Cuccinelli claims straw poll victory

By VA Blogger

Ken Cuccinelli — 47.8%
John Brownlee — 38.4%
Dave Foster — 13.8%

(Hot Springs, VA) – Ken Cuccinelli won today’s Straw Poll for Attorney General at the Republican Party of Virginia’s annual Advance with 47.8% of the vote in a three candidate field.

The Straw Poll took place in conjunction with a candidate debate featuring Cuccinelli, Dave Foster and John Brownlee, and was moderated by former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore.  Both the debate and the Straw Poll were organized by the Republican Party of Virginia.  Foster and Brownlee received 13.8% and 38.4% of the vote, respectively.

Results were scheduled to be announced at tonight’s 7:30 dinner.


  • David says:

    What was the total number of votes cast?

  • Jose Kinusee says:

    I suspect that the majority in attendence were the nutniks. Cooch and his followers are rather insecure you know.

  • RichmondDem says:

    I don’t get the point of straw polls. Especially after Ron Paul won most of them during the Republican Presidential Primary.

  • edm says:

    Jose –

    I’ll remind you that Brownlee bused in his own supporters so as to try to win this thing. Let’s call this what it is, an early losee for the Brownlee campaign. He’ll have plenty of opportunity to make it up down the road, but this is an early stumble to be sure.

  • Here’s the numbers sent to me from the “Advance” (God I hate that name):

    Brownlee 123
    Cooch 152
    Foster 44

  • anon says:

    The story here is how well Brownlee did. Cooch has been campaigning for this job for three years and he couldn’t get a clear majority in a room full of people who should be considered his base.

    Brownlee did not get the most votes, but he did win. A year ago, no one knew who he was. Today, he came within 30 votes of beating the guy whi everyone thought would be given a free pass.

  • Glenda says:

    Over 52 percent voted for someone other than Cuccinelli….

  • Chris Marston says:

    Straw polls don’t mean much. I think the comments here represent some silly biases.

    Ken put in a strong performance with party activists. Not a big surprise. He should. Only people in NOVA and eastern VA had never heard of Brownlee. He served 7 years as US Attorney for the Western District. His name was in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Roanoke Times with some frequency. The fact that the Washington Post and the Washington Times don’t write stories about someone doesn’t mean they don’t have name id.

    And exactly who thought Ken would get a free pass on the nomination to be AG. The AG nomination has been very competitive for several cycles.

    If you ask me, the real story from the straw poll is that turnout at the Advance was low. Only 320 registrants. It’s been at or above 500 for the last several years. I guess the 25th Anniversary wasn’t that big a draw.

  • t says:

    Praise God for this WONDERFUL victory for MY MAN Cooch.

    The strongest pro-lifer ALWAYS wins these things.


  • Lee J says:

    And T then they lose the big election. A recent presidential election comes to mind just who was that running for VP????? Hmmm nobody will remeber her 10 years from now. That guy from Louisiana you know bobby something he is the future of the Republican Party

  • Anonymous says:

    ya’ll are failing to mention that Brownlee bused people in. The Tazewell Vice Chair sent around an email telling people that Brownlee would pay for their registration if they jumped on a bus today to go to The Homestead. I was standing in the back of the room and personally watched folks come in through the back doors and vote FIRST. Before hearing any of the debate. They were escorted in by Brownlee Staff.
    Cuccinelli didn’t organize anything for the straw poll and Brownlee bused people in and still couldn’t win. That’s embarrassing.

  • anon says:

    Chris Marston makes the best point thus far. The REAL story is that there were only 320 people!!!! Perhaps holding the Advance in the middle of nowhere, at a luxury resort, at the top of a mountain, the first week of DECEMBER is perhaps not the best way to encourage people to show up. You have just excluded everyone who is not rich, able to travel, or willing to go to the top of a mountain when it is monkey butt cold outside.

    Hey, Jeff Frederick, if you want to the people to come to the mountain, bring the mountain to the people.

    Is the grass roots building genius stuff that we were promised?

  • Jose Kinusee says:


    This event is bs. It use to have meaning but is now heavily attended by the ultra right wingers who are there because they felt a conviction to save zygotes.

  • edm says:

    As someone who does feel that strange, compulsive need, I’ll leave it at “Whatever floats your boat, sir.”

  • Va Blogger says:

    Anyone caught trying to spin the results of the straw poll will be deemed a moron. Do so at your own risk.

    Brownlee bussed people in and Cuccinelli has much higher name ID from the party’s activists. That alone is enough to hold off on making judgments.

    Alternatively, the Cuccinelli people can yell at the Brownlee people who are yelling at the Cuccinelli people for 100 posts. That’d be fun, too.

    As far as the registration numbers, they officially announced 502 registrants for the Advance. I’m not sure for the cause of the low turnout for the Straw Poll. It’s possible (likely?) that many attendees chose not to spend the night and arrived later in the afternoon on Saturday.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    I’m loving this! My man, Ken, will be the best candidate for AG.

  • anon says:

    Brownlee was outstanding at the Advance and clearly established himself as the experienced candidate. Not even the Cooch supporters can deny it, ask them, several of them commented on how impressive Brownlee was afterwards.

    Cooch talked more about his campaigning experience (seriously) than anything else. He mentioned all the crazy bills he has introduced (I dont remember him saying any of them being passed). He used all the “right” buzz-words to get the crowd fired-up.

    Brownlee talked about his vast litigation experience and demonstrated his position on issues thru his successful prosecutions and committment to uphold the Constituion and protect the people of VA in his capacity.

    Foster, well he is a really great guy and an impressive corporate lawyer and school board chairman who should step aside so Brownlee can bring this home.

  • Va Blogger says:

    Why in the world should Foster step aside for Brownlee? That’s exactly as silly as asking Brownlee to step aside for Foster.

  • bmo says:

    “Here’s my challenge to you all, at least those that read. Engage and debate, but do so knowing that one day you’ll need to work together to win elections. ”

    I am 4 Ken 4 AG on this one…but Brownlee is also stellar…I plan to work together… and Oh do not under estimate SP 2012 …Good Thread all!

  • edm, Va Blogger, etc…

    From: sherman cain
    Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2008 05:38:32 -0800 (PST)
    Subject: Republican Advance

    The John Brownlee campaign is offering a free bus ride and admission to those who would like to attend the Don Huffman Republican Advance at the luxurious Homestead resort in Bath County. The bus would depart Saturday 12-5 about 6:30 a.m and return about 6 p.m.

    The Saturday meeting in part will decide the direction of the Republican party after this November’s elections, and include some leadership training and campaign training as well. See attachment for more details or visit the RPV web for an expanded view of the announcement.
    Please respond as soon as possible if you are interested. This would be a great opportunity for our College Republicans as well.
    Thank you for all you are doing to support the growth of our unit.

    Sounds like it was a ride with no strings attached. Quit portraying it as “his supporters” please. The letter puts no such conditions on the ride.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    These straw polls ought to be outlawed. They have become a way for groups to raise money and have no bearing on the appeal of the candidates. If Frederick wants to show leadership, he could start by banning them at all levels. Of course all the candidates do what they can to stuff the ballot boxes at these things. Some of those methods are less controversial than others, but the bottom line is that these exercises are wasteful distractions.

  • VA Blogger says:


    I never said that strings were attached, but if you are bussing in people for free, it makes sense that their preference would be a bit biased.

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