WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Romney, Obama Both Top $2M Raised In Virginia

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Mitt Romney makes a campaign stop in Maryland in March.
AP Photo/Steven Senne
Mitt Romney makes a campaign stop in Maryland in March.

Close fundraising totals foreshadow an intensive presidential campaign spending season ahead — especially in swing states such as Virginia.

Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney has raised $2.7 million in Virginia so far and President Barack Obama has pulled in $2.2 million in the commonwealth, according to federal election data and the Virginia Public Access Project.

Four years ago, Obama won Virginia in part by outspending then Republican challenger Sen. John McCain, especially in the Northern Virginia media market. According to political scientist Bob Holsworth, it will be critical for Romney to raise enough money to stay competitive in Virginia.

Outside spending will also play a big roll in wooing voters this November. Super political action committees, or "super PACs," will also likely to raise a significant amount of money to use in the campaign, even though they aren't officially affiliated with either candidate. 

"My sense is that a good portion of those dollars are going to be spent in Virginia as well," Holsworth says of the super PACs. "Virginia is going to be one of the five, six, or seven battleground states in this campaign. And for financial expenditures, we'll be pretty close to what you might consider political ground zero."

Presidential campaign spending will also affect Virginia's competitive U.S. Senate race. Heavy spending by Romney would help out the Republican primary winner, who will face Democrat Tim Kaine for the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D).

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