Mr_Kyle_Barker saidRepublicans losing an open race in an off-year with lower Democratic turnout is not good for them. McAuliffe very likely won because of Republican crossover votes, since a lot of Democrats didn't bother to show.
Here's the other issue too - Gov. McDonnell (R) was involved in some illicit gifts scandal that also tarnished Cuccinelli. Not just cut and dry over the shutdown and/or Obamacare.
Plus you had a 3rd party candidate who pulled a bunch more from Republicans that he did Democrats. Still, he closed from a 10 - 12 point deficit a few days earlier to within striking distance. I just didn't think he would quite pull it out.