WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Lopsided Fundraising In Virginia's Gubernatorial Primary

Play associated audio
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, left, has the fundraising advantage, but the Virginia GOP's convention format is expected to favor Cuccinelli, right.
Gage Skidmore: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/6238582161/, AP Photo/Steve Helber
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, left, has the fundraising advantage, but the Virginia GOP's convention format is expected to favor Cuccinelli, right.

New fundraising numbers in Virginia's highly competitive Republican primary for governor reveal a lopsided race. As it happens, the money in this race might not be as important as it often is.

According to recent campaign finance disclosures, Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling has raised twice as much money against his rival for the Republican nomination for governor next year, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. George Mason University professor Toni-Michelle Travis says that's an indication of his position in Republican party.

"Well, I think he's the establishment candidate," says Travis. "And the party would perhaps like to see him be the nominee, versus the tea party more extreme people."

Bolling has raised $962,000, compared to Cuccinelli's total of $538,000.

"Money talks, you know. Maybe Cuccinelli can pull it off, but Bolling has the money right now. And people want a winner," says Travis.

The dynamics of winning this race might not be that simple, however. Last month, the Republican Central Committee voted to hold a convention rather than a statewide primary to determine a nominee. University of Virginia Center for Politics political analyst Kyle Kondik says the move is expected to favor Cuccinnelli, who has strong support among an activist wing of the party that will have a stronger voice at a convention verses a statewide primary.

"I think Cuccinelli is still a heavy favorite to be the nominee, barring some sort of surprise, and I don't think the fundraising means much."

Former Alexandria Republican Committee Chairman Chris Marston agrees that the fundraising totals might not mean as much in the campaign between Cuccinelli and Bolling. He says that while a statewide primary could have required spending on television and direct mail, the mechanics of winning in a convention are different.

"Organizing for a convention is much more of a grassroots person-to-person effort than a paid effort," he says.

One indication in the difference between the candidates is the number who contributed $100 or less, small-time donors. Bolling has about 300. Cuccinelli, on the other hand, has more than 3,000.

NPR

Barbershop: UofL Basketball Ban, Football Concussions And The NFL Women's Summit

ESPN contributor Kevin Blackistone, Bloomberg View's Kavitha Davidson and The Washington Post's Wesley Lowery talk about the UofL basketball team, public opinion of the NFL, and women in sports.
NPR

After Introducing Changes, Keurig Sales Continue To Fall

Despite America's high coffee consumption, Keurig reported disappointing sales this week. Even during its popular holiday selling period, the numbers haven't perked up in recent years.
NPR

'National Review' On How Donald Trump Is Changing The Campaign

The prominent conservative magazine National Review dedicated a whole issue to denouncing Donald Trump. Editor Rich Lowry talks about how Trump is reshaping the state of conservatism.
NPR

How Limited Internet Access Can Subtract From Kids' Education

Smartphones are often credited with helping bridge the "digital divide" between people who do and don't have Internet access at home. But is mobile Internet enough for a family with a kid in school?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.