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Ken Cuccinelli
Will this man be smiling in two weeks or so?
Republican Ken Cuccinelli's faintly crappy October just continues to get crappier. A new poll out Thursday afternoon from NBC News (partnering with Marist) shows that Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe's lead in the Virginia gubernatorial election continues to grow.
NBC/Marist. Registered voters. 10/12-10/15. Margin of Error 3 percent). (Sept. poll in parentheses)

Terry McAuliffe (D): 46 (43)
Ken Cuccinelli (R): 38 (38)
Robert Sarvis (L): 9 (8)

Shutdown politics clearly have played a role in the widening gap. Nearly two-in-five voters say that the Republican-engineered shutdown of the federal government has a major impact on their vote. McAuliffe leads that group by a two-to-one margin (55-27). What's more: voters were substantially more likely to blame the GOP for the shutdown (54 percent) than they were President Barack Obama (31 percent).

As other polls have confirmed, Cuccinelli's own personal unpopularity is also playing a huge role in his electoral malaise. While voters have a middling view of McAuliffe (his fav/unfav is 44/43), the GOP standard bearer is pretty close to reviled. Cuccinelli's fav/unfav in this latest poll: 37 percent favorable, with 54 percent having an unfavorable opinion of the state attorney general.

Already flailing, Cuccinelli made it clear this week that he is going to go down in a blaze of glory. Head below the fold to see how Cuccinelli appears determined to make his biggest liability the centerpiece of the campaign.

Earlier this week, you may recall, Democrats unearthed some video from 2012 where Cuccinelli, speaking before the Christian Life Summit of "values voters," made the following claim:

"Really, given that God does judge nations, it's amazing that abortion has run as far and foully as it has, without what I would consider to be a greater imposition of judgment on this country."
Democrats must have thought they hit the mother lode. After all, the stunning degree to which Cuccinelli is out of the mainstream on this issue had long been a favored campaign topic for the McAuliffe/Democratic team.

So imagine their unrestrained joy when they saw that Cuccinelli, for reasons only he could possibly know, decided to take the anti-choice crusade to the next level:

“If you go back to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, he looked at the Civil War as sort of a national penance for slavery, the evil of slavery, letting it go on, and the founders knew how bad it was. And we have other things in this country today, and abortion is one of them.”
Somehow, I suspect that equating legal abortion rights to slavery is not exactly how team Cuccinelli planned to claw their way back from a tangible and growing deficit in this race.

The main question now is whether or not Cuccinelli's flagging campaign will cost the GOP some seats in the state legislature, where they have a substantial edge. Folks here at Daily Kos can do their part, by tossing some coin at two solid Democrats who have a legitimate shot at dispatching two four incumbent Republican members of the state House of Delegates.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 07:37 AM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos, Abortion, and Daily Kos.

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