Elections
Ken Cuccinelli (Photo: Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller) Ken Cuccinelli (Photo: Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller)  

Cuccinelli talks family, Obamacare and Chris Christie outside polling precinct

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

FAIRFAX, Va. — Win or lose in the Virginia gubernatorial race today, Ken Cuccinelli said Tuesday he’s looking forward to getting off the campaign trail and seeing his family more.

“I’ll see them tonight,” the Republican said of his children, while greeting voters outside the Eagle View Elementary School in Fairfax. “Which I haven’t been able to do every night.”

“Won’t be in my house,” Cuccinelli said with a laugh. “But it’ll be in the Marriott. Which they enjoy. They love that.”

The Republican candidate, who lives in Northern Virginia, will reunite with his family at his campaign’s election night party in Richmond.

Visiting his fifth polling precinct of the morning, Cuccinelli exuded confidence that he will pull off a victory, despite polls showing him behind Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe by several points and being badly outspent by Democrats.

“I feel pretty good,” he said during a gaggle with reporters outside the precinct. “It’s good weather.”

The latest Real Clear Politics polling average has McAuliffe with 45.6 percent to Cuccinelli’s 38.9 percent.

Despite the sort of punditry expected after the results come in, Cuccinelli made it clear: he doesn’t see parallels between his race and that of Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is also on the ballot in his state today.

“I just don’t think there’s a lot of comparison,” he said. “There’s some basic core principles which we tend to all run on as Republicans, [but] other than that, a very different environment. I hope he wins. I hope we win.”

Referencing Christie, Cuccinelli said: “He’s in a totally different state than I am. He’s also an incumbent.”

“What motivates us is different,” Cuccinelli continued. “They don’t have to worry as much about the federal government’s shrinking like we do — and we all know it needs to shrink — but that’s going to affect Virginia a lot more than most other states.”

“They have their own issues that are very different than ours,” he said.

He also referenced President Obama’s unpopular health-care law, which he has been using to hammer McAuliffe in the closing days of the campaign.

“I haven’t watched New Jersey, but I’ve watched Virginia and I know tens of thousands of Virginians have been getting those cancellation notices,” he said, referring to Obamacare. “And then they get notes saying, ‘Oh, but you can sign up for a new insurance policy, and it’s 50 percent more expensive.’”

“Over the course of the next year, as several million people get those notices in Virginia, which we now know about, it’s going to be an earthquake,” he added.

Ken Cuccinelli

(Photo: Matt Lewis / The Daily Caller)

Asked by a reporter about the McAuliffe campaign’s claims to have knocked on 1.5 million doors during the campaign, Cuccinelli expressed skepticism: “I don’t actually think he’s done it. I’m not terribly worried about that. We would’ve encountered that if that was happening.”

The Republican candidate said he’s spending the rest of the day, until the polls close, visiting precincts and speaking to voters.

“I’ve used some car time to call some undecided voters and answer their questions,” he said. “That’s what I was doing here before I pulled in.”

Cuccinelli said voters — even today — are still asking him questions about the issues.

“People show up with questions to the last minute — heck, they leave and they still have questions sometimes,” he said with a laugh.

Asked by The Daily Caller what issues are most often asked about, he said: “It varies widely, voter to voter. Taxes and the economy has been the most repeated question I’ve gotten. Obamacare questions is probably number two. Clarification on TV ads is number three.”

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