The GOP's failed effort to defund Obamacare in exchange for shutting down the federal government and risking the nation's borrowing authority may cause the party to lose the governor's race in Virginia, according to The Wall Street Journal.
"The blowback from furloughs of local workers has landed on conservative gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, dragging him down in his fight against Democrat Terry McAuliffe," the newspaper said on Thursday in an op-ed piece.
The Journal called the Republican effort "Defund Obamacare."
Cuccinelli, the Republican attorney general, is facing McAuliffe, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, in an acrimonious race to succeed GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell.
McAuliffe has consistently led Cuccinelli in the polls, with a recent Quinnipiac University survey
showing the Democrat with an 8-point lead over Cuccinelli, with McAuliffe being favored among women voters.
The vote is set for Nov. 5.
So far, Democrats have spent an estimated $7.5 million more in the race than the GOP, the Journal said on Thursday.
Further, the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank has spent money on ads attacking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell over defunding Obamacare "rather than playing for keeps in states (like Virginia) that will play crucial roles in upcoming federal elections.
"Democrats are, as a result, well poised in a few weeks to seize back Virginia — giving them another gloating point," the Journal said.
Further, those legislators who supported defunding President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement "managed one thing: to turn the Republican Party upon itself," the Journal said.
"Millions of frustrated conservatives who were told this fight was winnable are now furious at Republicans for not doing the impossible."
If Republicans had not spent time battling Obamacare, the Journal contended, the negative publicity surrounding the program's rollout would have given Republicans leverage in future negotiations.
"The rollout of the Obamacare exchanges has been a failure. Not 'glitchy.' Not 'troubled.' Failure," the Journal said.
"Had the GOP not been mired in shutdown headlines, had it spent 24/7 highlighting the enrollment disasters, the flood of premium hikes and canceled policies, the layoffs and cut hours, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius might at this moment be facing forced resignation.
"The GOP might be issuing its own terms for some form of Obamacare surrender," the Journal said.
"But none of that changes the fact that Defund Obamacare was the wrong fight, at the wrong time, facing impossible odds, and conducted by generals who lacked an endgame," the newspaper concluded. "Being right isn't always enough."
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