Nearly crashing into two deer on my way home last night from Charlottesville clarified a few things for me about the race and the results:

1. Most of the polls in this race were utterly useless at the end. Maybe it was the presence of a third-party candidate, or perhaps it was something deeper. No matter. The polls showing this was a margin-of-error race were the best ones out there — and that includes Bearing Drift’s poll in September.

2. Obamacare is toxic for Democrats. As the stories continue to mount about people losing their coverage, it only becomes more so. My writing partner Paul Goldman explained it this way (interestingly enough, on Halloween):

Fact: Unless something unexpected happens, Obamacare will be a LOSING SOUNDBITE ISSUE through election day next Tuesday.

Yep, it was — such a big loser that it nearly cut The Macker’s legs, and the millions he spent on attack ads, out from under him. Which brings up the next item …

3. McAuliffe’s parade of Democratic luminaries was a huge risk that almost cost him the election. Given that his own substantial negatives, and the nastiness of his campaign, McAuliffe almost had no choice but to bring in the Clintons and the president to buoy his base. But when you’re spending time and money trying to motivate your base voters late in the campaign, you’re losing (a lesson that applies to Cuccinelli, too).

[Continue reading Norman Leahy’s post at BearingDrift.com.]

Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.