April 1-June 1 Fundraising Report Recap
GOVERNOR — Republicans
Ed Gillespie: $1,121,611 raised | 1.690,790 spent | $2,453,796 cash on hand
As expected, Gillespie paced the Republican field, outraising both Corey Stewart and Frank Wagner by nearly $1 million flat. Clearly the frontrunner and almost assured of the Republican nomination in two weeks, while all roses for Gillespie in the nomination front, the general election picture looks much bleaker. Both Perriello and Northam outraised Gillespie significantly. The enthusiasm gap between the Republican and Democratic bases is vast. The good news for Gillespie? With New Jersey’s gubernatorial race already out of reach, he’s the only game in town for the Republican Governor’s Association and other invested conservative PACs.
Corey Stewart: $155,944 raised | $401,764 spent | $186,633 cash on hand
The rumors are true. Corey Stewart is being bled dry by his consultants and bloated infrastructure. Despite spending 4x the amount he raised last period, Stewart has nothing to show for it, no polling burst, no increased profile, signs, bumper stickers, mail, digital, etc. In every measurable category, Stewart is just filling the coffers of his campaign consultants with no tangible result. Stewart’s TV ads have been shoddily produced and laughably bad, yet with what little money he has left he’s wasting with small pockets of television buys. With no hope at winning, his team is determined to get every dollar possible out of him. Stewart’s viability has long since been decided. At this point only two questions remain — will he stay above Wagner for second place, and will he have a chance at reelection in 2019? Neither look good.
Frank Wagner: $133,591 raised | $252,651 spent | $59,219 cash on hand
Wagner’s workmanlike approach to the campaign continues. Despite raising the least amount of money, his campaign remains lean. Certainly aware of the political landscape and his already dim chances, Wagner has done well not to sully his name or reputation. With little money for television in the final two weeks, Wagner is running out the clock to head back to the State Senate.
GOVERNOR — Democrats
Ralph Northam: $2,017,278 raised | $3,794,530 spent | $1,331,264 cash on hand
The front-runner continues to steam towards the Democratic nomination, but at what cost. Northam’s team is bleeding money, with a nearly 2x burn-raise ratio. Spending nearly $4 million in a Democratic primary that was expected to be a walk hurts, and hurts deep. Despite $4 million spent in two months, Northam remains unable to put away Perriello. With a significant cash-on-hand advantage for the last two weeks, Northam should be able to take care of business, but with his war chest significantly weakened and having run far to the left, Northam is in a much worse position leaving the primary than he went in.
Tom Perriello: $1,873,260 raised | $2,850,176 spent | $733,904 cash on hand
Perriello’s upstart campaign continues to roil the Democratic establishment. Having successfully forced the front-runner Northam to spend millions to fend him off, Perriello is making no friends in Virginia Democratic circles. Should he lose, as expected, Perriello is likely to head back to DC. Things would get significantly worse for him if Northam were to lose in November. On the fundraising side, Perriello’s haul was impressive, yet nearly half came from just four donors. Money from outside the state continues to flow into Virginia. But after spending nearly $3 million last period, Perriello is dangerously low on cash, nearly half of what Northam has available. Expect Northam to swamp Perriello on the airwaves the final two weeks to put the race away for good.
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR — Republicans
Glenn Davis: $103,650 raised ($49,015 in candidate loans) | $99,121 spent | $36,082 cash on hand
Glenn Davis’ RV journey is nearing its inevitable end. Only kept afloat through candidate loans, Davis’ campaign has seen both poor fundraising numbers and low cash on hand. The good news is that Davis has increased his name ID statewide to respectable numbers, and largely kept above the legal fray between Vogel and Reeves. Had the nomination been decided with a convention, Davis’ mountains-to-coast trips in the RV may have provided a surprise win. With a primary and little money to pay for mail and television, Davis has an uphill battle. This is a shame, because he is the only candidate in this race who will leave it with a better reputation than he started. If he doesn’t pull off the upset, he’s in a good position for a future race.
Bryce Reeves: $268,076 raised ($65,000 in transfers) | $567,393 spent | $188,210 cash on hand
Reeves continues to push Vogel as the two favorites near election day. While conventional wisdom has Vogel simply outspending Reeves to take the nomination, Reeves continues to work hard. With a burn rate nearly half of Vogel’s, Reeves finished the period with almost 4x the cash on hand as Vogel’s campaign. Of course, with Reeves’ terrible television ads single-handedly fighting terrorism and ISIS in Virginia, the campaign has struggled to gain legitimate traction outside Spotsylvania. Can Reeves run up the score in his home county and combine that with turnout, with enough around the state to sneak past Vogel? The odds say no, but Reeves continues working hard around Virginia, and has the cash to get to the finish line.
Jill Vogel: $314,501 ($100,000 in loans) | $950,121 spent | $46,817 cash on hand
Nearly $1 million spent in two months? Ouch. The talk of Vogel eventually spending bushels of money have come true. Hundreds of thousands in television ad buys have Vogel well ahead of the field in money spent. In fact, Vogel spent more than Corey Stewart and Frank Wagner – combined. With the most aggressive mail and television strategy on either side of the LG’s race, conventional wisdom says this race is Vogel’s to lose. One point: Vogel is the only campaign to have spent money on polling this period. If she were losing – she’d know. Despite a relatively weak cash-on-hand to end the period, Vogel received $250,000 in contributions and loans from her father. Cash flow will not be a problem to close out the last two weeks.
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR — Democrats
Justin Fairfax: $310,889 raised ($10,000 in loans) | $409,664 spent | $111,647 cash on hand
Little attention has been paid to the Democratic LG nomination race, for good reason. Justin Fairfax is almost certain to take the nod. Outspending both his opponents nearly 2:1 and having more cash on hand than Platt and Rossi combined, Fairfax has kept his head down, played nice with the Democratic establishment, and looks to safely clinch the nomination.
Susan Platt: $74,981 rasied | $140,876 spent | $56,968 cash on hand
Platt’s quixotic journey to be relevant in the LG’s race came to a head last week when she bizarrely demanded a legislative commission to remove all Confederate memorials and rename all Confederate schools, highways, etc. Remarkably, that was Platt’s first splash in her campaign, despite previous stints as Joe Biden’s chief of staff. Platt has struggled to gain any traction in any reach of the Commonwealth, and looks destined to head back to DC after dipping her toe in Virginia politics.
Gene Rossi: $31,610 raised ($2,729 in loans) | $63,442 spent | $47,825 cash on hand
Rossi remains an unknown to all but the most ardent Democratic supporters. Largely unseen and unheard, Rossi will go quietly into the night on June 13th.
ATTORNEY GENERAL (nominations already decided)
Republican John Adams: $186,155 | $137,578 spent | $609,106 cash on hand
Well that was a bit disappointing. Despite having clinched the nomination in April, Adams struggled in fundraising, collecting just under $200,000. With the nomination in hand, Adams faces an uphill battle against an incredibly well-funded, if incompetent, opponent. On the face of things, Adams should have the best chance on paper today to win the race. Herring’s abandonment of the Attorney General’s office of everything from the opioid epidemic to outsourcing cases to vacating Virginia law make his record uniquely beatable. But getting that message out is going to take far more money than Adams was able to raise the past two months. Look for higher numbers over the summer and when paired with Gillespie’s national resources. The silver lining? The lack of a nomination battle has Adams at more than $600,000 on hand for the general.
Democrat Mark Herring: $1.687,558 ($1,260,000 in transfers) | $216,451 spent | $2,035,075 cash on hand
On paper a startling nearly $1.7 million haul for Herring is incredible. Back out the $700,000 transfer from his PAC and the $260,000 from the Democratic Attorney Generals Association, and his $400,000+ is still incredible. Herring remains a prolific fundraiser, despite few accomplishments. With no political capital in Richmond, Herring remains focused on four more years. With Northam and Perriello jockeying for the nomination, Herring is coasting into the general election with a near $1.4 million cash on hand advantage over Adams.