Va. Gubernatorial Race 'A Referendum on Obamacare,' Says GOP Candidate Cuccinelli

By Susan Jones | November 5, 2013 | 6:14 AM EST

Virginia Gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli (R) (AP File Photo)

( - Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia, says Obamacare is motivating factor for many voters in his state.

"And tomorrow has turned very much in to a referendum on Obamacare," he told Fox News's Neil Cavuto Monday afternoon. Cuccinelli said his Democratic Opponent Terry McAuliffe isn't mentioning Obamacare, and neither did President Obama when he campaigned with McAuliffe on Sunday.

"I'm scared of what Obamacare's doing to Virginians. And Terry McAuliffe is scared of what Obamacare is doing to Terry McAuliffe," Cuccinelli told Cavuto.

"And as people get cancellation notices, tens of thousands of them in Virginia already, and now we know from the administration we can expect about two million Virginians over the course of the next year to get notices of cancellation of their health insurance. This is being delivered to us courtesy of Obamacare.

"And I was the first to fight it. We're hoping people will come to the polls tomorrow to send Washington a message about what a failure Obamacare is. And tomorrow's turned very much into a referendum on Obamacare in Virginia."

Cuccinelli was the first state attorney general to sue the federal government over the Affordable Care Act, challenging the individual mandate immediately after President Obama signed it into law.

He also opposes Medicaid expansion in Virginia, something McAuliffe strongly supports.

"The biggest decision the next governor will make will be to support the Medicaid expansion or to oppose the Medicaid expansion, and in this race, that is a very clear distinction," Cuccinelli said at a campaign stop last week.

Under Obamacare, every state was supposed to expand Medicaid coverage for poor people, but the U.S. Supreme Court said each state must decide for itself on Medicaid expansion. Starting in 2014, the federal government said it would pay 100 percent for these newly eligible Medicaid patients for three years. But by 2017, the state taxpayers would pick up more of the tab.

Cavuto asked Cuccinelli, "If you were to lose, I know you don`t see that as a case, but would it also be a referendum that people are OK with Obamacare?"

"Well, I don't know," Cuccinelli said. "We're going to have to see how it plays out. Certainly, we have come from behind and closed this to an anybody's ball game, in part based upon Obamacare, while being badly outspent. I mean, what people in other states don't see is that we`re being outspent by tremendous ratios on television, coming from out-of-state money, whether it`s Michael Bloomberg or unions or Planned Parenthood, or whomever it is. They're putting tons of money into my opponent and we don't have the equivalent necessarily coming in on our side."

McAuliffe and his supporters are trying to make the Virginia gubernatorial race a referendum on the tea party. Many political ads run by Democrats in Virginia suggest the election is about women's right to birth control.