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Statewide Candidates Announce First Quarter Fundraising Totals - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Statewide Candidates Announce First Quarter Fundraising Totals

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Conventional wisdom says you can get pretty close in predicting how an election will turn out by counting the dollars raised by each candidate in the race. This year's race for governor in Virginia is turning into a race to the bank.

Monday marked the deadline for all statewide candidates to disclose their first quarter fundraising totals. Between January 1 and March 31, candidates collected a combined $7.5 million.  In the 2009 governor's race, Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds raised only $3 million in the same period.

"All signs would point to this being a more expensive race than the 2009 race," said Geoff Skelley, political analyst at University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

Boosting McAuliffe with $100,000 is longtime friend, former President Bill Clinton. Ken Cuccinelli also has a slew of wealthy donors with the Republican Governors Association, topping the list with $1 million donation.

"It's difficult to spin when your candidate raised half of what the other candidate did," said Skelley.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe raised $5.1 million in the first quarter - more than twice what Republican Ken Cuccinelli collected in the same period. But McAuliffe had twice the amount of time to raise money. By law, Cuccinelli could not solicit funds during the 46-day General Assembly session.

If the trend continues, analysts say more money could mean more votes in November.

"I think what it comes down to is, is there a major disparity in the fundraising amounts between the two candidates, because then that's something to look at," said Skelley.

Analysts say money is an important factor in big races like this, but are quick to point out that dollar figures are only one factor of many in a campaign's overall success.


For fundraising numbers courtesy of Virginia Public Access Project, click the links below.

For Cuccinelli's numbers, click here.

For McAuliffe's numbers click here.

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