There are three snippets from Marc Fisher and Laura Vozzella’s pre-post-mortem of the Ken Cuccinelli gubernatorial campaign that I want to share with you.
Here’s the first:
Four years ago, McDonnell’s largest single donor other than Republican Party organizations was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent $973,000 on his campaign. This year, the chamber gave Cuccinelli nothing.
Asked to explain that decision, a spokesman for the business association, Blair Latoff Holmes, said only that “the chamber is not involved in the Virginia governor’s race.”
Here’s the second:
Of the 43 donors who contributed $50,000 or more to McDonnell four years ago, 27 made no major gifts to Cuccinelli this year, The Post found…
…The 27 missing donors gave a total of $2.3 million in 2009. Most of those contributors gave to Republicans in other races this year. The Virginia Association of Realtors and Premium Distributors of Virginia, one of the state’s largest beer wholesalers, switched sides and gave to McAuliffe.
Here’s the third:
Mark Kington, an Alexandria venture capitalist who gave $83,000 to McDonnell in 2009, said he steered clear of Cuccinelli because “his position on climate change to me was a real non-starter, and I told him as much.”
Kington, a former member of the University of Virginia’s board of visitors, donated $1.5 million with his wife to endow a professorship in climate change research. Cuccinelli, a longtime skeptic on climate change, spent two years as attorney general investigating whether a U.Va. professor had manipulated data to show rising temperatures on Earth. The university fought back, and the Virginia Supreme Court ruled for the school.
Kington, a moderate Republican and former business partner of Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), said he would not have supported Cuccinelli even if climate change weren’t an issue. “It may be time to vote for the third-party candidate,” he said, “if only to send a message to the Republican Party that we need pragmatic solutions, not positions that are unbending.”
Now think back to the first piece I wrote today about how business-minded Republicans have no reason to align themselves with a party as socially conservative as the modern GOP. Think back to how I said that business leaders were already concluding that moderate Democrats were a better investment than conservative Republicans. Think back to how I said that business-minded Republicans are pining for a third party. And think back to how I said that most business-minded Republicans have no use for the silliness of climate change denialism.
Every single one of those points came up as partial explanations for why Ken Cuccinelli couldn’t raise enough money to compete in this race. It’s true in Virginia. It’s true in Georgia. It’s true in California. It’s true basically everywhere. The world has changed almost overnight. Something different is coming.