On paper, Terry McAuliffe has a number of significant negatives that should have dragged down his campaign. He has never held elective office; his entrepreneurial career raised some ethical red flags; his platform could be described charitably as broad, or less charitably as vague; and his appeal to Independents and young adults was modest. During the closing weeks of the campaign, the furor over the Affordable Care Act gave his opponent a cutting issue.
Despite all this, McAullife is the governor-elect of Virginia. Three key factors explain why: CONT.
Bill Galston, Brookings Institution