Lowell just posted Virginia Public Access Project's raw numbers from the campaign finance reports for the period from 9/1 to 9/30. It seems that Democratic challengers have raised money hand over fist over their Republican opponents.
We all know money alone doesn't guarantee that a candidate will win an election. Still, it never hurts. So, going into the final weeks of a campaign, those funds for a final get out the vote push are going to be mighty sweet. And more important, it’s unusual for challengers to be that much more successful at fundraising across the board.
That success at getting the money may be a strong early indication that this year is going to break in a wave for the Democrats. There are two reasons to be hopeful.
First, if individuals are making small donations to the challengers, it shows the level of dissatisfaction with the status quo. People are mad about the transportation package that came out of Richmond. And they are especially angry about the abuser fees. They blame the Republicans more for it and trust the Democrats to fix it. If voters are ready for change, the first indication may be that they are voting with their pocketbooks first.
Business donors, on the other hand, usually hedge their bets and give something to both parties. But they give the most to those they think will win. If more cash is flowing to Democratic coffers, it could be that the smart money is on a Democratic victory.
And that money helps. It certainly boosts my hopes. But in the end, local races like these depend on a good ground game. Now is the time that each side is going for the final push to identify and turn out their voters.
But with George Barker, Janet Oleszek, Chap Petersen, and and Ralph Northam all raising healthy sums over their incumbent opponents, and John Miller out raising Tricia Stall in the open seat, and even newcomer Tom Periello out raising Virgil Goode, this could very well be the harbinger of a Democratic wave that really turns Virginia blue and gives Governor Tim Kaine a working majority to accomplish great things for the commonwealth.