Democrat Terry McAuliffe Wins Virginia Governor Race, AP Projects


They believe that his focus on the health care law in the final stages of the campaign essentially had no impact on the race—making that message a loser for Republicans in 2014 and beyond.

But perhaps the biggest warning sign for Cuccinelli is his standing among women voters, who out-vote men and are a key indicator in national elections.

Democrats launched a concerted strategy to exacerbate Cuccinelli's problems with women with an unrelenting stream of negative ads labeling his positions on abortion and other social issues as extreme.

And preliminary exit poll results suggest a far more moderate electorate on issues than one Cuccinelli hope to appeal to. Six in ten voters, according to those results, say they support legal abortion.

"I think this will be a very good test case," said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake during a recent briefing on her party's efforts to increase turnout among young, minority and unmarried women voters in off-year elections like this one and the 2014 midterms.

The "Rising American Electorate" as it has been termed by Democrats, is being increasingly viewed as the key to Democratic victories nationwide.

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