Updated: 10:51 p.m. ET
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) lost the Virginia governor's race Tuesday evening.
"Despite being outspent by an unprecedented $15 million, this race came down to the wire because of Obamacare," Cuccinelli said in his concession speech in Richmond. "We said this race was a referendum on Obamacare, and although I lost tonight, you sent a message to the president of the United States that you believe that Obamacare is a failure and that you want to be in charge of your health care, not the government."
But in the end, Cuccinelli's hard-right conservatism -- which he flaunted throughout the campaign -- seems to have been his undoing.
Cuccinelli's loss may come as a lesson that simply firing up the base is not a surefire way to get elected.
Republicans in the state who watched the Virginia gubernatorial race closely say that the problem wasn't that Terry McAuliffe (D) was a perfect candidate -- far from it, he'd faced ethical questions for years before running in Virginia -- or that Cuccinelli failed to properly articulate his conservatism. Quite the opposite actually. Rather it was that Cuccinelli was too good at making his staunch conservative views clear which gave McAuliffe an opening and alienated crucial voting groups.
"He's been effectively characterized as some sort of right-wing fundamentalist pastor who if you don't agree with his reading of the Bible you go to hell," said Michael W. Thompson, who has been active in the Virginia Republican Party and serves as the current president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy.
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