UVA Center for Politics explains big gap in 5th District fundraising

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – When it comes to fundraising, 5th District Representative Bob Good (R) is around $400K ahead of his Democratic challenger, Josh Throneburg.

It seems like a large margin, but the question remains on how this lead will impact the polls this November.

“Money is not unimportant, that’s for sure. But it’s not what I would list as the first or even second most important part of congressional campaigns,” said University of Virginia Center for Politics Director Larry Sabato.

Sabato says money is not as as important of a factor in elections as it used to be, even with total sums being higher than in the past. He says that while Good is indeed raising more money, something else is giving him a leg up on his competition.

“He gets elected because he has an ‘R’ next to his name. That’s all it amounts to,” said Sabato. “The incumbent has had the entire term to raise money and to touch base with contributors and donors to solicit funds. There’s a built-in incumbency advantage there.”

“It’s not actually that huge of a gap for us. I believe that we outraised Congressman Good in May and June, or May and April,” said Eleanor Roy, Throneburg’s campaign manager.

Recent redistricting also makes it even harder to compare fundraising efforts.

“We were never anticipating having the kind of money that candidates like Dr. Cameron Webb had for their campaigns, just because it’s a slightly different looking district now, but we’ve had to get kind of creative on some of our fundraising,” said Roy.

Sabato says that the new 5th District is now even more Republican. He says voters need to consider the policies their representatives will be voting for, rather than solely their party affiliation.

“This is a Republican year. If you put all those things together, well, nothing’s impossible, but it’s going to be difficult for a Democratic nominee in the 5th District to win,” said Sabato.

Which is why Sabato says this fundraising difference won’t really make a notable difference in the race.

“What determines most votes is whether a candidate has an ‘R’ or a ‘D’ next to his name. A lot of this is already cooked in, you know?” Sabato said.

Sabato says the race is not a lost cause for Throneburg. Throneburg’s team says this is the time they are ramping up fundraising efforts and they will be making visits to more parts of Virginia to make an impact.

NBC29 also reached out to Rep. Good’s campaign to hear his side of the fundraising efforts. His team released the following statement: “While I am thankful to those supporting my campaign who have given me a fundraising lead at this point, I am also painfully aware of the seemingly unlimited amount of resources that are available to Democrat candidates from the America-last billionaire class. However, my main focus is defeating the radical Democrat policies championed by Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi that are causing so much pain and suffering for the people of the 5th District. I will continue to fight to rein in reckless spending that is causing massive inflation, to restore American energy independence to bring down gas prices, to stop the invasion that is bringing crime and drugs across our Southern Border, and to put families and children first in our education system.”

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