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Do fundraising numbers foreshadow outcome of Governor’s race?

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) — Less than seven months from now, Virginia will have elected its next governor.

While other candidates are running, the presumed Democrat and Republican nominees – Terry McAuliffe (D) and current Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) – are attracting the most attention.

It is an election that political experts say could be the most expensive governor’s race in history, so there is a lot of attention paid to how much money the candidates are raising.

According to state records, Terry McAuliffe raised $5.1 million dollars between January 1 and March 31 of this year. Ken Cuccinelli during that same time frame raised $2.4 million dollars, significantly less money than McAuliffe.

Part of that is because the Attorney General is not allowed under Virginia law to seek donations while the General Assembly is in session.

For that reason, historically, many Attorney Generals resign their post while running for Governor.

But that is not the case with Cuccinelli. CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George asked Cuccinelli if he regrets not resigning.

“I certainly do not think it was a mistake to keep my promise and do what I said I was going to do and stay in my job,” Cuccinelli said.

But some experts say Cuccinelli has dug a hole that may be difficult to climb out of. After all, in a recent press conference Cuccinelli admitted that McAuliffe has skills with fundraising.

“For the last thirty years, he has been the premiere Democrat fundraiser in the country,” Cuccinelli said.

But for McAuliffe, raising the most money is not translating into automatic political praise. Closer examinations show a large portion of his money raised comes from out of state donors and unions.

“I think both campaigns are going to have to raise a lot of resources. We need a lot of resources to run a campaign,” McAuliffe said in a recent interview with St. George.

Regardless, money will be playing a crucial rule in the final months of the campaign.

Dr. Bob Holsworth, a political analyst with CBS 6, said Virginia is only one of two gubernatorial elections being contested this year (New Jersey being the other).

Holsworth says because New Jersey is not as competitive as Virginia, the spotlight will be on Old Dominion.

“Virginia will increasingly become the center of political attention in the country at large,” Holsworth said.

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