Les Smith Reports: Why was the governor’s race so close?

Posted at 11:48 PM, Nov 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-06 23:48:34-05

Today, a lot of people are asking why was the governor's race was so close when the polls said Terry McAuliffe was so far ahead?

The polls only tell us what people say they're going to do, not what they actually do. But they were way off. All the polls showed McAuliffe winning by at least five points. He actually won by about two and a half. So what made the difference? It turns out it had a lot to do with Obamacare.

Cuccinelli was right according to the exit polls. 53 percent of Virginians said they were against Obamacare, too. It was second in importance only to the economy and they voted overwhelmingly for Cuccinelli.

He had campaigned hard on the issue, especially after the disastrous rollout of the plan's new website last month.

Cuccinelli was the first attorney general in the country to challenge the Affordable Care Act in court and even in defeat Tuesday night he was still fighting against it.

And what about the gender gap?

Terry McAuliffe spent millions on ads trying to convince women that Cuccinelli was an extremist on abortion and contraception. McAuliffe did win big among women. He won single women by 42 % and married women voted for Cuccinelli by 9%.

And it was no different among men. McAuliffe won easily among single men. Cuccinelli won among married men.

McAuliffe had a lot more money to spend.

He spent on TV ads and field offices all across the state that were so important in getting out the vote. More democrats voted than republicans in the election.