Special Report

Why Money Is Pouring Into the Virginia Election From Around the Country

With one more year until the midterm elections, Election Day 2021 is being defined in large part by the governor’s race in Virginia. Though Virginia has leaned Democratic in recent years, the race between former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin is tight — and many pundits argue that the results may forecast, or even impact, which party will control the U.S. Congress after next year.

With so much at stake, money is flooding into the Virginia gubernatorial race from around the country. As of Oct. 21, McAuliffe had raised some $57.4 million and Youngkinn $57.7 million, according to financial disclosures. And nearly one in every five dollars raised by these campaigns has come in from out of state, according to watchdog group The Virginia Public Access Project.

To better understand exactly who is funding the campaigns of the candidates vying for The Virginia Governor’s Mansion, 24/7 Wall St. used VPAP data to rank the top donors to the race. We also noted where these donors are from as well as who they work for or what political interest they are associated with. Only donors who have contributed more than $250,000 were considered.

Though the candidate’s finances are closely aligned, McAuliffe has far more donors on this list than Youngkinn. Much of Youngkinn’s fundraising — $20 million to be exact — has come from his own personal fortune. Other donors on this list include advocacy groups, political action committees, labor unions, wealthy individuals, and the two major political parties themselves.

As of late October, McAuliffe outspent Youngkinn on advertising across all media types at $30.8 million compared to $29.6 million. Most of the ad funds have been spent on broadcast television ads.

Click here to see why money is poring into the Virginia election from around the country

To identify the top donors to the Virginia governor’s race, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed campaign contributions compiled by The Virginia Public Access Project, a nonprofit watchdog group. Donors are ranked by their total campaign contributions. Only contributions to the 2021 gubernatorial campaigns of Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin and Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe were considered. Contributions are current as of Oct. 21, 2021. It is important to note that VPAP does not catalogue all forms of donations and applies certain exclusions regarding data collection.