Some cool numbers in the Virginia Public Access Project’s compilation of campaign finance reports.
The businesses and associations that lobby state government and the legislature are giving a bit less money to gubernatorial hopefuls than they did in the 2009 election.
The total is $679,172 compared with $798,246 during the first three months of the 2009 campaign.
Could it be because, as yesterday’s Roanoke College poll suggests, Virginians don’t feel they know either Republican Ken Cuccinelli or Democrat Terry McAuliffe well enough to form an opinion? Or perhaps because the race is still pretty close – lobbyists like to back a winner after all?
Some things don’t change: lobbyists still overwhelmingly favor the Republican. The margin was 4 to one in 2009 and is about 3.6 to one this time around.
The biggest giver? The political action committee of Dominion Resources, parent of the electric utility Dominion Virginia Power, a perennial leader. It’s given $80,000 so far this year, $55,000 to Cuccinelli and $25,000 to McAuliffe.
The next two on the list are new players. Consol Energy, the coal company, gave $60,000, all to Cuccinelli. The Virginia League of Conservation Voters gave $50,000, all the McAuliffe. Wonder if we might be hearing some about coal in the campaign?
Other newbies: Genetech, giving $25,000 to McAuliffe and Hilton Hotels, giving $20,000 to Cuccinelli. Expedia Inc hedged its first time bet on Virginia’s governor with $10,000 donations to both campaigns.
From western Virginia, Appalachian Power Co. stepped up its giving – all to the Republican, as it did last time – with a $20,000 gift to Cuccinelli, compared to $8,500 to Bob McDonnell for his successful 2009 run.
Norfolk Southern gave $10,000 to Cuccinelli, matching what it gave McDonnell by this time in the 2009 camapign. Unlike 2009, however, it hasn’t given anything to the Democrat, while it gave $2,500 in 2009.
Meanwhile there’s a lot of money coming in from out of state: 70 percent of McAuliffe’s donors did not list a Virginia address, as was the case for 44 percent of Cuccinelli’s donors.
McAuliffe has raised more money that Cuccinelli, but the cash advantage for the House of Delegates races is overwhelmingly for the GOP. It has a two to one advantage, VPAP’s number crunching shows.