National stakes in Virginia’s gubernatorial race

… Cuccinelli matches the profile of the kind of candidate whom many Republican activists wish their party would nominate for national office — someone authentically and unapologetically conservative and willing to fight for those ideas. To these conservatives, the past two Republican presidential nominees, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in 2012 and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in 2008, were deficient on both counts. …

Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, sketched out the stakes for his party and, by implication, for those Republicans who may be thinking about running for president in 2016. “It may be a textbook example of how you resurrect the party and how you don’t,” he said. “I can’t talk as though McAuliffe has won, but it’s pretty clear that if you continually tack right, tack right, tack right, that it’s going to be increasingly difficult to win swing states.” [cont.]

Dan Balz, Washington Post