RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The latest campaign finance reports show Virginia Democrats raising more money than their Republican opponents ahead of November’s General Assembly elections.
According to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), Democratic candidates raised over $15 million in July and August, with Republicans having brought in about $10.6 million.
In the State Senate, Democrats raised just under $8.2 million, while Republicans raised around $4.9 million. In the House of Delegates, Democrats raised about $7.6 million, with Republicans bringing in just under $5.8 million.
“So, I think Democrats can be at least encouraged by that,” Rich Meagher, Professor of Political Science at Randolph-Macon College, said. “[It] doesn’t tell us much about the outcome of this fall’s elections, but it at least means that the national mood is not bad enough that the Democrats are doomed this fall.”
Part of that advantage for Democrats is thanks to Clean Virginia, which describes itself as a political action committee (PAC) established to promote clean energy. The group has bankrolled millions to mostly Democratic candidates in competitive seats.
“Democrats should still be encouraged even if the money is coming from a few wealthier individuals, because one sign that things might be really bleak for Democrats this fall would be that even big money donors are thinking it would be a waste of time,” Meagher said.
Democratic Senate Candidate Russet Perry raised the most money among Virginia’s candidates in the last two months, bringing in over $1.3 million. She is running against Republican Juan Pablo Segura, who raised $650,000 in a competitive seat in northern Virginia.
“I think Republicans are right not to panic, they are doing just fine,” Meagher said. “I think the thing they should be more concerned about is the Democratic candidates in the swing districts are outraising the Republican candidates.”
It’s important to note, the data doesn’t include the $3.8 million raised by Governor Glenn Youngkin’s PAC, Spirit of Virginia, which has been vocal about supporting legislative candidates.
Meagher says the latest numbers prove that the balance of power in the general assembly is still too close to call.
“Because the numbers were good for both parties and particularly good for Democrats, it suggests the status quo,” Meagher said. “We are kind of on the same course we have been, which is wait and see.”
Early voting begins Friday, September 22nd with Election Day slated for November 7th.