Republican Ken Cuccinelli is going to have a heck of a time persuading women as well Northern Virginian moderates to vote for him. His record on social issues (trying to stop prohibitions on gay discrimination at state schools, mandatory ultrasounds, etc.) fits easily into the “war on women” or “right-wing fanatic” attack that Democrats are adept at.

So it isn’t surprising that his first ad is anticipatorily defensive, using his wife to vouch for him and touting his women-friendly actions:

Will his college record and prosecuting human traffickers be enough to make women voters feel warm and fuzzy about him? I doubt it.

Cuccinelli remains unwilling or unable to set forth an agenda that women, and indeed all voters, can relate to. In the absence of any affirmative argument for his own candidacy, he is trying to beat to death the tax issue — not our taxes but Terry McAuliffe’s decision not to release his. It hasn’t resonated so far and isn’t likely to, given that the press is disinclined to treat McAuliffe as they treated Mitt Romney.

Ultimately Cuccinelli will have to speak for himself, explain why his record isn’t radical as Democrats say it is and set out policies that are going to make Virginians’ lives better. Until he does that, he’s a very vulnerable candidate.