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November 6, 2013 The Hillary Effect In Virginia Gubernatorial Race
Media pundits had long argued that the 2013 Virginia Governor’s race was the bellwether on a potential Clinton campaign, in part because “McAuliffe… brought in the former first lady and her husband… to help close a contest” for the state’s top job. [‘Virginia governors' race remains tight, closely watched as window into midterm, 2016 contests,’ FoxNews.com, 10/30/13] The results are in, and the Hillary effect is clear. As the white paper “The Hillary Effect: Secretary Clinton Brings Vision, Substance and Muscle to McAuliffe’s Success” outlines (below) , Secretary Clinton’s impact on the Virginia Governor’s race made a marked difference in the outcome for Democrat Terry McAuliffe. This happened even as the Wall Street Journal tried to paint the Clintons’ support in a negative light and McAuliffe’s opponent criticized his campaign’s connections to Hillary Clinton. [“The Clinton Show Returns,” Wall Street Journal editorial, 11/3/13; “Hillary Clinton’s first test,” Politico, 4/2/13] With Clinton’s help, McAuliffe switched a Southern swing-state Governor’s office from Red to Blue. Larry Sabato argued that the win “‘guarantees’ close friend Hillary Clinton ‘a Southern base of operations’ should she run for president in three years.” [FoxNews.com, 10/30/13] With Clinton’s support, McAuliffe won unmarried women voters by nearly 40 points and unmarried men by nearly 12 points, according to exit polls. Clinton-backed McAuliffe cut the Republican edge among white women nearly in half compared to the last Virginia gubernatorial election and by three points compared to the 2012 presidential election. Secretary Clinton took the case for McAuliffe directly to voters, also laying out her vision for a Washington that works for hardworking Americans. On the campaign trail, she was greeted with “a hero's welcome” at an event with “long, excited lines snaking outside the venue” just to grab a glimpse of her. [Reuters, 10/19/13; Washington Post, 10/19/13] For more detail of Hillary’s reception on the campaign trail, see the document, “The Hillary Effect: On The Campaign Trail” (below). It is worth noting that the same night New Jersey exit polls showed voters preferring Secretary Hillary Clinton to Governor Chris Christie in a potential 2016 Presidential contest 48 to 44. [NBC News, 11/5/13]
The Hillary Effect:
Secretary Clinton Brings Vision, Substance And Muscle To McAuliffe's Success
Hillary Clinton Brings Vision & Substance to The Campaign Trail "We cannot let those who do not believe in America's progress hijack this great experiment, and substitute for the habits of the heart suspicion, hatred, anger, anxiety. That's not as a people who we are.” – Hillary Clinton “Politicians choose scorched-earth over common ground," she continued. "They operate in what I called the evidence-free-zone, with ideology trumping everything else," she said, before listing the consequences of the shutdown, such as furloughed workers and "children thrown out of Head Start." [CNN 10/19/13] Hillary Clinton Brings Muscle to The Campaign Trail Secretary Clinton “made a foray back into the thorny world of campaign politics” keynoting a rally for McAuliffe in Falls Church, Virginia. [CNN 10/19/13] “The Clintons have gone to bat in a big way for McAuliffe’s campaign.” Hillary did a “big wave” of last minute mailers on behalf of Terry McAuliffe’s campaign. [Politico, 11/5/13]
What The Pundits Said:
“The success or failure of McAuliffe’s campaign is a chance to measure Clinton’s strength and organization … Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign begins this year in Virginia” – Politico, 4/2/13 A Wall Street Journal reporter said conservatives view the Virginia gubernatorial election as “American conservatism versus the Clinton Democrats and the Clinton Crowd.” – Video, WSJ.com, 8/26/13 The Wall Street Journal even tried to paint McAuliffe’s connection to the Clintons in a negative light. – Wall Street Journal editorial, 11/3/13 But after Hillary Clinton went directly to Virginia voters to campaign for McAuliffe and appeared in what Politico called a “big wave” of last minute mail on Terry McAuliffe’s behalf… the verdict is in…
Clinton-backed McAuliffe won 48-46, switching a Southern swing-state Governor’s office from Red to Blue. According to exit polls, Clinton-backed McAuliffe won unmarried women voters by nearly 40 points and unmarried men by nearly 12 points. According to exit polls, Clinton-backed McAuliffe cut the Republican edge among white women nearly in half compared to the last Virginia gubernatorial election and by three points compared to the 2012 presidential election. Clinton-backed McAuliffe’s victory was the first time in nearly 40-years an incumbent president’s party won the Virginia governor’s race. According to exit polls, Clinton-backed McAuliffe out-performed the last Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Virginia by eight points among men and five points among women.
The Hillary Effect
THE HILLARY EFFECT: ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
“HILL-A-RY! HILL-A-RY!” “Officially, the concert hall billed it as a Terry McAuliffe campaign event. But the northern Virginia crowd came to see Hillary Clinton, potential 2016 presidential candidate, and they greeted her like the headliner. ‘The leader who has joined us here today--’ was as far as McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for Virginia governor, got before the crowd leapt to its feet, almost everyone holding cell phones aloft, trying to snap a picture. ‘HILL-A-RY! HILL-A-RY!’ they chanted, before McAuliffe even said her name.” [NBC News, 10/19/13] “On this day, McAuliffe brought a rock star to Falls Church.” [WJLA, 10/19/13] “Giddy fans with tickets talked to one and other about what they were about to see.” “Outside the venerable State Theatre here early Saturday afternoon, the scene was not unlike that usually seen outside concert venues when a famous rock band comes to play. Lines snaked around the corner of building, police were in full force with barricades and the like, curious passers-by looked on with amazement and giddy fans with tickets talked to one and other about what they were about to see. But while there might not have been a rock band on hand, someone with decided star quality certainly was. That would be former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton, wife of Bill and potentially the next President.” [WJLA, 10/19/13] “We wanted to come see Terry and Hillary today … Hmm, Hillary, then Terry” “Shruti Kuppa, a Reston native, took a break from undergraduate work at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh to come home for the event. She brought along two non-Virginian friends. ‘We wanted to come see Terry and Hillary today,’ Kuppa said before the rally began. In that order? She thought for a moment: ‘Hmm, Hillary, then Terry.’” [Washington Post, 10/19/13] The event had “long, excited lines snaking outside the venue.” “In scale, the event resembled a presidential campaign stop more than a gubernatorial one, complete with police, barricades and long, excited lines snaking outside the venue. Amber Aaronstein, 37, a business coach from McLean who has volunteered for McAuliffe and other Democratic campaigns, said she came to the event because she got an e-mail invitation from McAuliffe’s wife, Dorothy. ‘But obviously you want to come see Hillary,’ she said. Aaronstein’s brother, Max Booze, was more succinct. ‘It’s Hillary. I got a chance to see her,’ said Booze, 26, a personal trainer from Woodbridge.” [Washington Post, 10/19/13] Hillary received “a hero's welcome.” “At her first overtly political appearance since leaving her post as secretary of state in February, the former Democratic senator and first lady said the outcome of the bitter governor's battle would show whether voters were ready to choose common sense over ideology. She received a hero's welcome from the packed crowd in a theater in Falls Church, a Washington suburb, during an appearance certain to heighten speculation about a possible 2016 presidential bid.” [Reuters, 10/19/13] The crowd began lining up hours before the event “The free tickets to the rally were snapped up quickly and the crowd of more than 700, many wearing ‘Ready for Hillary’ buttons, began lining up hours before the event.” [Reuters, 10/19/13] “It's been my dream to see Hillary.” “‘It's been my dream to see Hillary,’ said Kerry Tousignant, a recent college graduate and a volunteer coordinator at a domestic violence non-profit in Alexandria, Virginia. ‘She's a role model for all women, no matter your politics.’” [Reuters, 10/19/13] “She's a leader.” “Attorney Ali Anwar obtained the tickets for his wife, Tara McCluskey, whom he described as ‘a huge Hillary fan.’ … ‘Hillary has faced a lot of adversity, politically and personally, and she's handled it very well,’ McCluskey said. ‘She's a leader.’” [Reuters, 10/19/13] “As many people at the State Theater in Northern Virginia today wore ‘Hillary’ pins or ‘Ready for Hillary’ buttons as wore McAuliffe campaign buttons, as Clinton’s supporters looked for signs that she was ready to jump back into the political fray.” [ABC News, 10/19/13]
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