McAuliffe Watch

Rough stretch for McAuliffe gives Cuccinelli big lead in new poll

Terry McAuliffe / AP

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is leading Democrat Terry McAuliffe by 10 points among likely voters in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, according to a new Washington Post poll.

Among those who say they are certain to vote in the upcoming election, Cuccinelli holds a 51 to 41 percent lead against McAuliffe.

This is not McAuliffe’s first attempt at Virginia’s governorship. His 2009 run ended abruptly when he was defeated handily in Virginia’s Democratic primary.

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This time he faced no primary challenge.

McAuliffe has benefitted from his close relationship with Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Just weeks after announcing his candidacy, McAuliffe, Obama, and Clinton hit the golf course together.

Clinton spanned the country raising money from major Democratic financiers.

Clinton also opened his own checkbook, contributing $100,000 directly to McAuliffe's campaign.

Although these political connections paid off financially, the polls show they are not helping McAuliffe gain traction with Virginians.

The primary source of McAuliffe's problems has been his chairmanship of the electric car company GreenTech Automotive.

McAuliffe promised in 2009 that GreenTech would create 1,500 jobs for Virginia; thus far, it has created only 78 jobs. All of them are in Mississippi.

McAuliffe moved GreenTech’s operations out of Virginia and into Mississippi to take advantage of a special loophole in the EB-5 visa program.

Foreign investors under the EB-5 program can receive visas from the United States government with an investment of at least $1 million. However, if a company is located in a "Targeted Employment Area," like Tunica, Miss., the investment requirement is lowered to $500,000.

Virginia officials expressed "grave doubts" about GreenTech’s business model before the move and suggested the company’s financing served as a "visa-for-sale scheme" for Chinese investors.

McAuliffe quietly resigned from GreenTech in December; his campaign announced the resignation just last month.

Cuccinelli has called attention to McAuliffe’s business career by releasing 225 pages of his own detailed tax returns and asking, "What’s Terry Hiding?"

McAuliffe released only six pages of tax summaries that contained few details in response.

McAuliffe supporters are taking solace in the fact that polls show a whopping 70 percent of voters say they know "very little" or "nothing at all" about the candidate.

The left-leaning Salon featured a story headlined "Terry McAuliffe is the worst, Terry McAuliffe reveals" upon taking a brief look into McAuliffe’s 2007 autobiography.

What A Party! tells about the time McAuliffe left his wife crying in the car with a newborn to attend a fundraiser, and about the time McAuliffe left his wife in the delivery room to attend a Washington Post party.

It also tells how McAuliffe left his wife alone on a trip to Cape Cod so he could golf with Tip O’Neill, and the time he illegally shot a bird protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and was told to feed "the damn thing to the alligators."

McAuliffe also says he is "sure" the famed "October Surprise" conspiracy theory, alleging Ronald Reagan and Iran conspired to delay the release of American hostages, is true.

A House of Representatives special task force, chaired by a Democrat, spent $1.3 million and 10 months investigating the so-called October surprise and came up empty handed.