Policy & Strategy

GOP defense push doesn’t lead to election victories in Virginia

The Republican push to win Virginia by campaigning hard against defense cuts did not pay dividends on election night.

Both Mitt Romney and former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) lost
in Virginia Tuesday in toss-up races, after making looming defense cuts a big
of their campaigns in the military-heavy state.

{mosads}President Obama was ahead of Romney in Virginia 50-48.6 with
97 percent of the precincts reporting, while Allen was down to former Gov. Tim
Kaine (D-Va.) 52-48 with 97 percent reporting. Both races have been called for the Democrats.

Romney first attacked Obama for a potential $1
trillion cut to the military when he came to the state in July, and he continued
to make the defense pitch to Virginia voters through his final
in the state.

Allen also attacked Kaine over the defense
cuts, releasing ads focused on the military reductions and going after him
for supporting sequestration during debates.

The Obama administration outlined $487 billion in cuts over
the next decade as part of the Budget Control Act, and another $500 billion in
reductions are looming if sequestration takes effect.

Romney, Allen and Republicans tried to blame Obama for the
potential sequestration cuts, which would take effect Jan. 2 and will be a
major agenda item in the lame-duck session of Congress.

Republicans argued that Obama was willing to cut the
military in order to win tax increases.

Obama fought back against the Republican attacks on defense
by accusing Republicans of protecting tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense
of the military.

At the third debate, Obama declared simply that
sequestration would “not happen,” an outcome that is far from clear at this

A CBS News exit
in Virginia showed Romney was still ahead with those who served in the
military 55-44, but that margin was not enough for him to take the state.


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