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Good News For Virginia Republicans

When it comes to fundraising, Bob McDonnell is far ahead of any of his Democratic opponents:

RICHMOND, Jan. 15 — While three Democrats slug it out for their party’s gubernatorial nomination, Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell is building a bankroll that could give the GOP a crucial advantage as it tries to win back the governor’s mansion this year, according to campaign finance reports filed yesterday.

McDonnell reported that he has about $2 million in the bank, including more than $1 million he has raised since Nov. 4, when Republicans suffered a series of punishing electoral defeats. Phil Cox, McDonnell’s campaign manager, said McDonnell launched a national fundraising drive after the election, collecting donations from Republicans eager to reverse recent Democratic gains in a once reliably red state.

McDonnell became his party’s nominee last month after no one else filed to run. Democrats are gearing up for their first contested primary for governor in more than two decades. Terry McAuliffe, former delegate Brian Moran and Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath) are candidates in the June 9 primary.

“They are going to be tired and broke on June 9, and we are certainly going to have several million dollars in the bank at that point,” Cox said.

The other way to look at it, of course, is that the Democratic nominee for Governor, whoever he turns out to be, will have the benefit of several months of media attention on a primary campaign. That will give them name recognition that they otherwise might not get if they were running unopposed. The money advantage is important, of course, but as Rudy Giuliani taught us, money doesn’t always buy victory.

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