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McAuliffe Maintains Fundraising Edge in Race for Governor - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

McAuliffe Maintains Fundraising Edge in Race for Governor

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left: Terry McAuliffe, right: Ken Cuccinelli left: Terry McAuliffe, right: Ken Cuccinelli

Campaign cash is piling up in the race for governor. It is exactly seven weeks away from Election Day, and Democrat Terry McAuliffe is still banking more than Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli.

McAuliffe has maintained a fundraising edge over Cuccinelli for the duration of this race. As a longtime Democratic fundraiser, that success shouldn't surprise anyone - but he'll have to keep the cash flowing if he wants to hold on in the campaign's final stretch.

New campaign finance numbers tell a familiar story. Reports filed with the Virginia Board of Elections Monday show McAuliffe continues to lead Cuccinelli in fundraising and spending. McAuliffe also has more money in the bank, boasting twice as much cash on hand as his opponent.

"It's pretty evident that McAuliffe is a pretty good fundraiser. We knew that going in, and he's kind of backed that up," said Geoff Skelley, political analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

In July and August, McAuliffe brought in $7.4 million in contributions and Cuccinelli received $5.7 million - big numbers on both sides, largely fueled by nationwide political interests.

"The only race of any note nationally is the Virginia governor's race," said Skelley.

But more important than the money coming in is the money going out. McAuliffe outspent Cuccinelli by $2.4 million in July and August, with much of that money going toward advertising.

"All of these factors contribute to the view that McAuliffe is a slight favorite at this point," said Skelley.

But despite the numbers, analysts say this is still anybody's race.

"I don't think Cuccinelli is out of the race by any means; it's still, I think, very close," said Skelley. "Considering the two candidates we have in this race, really anything can happen."

Fundraising certainly gives us some insight into how the race is progressing, but on Wednesday new poll numbers will give us a look at where things stand with voters as the clock counts down. 

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