What's wrong with Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia's Republican candidate for governor? He's losing by nearly 10 percentage points, according to Real Clear Politics, to Terry McAuliffe, the flawed Democrat. The conventional wisdom is that Cuccinelli is too conservative on social issues, and the McAuliffe campaign has run ads painting the Republican as an extremist on abortion, gay rights, and contraception.
But conservative activist Maggie Gallagher has argued the opposite--that Cuccinelli has pursued a "truce strategy" on social issues that has to been to the detriment of his campaign. "The truce strategy demoralizes the GOP base and makes it hard for the grass roots to care about Republican candidates," Gallagher argued. "Conservative candidates are advised to deflect or retreat when social issues are raised, and their refusal to speak clearly and hold the line allows Democratic candidates to adopt more extreme positions, energizing their own base and unleashing a flood of money at no political cost."