"Can Climate-Change Denier Ken Cuccinelli Win a Swing State?"

"In storm-battered Virginia, the Republican candidate for governor still doubts the science."

"The leading Republican candidate, state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, is an unapologetically partisan firebrand who has drawn the national spotlight for his crusade against the science of climate change. He launched a two-year investigation of University of Virginia climate scientist Michael Mann—which the Virginia Supreme Court eventually shut down. He has sued to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating the fossil-fuel pollution that causes global warming. In his new book, The Last Line of Defense: The New Fight for American Liberty, Cuccinelli ramped up his attack on EPA’s climate rules, warning that they’ll slow the U.S. economy and force Americans to live in a future of brownouts and endless gas-station lines.

His likely opponent, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, is planning to attack Cuccinelli for his hard-right views on climate change as part of a broader effort to paint the Republican as an extremist on a range of hot-button issues, including abortion, gay rights, and immigration, the McAuliffe campaign says.

But Cuccinelli’s climate crusade, in particular, will resonate with his party’s base nationally as well as with conservative Virginians. The race is kicking into gear just as President Obama declared, in his State of the Union and inaugural speeches, that he plans to aggressively fight climate change—a cause the president sees as a legacy issue. And Obama’s climate agenda is almost certain to lead to more of the EPA regulations that Cuccinelli has warred against."

Coral Davenport reports for National Journal March 3, 2013.

Source: National Journal, 03/05/2013