Democrat Terry McAuliffe leads Republican Ken Cuccinelli in a new poll and has a lopsided advantage in campaign cash in the waning days of Virginia’s governor’s race.
A new Washington Post poll released tonight has McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli by a margin of 12 percentage points, 51 percent to 39 percent. The Post poll is the first major statewide survey that has McAuliffe eclipsing 50 percent.
The Post survey has Democrat Ralph Northam ahead of Republican E.W. Jackson by 12 percentage points in the race for lieutenant governor, and Democrat Mark Herring with a statistically insignificant edge of 3 percentage points over Republican Mark Obenshain in the contest for attorney general.
McAuliffe, long known as a prolific political fundraiser, pulled in $8.1 million in cash and in-kind contributions between Oct. 1 and Oct. 23, according to data released today by the Virginia Public Access Project. Cuccinelli raised just $2.9 million in the same period. McAuliffe still had $1.6 million on hand as of Oct. 23, while Cuccinelli had $604, 163.
McAuliffe’s late money is coming from entrepreneurs, traditional Democratic Party supporters and Republicans. He received $500,000 from Sean Parker, a co-founder of Napster and the first president of Facebook. He got $250,000 from the Democratic Governors Association, $100,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and $100,000 from Fred Eychaner, the president and CEO of Newsweb Corporation.
Some of Virginia’s heavy-hitters are giving late money to McAuliffe, as well. Roanoke businessman Heywood Fralin, who often backs Republicans, gave $25,000 to the Democrat. So did Dwight Schar, the homebuilder and former Republican National Committee finance director. Schar is hosting a Northern Virginia fundraiser for McAuliffe tonight featuring former President Bill Clinton. Clinton appeared with McAuliffe today at Virginia Tech on the second day of a four-day joint campaign swing through the state. Clinton will campaign with McAuliffe in Roanoke on Wednesday.