The campaign for U.S. Senate in Virginia has some seriously lopsided fundraising totals.
Democrat Tim Kaine has raised more than $17 million this election cycle. Republican Corey Stewart has raised less than a million. But it’s not just the topline number that’s significant. It’s also where the money is coming from.
Fundraising documents from the Virginia Public Access Project show the vast majority of Kaine’s money comes from outside of Virginia. Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University says that’s a function of what happened in 2016.
“Democrats nationally don’t want their vice presidential candidate from this last election to lose. They would take that as a real blow. And so they are trying to get Tim Kaine the resources he needs to win re-election.”
Another reason for the lopsided fundraising numbers is that a lot of the big money Republican donors are staying away from Corey Stewart — like the Koch brothers, for example, or the National Republican Senate Committee. Geoff Skelley at the University of Virginia Center for Politics says they have other races to fund.
“There are 10 seats that are up that Democrats control that are in states that Donald Trump carried in 2016, and so starting with that list those all would rank ahead of Virginia from the get go.”
Money doesn’t buy elections, though. And Kaine will have to deal with Stewart’s ability to grab headlines and media attention without paying for expensive television ads.