Virginia’s gubernatorial race this year promises to be an interesting one. In the wake of an exhausting presidential race, the last things Virginians want is another 10 months of heavy campaigning, name-calling, and polling all over again. Hopefully, the race will be less intense and taxing one.
As of this week, both candidates for governor have raised over one $1 million for the race to November this year.
The candidates themselves are experienced political veterans. Democrat Terry McAuliffe has run in the gubernatorial primary before. In 2009, he was able to raise almost $2 million for his race. As a former chair of , he is well-versed and well-connected in politics. In fact, McAuliffe did much of the fundraising for the Clinton presidential campaigns. It's no surprise that raised $1 million dollars within the month.
The Republican candidate for governor, Ken Cuccinelli currently serves as Virginia Attorney General after having been a Virginia state senator from August 2002 to January of 2010. His experience makes him an easy sell for Virginia Republicans looking for someone to represent them. Cuccinelli has some fundraising experience to be sure, but he definitely didn’t raise his funds as quickly as McAuliffe did. This may prove a detriment later, but then again, it also may depend on how effectively each candidate uses the funds they have.
Virginia is an interesting state to run in; there is a strong Republican base in middle and southern Virginia, but densely-populated northern Virginia is solidly Democratic. There has also been a fairly equal number of victories on the right and left. It is quite difficult to reliably predict which way the election will go, considering the latest poll has McAuliffe leading by Cuccinelli in a statistical dead-heat, with 40% and 39% respectively.
But make no mistake, this election is important. Depending on who is elected, and his performance in the next few years, this could have a serious impact on the next presidential election.