Money Talks

VPAP (h/t WaPo) has comparisons and figures out for this year’s House and Statewide races. Despite a slumping economy, records were still set: the Wekheiser v. Albo race was apparently the second most expensive race in Virginia history for a seat in the General Assembly. The only race to ever beat it: 2007’s legendary affair between Democrat Chap Petersen and Republican Jeanmarie Devolites-Davis. Two parallels: both were in Northern Virginia, an extremely expensive media market, and both produced a lopsided outcome despite the money spent (43% for Wekheiser, 44% for JDD), except this time the incumbent prevailed.

There were a number of other races that broke into the top ten. Though the WaPo is counting ten races breaking the million dollar mark, VPAP only counts nine (as I did too). This is about on par to 2007, when there were ten $1M+ races for the House and seven in the Senate. It should be noted that no one candidate broke the million dollar mark, although Albo came close with $933k.

Other interesting numbers:

  • Although the general election for the Gubernatorial race did not break the record, when the money is factored in for the two losing Democratic primary candidates a record $52.8 million was spent. It should be noted that this was the first seriously contested nomination fight for the Governor’s mansion for either party since, arguably, 1993, when George Allen beat off Earl Williams and Clint Miller. 1985 was the last time the Democrats had a primary.
  • Spending on the Attorney General’s race was actually down from over $11k to about $7.2k. This figure includes the ultimately non-affair of the Republican nominating convention in May. The Washington Post, though, points out that in 2005 the race went into overtime with the recount between Deeds and McDonnell.
  • Only two of the top nine races were outside of either Northern Virginia or the Beach/Hampton Roads: Rob Bell’s re-election bid in Albemarle (a blowout win) and Dr. Scott Garrett in Lynchburg (a squeaker). Two other races that almost made the list were Greason in Loudon and Villanueva in the Beach.

Lots of great information for those who are really into the money race, and plenty of nauseating details for those who bemoan the influence of money in Virginia politics, what with its unlimited donations and expenditures.

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