Get the money, dollar dollar bill y’all.
End-of-summer Virginia candidate finance reports have finally dropped, and they contain some pretty good news for Democrats.
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ralph Northam’s fantastic fundraising numbers made a lot of news. Northam raised over twice as much money as Republican Ed Gillespie and had twice as much cash on hand heading into the final two months of the race, news that brings a bit of relief to Democrats worried about the two-to-one cash advantage Gillespie had just after the primary elections in June.
But that’s just one race out of the 103 being held in Virginia this fall, so let’s look a little further down the ballot and see what’s shaking.
Democrats running for the House of Delegates this fall put up some impressive numbers this reporting period. The Virginia Public Access Project is an incredible resource for this, but we decided to make all the candidates’ fundraising numbers (total raised for the period and cash on hand) available side by side in a single spreadsheet for easy comparison in each and all districts. And like we do with all data we assemble in such a way, we analyzed the snot out of it. This is what we learned.
1. Eight of the top ten fundraisers were Democrats.
This was easy enough to eyeball just from the handy list VPAP assembled, although theirs lacks party IDs (Dels. LeMunyon and Cox are the Republicans, by the way).
Only one of the Democrats on this list (John Bell) is an incumbent, and both of the Republicans are. So seven of the top ten fundraisers are Democratic challengers, all in competitive districts.
2. The Democratic challenger out-raised the Republican in 22 GOP-held seats.
Great! Here’s a cool graph.
Now let’s break that down a little.
2a. Nine Democratic challengers raised more money AND have more cash on hand than their Republican opponents. (Bolded candidates are Daily Kos endorsees.)
- HD-02 (Jennifer Carroll Foy in open Republican seat)
- HD-12 (Chris Hurst challenging Rep. Joseph Yost)
- HD-13 (Danica Roem challenging Rep. Bob Marshall)
- HD-17 (Djuna Osborne challenging Rep. Chris Head)
- HD-30 (Ben Hixon challenging Rep. Nick Freitas)
- HD-31 (Elizabeth Guzman challenging Rep. Scott Lingamfelter)
- HD-33 (Tia Walbridge challenging Rep. David LaRock)
- HD-42 (Kathy Tran in open Republican seat)
- HD-98 (Sheila Crowley challenging Rep. Keith Hodges)
2b. Thirteen Democratic challengers out-raised their Republican opponents but have yet to overcome incumbent war chests and still trail in cash on hand.
- HD-03 (Bill Bunch challenging Rep. Will Morefield)
- HD-10 (Wendy Gooditis challenging Rep. Randy Minchew)
- HD-20 (Michele Edwards challenging Rep. Dickie Bell)
- HD-26 (Brent Finnegan challenging Rep. Tony Wilt)
- HD-27 (Larry Barnett challenging Rep. Roxann Robinson)
- HD-32 (David Reid challenging Rep. Tag Greason)
- HD-40 (Donte Tanner challenging Rep. Tim Hugo)
- HD-51 (Haya Ayala challenging Rep. Richard Anderson)
- HD-55 (Morgan Goodman challenging Rep. Buddy Fowler
- HD-56 (Melissa Dart in open Republican seat)
- HD-73 (Debra Rodman challenging Rep. John O'Bannon)
- HD-88 (Steve Aycock challenging Rep. Mark Cole)
- HD-100 (Willie Randall challenging Rep. Rob Bloxom)
3. Three Democratic challengers have more cash-on-hand than their Republican opponents, despite being out-raised this reporting period.
- HD-67 (Karrie Delaney challenging Rep. Jim LeMunyon)
- HD-85 (Cheryl Turpin challenging Rep. Rocky Holcomb)
- HD-91 (Michael Wade challenging Rep. Gordon Heisel)
4. Only six Republicans are challenging Democratic incumbents this year. None of the Republican challengers out-raised their opponents this period. Great news!
5. In terms of total dollars, Democratic incumbents and challengers out-raised their Republican counterparts this reporting period. Republicans, on the other hand, have more cash on hand, but a good chunk of this total (almost $1.7 million) is in the hands of the 12 Republicans who aren’t facing Democratic opponents this year, and $730,000 of that total is in the hands of a lone GOPer (Del. Chris Jones).
The overall fundraising picture painted by these reports includes a lot of great news for Virginia Democrats, but these races are far from over. These finance reports reflect pre-Labor Day fundraising, before campaigns kick into high gear for the final two-month sprint to November. The current reporting period ends on Sept. 30, and candidates’ finance reports will be filed and public after 5 p.m. on Oct. 16. This period is crucial for campaigns as they make final media buys, tweak mail plans, and fund robust field and get-out-the-vote programs in the final month of the campaign. The current crop of reports indicate that Democrats finished the summer strong and have laid solid fundraising foundations for the fall, but there’s much progress yet to make to push Democrats across the finish line in November.
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