In-Depth analysis of Virginia 2013 elections
CNN Virginia election 2009 exit polls
CNN Virginia election 2013 exit polls
The 2013 elections in Virginia included Independent candidate Robert Sarvis who won an impressive 7 percent of the vote, despite being an unknown person and running a campaign on a shoestring budget. Polls indicate voters who voted for Sarvis showed no significant tendency to vote Democrat or Republican, or even vote at all, if Sarvis were not running.
Terry McAuliffe (D) reclaimed the women, minority, and young voters in 2013, which the Democratic candidate lost in 2009 and badly lost the election. McAuliffe won the women vote by 9 points, and greatly narrowed his loss of the men vote by 3 points. Blacks voted 90 percent Democrat as usual, but the percentage of Black voters who voted increased significantly from 16% in 2009 to 20% in 2013. Finally, the young voters age 18 to 29 came out in greater numbers and voted Democrat. Young voters made up 10% of voters who voted in 2009 and increased to 13% in 2013.
While this was an important victory for the Democrats, it came very close to the wire. Removing direct contributions from outside groups, McAuliffe raised $28 million to Cuccinelli’s $11.7 million. Despite the large amount McAuliffe raised, he only won the election by 2.5 points, about half of what many polls predicted. If Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was facing McAuliffe in 2013, it would be very hard to tell if McAuliffe would have won.
The 2014 elections are coming up, fundraising and campaign strategies will be starting very soon. So what do we have to learn from the 2013 elections to prepare for the 2014 elections and beyond? 2014 is a non-presidential race, but Congressional elections abound. The Democrats have to focus on reaching out to the women, minority, and young voters, especially when minority and young voters usually drop off significantly.
McAuliffe successfully reached out to the Black voters, but he was not successful with the other minority groups. Latino and Asian voters in Virginia were unusually low at 5% in 2009 and still 5% in 2013, and while both groups have grown, the percentages remain the same, meaning McAuliffe lost out on those voters. Democrats have to reach out to Latinos, Asians, and every mixed and other race, such as creating voter registration drives to get them out to vote. The percent of Latino and Asians eligible to vote but who actually vote is over 15 points lower than whites and blacks, so Democrats need to reach out and register.
While McAuliffe did significantly better with young voters in 2013, with young voters making up 13%, it was still significantly lower than the 18% to 19% young voters made up in the last two Presidential elections. Also, young voters voted Democrat over 60% in the last two Presidential elections, but counting only the young voters who voted for McAuliffe or Cuccinelli in 2013, McAuliffe only won 53%.
The idea is simple but the work is hard, so the Democrats must start early and work hard to win the women, minority (of all races), and young voters. Elections are constantly getting more expensive, with every statewide election, like state governor or U.S. Senate race, costing well over $10 million for each party running, so if you want to keep losing and keep burning money by the millions, make sure you follow the lies, misinformation, and dangerous stupidity of right-wing losers like Steve Sailer.