be summarized in one quote.
“Mr. Cuccinelli’s very hard stance on some of the social issues is a concern for me,” said Virginia Beach developer Bruce L. Thompson, chief executive officer of Gold Key/PHR Hotels and Resorts, a financial backer of current Republican Governor Bob McDonnell who in May gave McAuliffe $25,000.
Or, perhaps two:
“I’m an employer in Virginia, and Cuccinelli terrifies me,” said Gary Shapiro, the president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association in Arlington, which represents 2,000 technology companies.
“To attract the best employees, you don’t want to have the most backward policies in the country,” Shapiro said, referring to Cuccinelli’s stands on issues including abortion and gay rights.
Cuccinelli has raised 40 percent less than McAuliffe to date.