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Republicans red-faced as Democrats paint Virginia blue

11/6/2013, 10:51 a.m.
Bill Bolling

“Going forward, we need to have an open and honest conversation about the future of our party and determine what we must do to reconnect with a more diverse voter base whose support is critical to political success in Virginia,” Bolling said.

Hard-line conservatives and tea partyers are in no mood for a scolding.

“Had Bill Bolling been nominated, Libertarians would have played a more prominent role in this race,” said Fauquier County activist Mark Fitzgibbons.

Accomack County GOP official Dona Danziger said the party needs new blood at the local leadership level and stronger candidates.

“This is a problem that began back with John McCain,” she said.

Roger Stone, a veteran political consultant, said the splintered GOP will see a lot more of the Libertarians — like them or not.

“The Sarvis vote shows what will happen if Republicans cannot reconcile their social conservative wing with their economic conservative wing,” Stone told Watchdog from South Florida.

“In the old days, those who were in the party merely held the nose and voted for the party nominee because they had no where else to go. Now Libertarian candidates offer these voters an alternative.”

Kenric Ward is chief of the Virginia Watchdog Bureau.