VA governor race shows gaps in fundraising, online engagement


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By Becky Hogan

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has raised less than half as much cash as Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe.  Many Republican donors have withheld funding from the Republican due to his hard-line stance on social issues, like his opposition to gay marriage and abortion.

Cuccinelli had $2.7 million in cash as of the end of June, compared with $6 million for McAuliffe former national Democratic Party chairman and fundraiser.

So does his lack of campaign funds mean that his campaign is suffering in its online engagement as well?

Cuccinelli has seen twice as much coverage in state media, most likely due to his current post as attorney general of the state.  Both candidates have been overshadowed in state media over the past month due to the scandal involving Virginia’s current governor Bob McDonnell.  Many have called for McDonnell’s resignation in the wake of the gift and loans he received from a donor during his governorship.

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Cuccinelli worked to defend himself against charges his social issues stances would be bad for the state’s economy during his first debate with McAuliffe on July 20.

In the two days following the televised debate, Facebook users were talking about both candidates, but Cuccinelli was getting a lot more buzz.

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And McAuliffe is behind Cuccinelli in his online followings—Cuccinelli has twice as many Facebook Likes, but they are almost neck-and-neck on Twitter.

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It’s still 100 days until Virginians will cast their votes and McAuliffe has a slight lead over Cuccinelli in the polls.

Check back here to see how each candidate’s online engagement affects poll numbers with Virginia voters.

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