Regarding the Nov. 6 editorial “Mr. McAuliffe’s victory”:

Excepting L. Douglas Wilder, I have always voted for Republicans for governor of Virginia. As a protest, however, I voted for Libertarian Robert Sarvis in this election. I did so with the optimistic expectation that Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s pro-business stance will hold — and with the hope that the Republican Party will get the message that it cannot continue to field extremist candidates. The Republicans have no chance nationally if they continue to force even their reasonable candidates toward extreme positions to get through the primaries and conventions.

I hope that this message is furthered by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s reelection victory. Ken Cuccinelli II didn’t lose to Mr. McAuliffe because he was outspent; he was defeated because he lost the votes of reasonable Republicans, women, independents and moderate Democrats. Given the margin of Mr. McAuliffe’s victory, it is likely that a more moderate Republican, such as Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, would have won handily. Lesson learned (I hope).

T.M. Batchelor, Tysons Corner

It appears that Virginia Republicans are quickly settling on one of two narratives to explain Ken Cuccinelli II’s loss. Either he couldn’t overcome a career full of too-rabid right-wing positions, and thus was too radical to attract needed independents and centrist Democrats, or Republican traditionalists didn’t give him sufficient backing because they thought he would lose.

It appears the party is not examining what I believe was the true dooming of its chances: The tea party wing insisted on not allowing a primary election and instead rigged the process to ensure that only a far right candidate could get the nomination. Thus, whichever of the two narratives Republicans choose to believe, the outcome was predetermined by precluding a candidate who could appeal to voters beyond the “nominating wing” of the party.

Alan Larsen, Arlington

So Ken Cuccinelli II refused to call Terry McAuliffe and congratulate him on his victory [“Result widens Republican split,” front page, Nov. 7]. Unbelievable, childish and yet another reason to be grateful that Mr. Cuccinelli won’t be in the governor’s mansion in Richmond!

Ann Lindley, Gaithersburg