In Virginia’s contest for the Republican nomination for Governor, grassroots conservative Amanda Chase is outraising her opponent, establishment insider Kirk Cox, by big margins – despite the absence of PAC and lobbyist donors.
According to recently released campaign finance reports for the second half of 2020, Chase out raised Cox by a total of $468,030 to $393,631, a margin of $74,399.
Upon review of a further breakdown in campaign donations, Chase’s lead over Cox becomes even more impressive, as she owes much of her fundraising success to cash contributions under $100, typically indicative of a working/middle-class funded campaign.
In that category, Chase boasts a total of 6,084 donors who, on average, donated about $29 to her campaign, for a total of $175,655. Chase received a very similar amount of cash from donors offering over $100 to her campaign, with a total of 1,487 donors contributing $179,697 – an average of about $121 per donation. Absent from Chase’s campaign contribution reports are big money donations from corporate lobbies and PACs. Nearly all of her donations come from individuals or small businesses.
On the contrary, just 288 donors are responsible for about 91% of donations to the Cox campaign, racking up a total of $359,591 in donations over $100, with donations between $2,500 and $25,000 making up much of the total.
Among Cox’s biggest contributors are the Dominion Energy PAC, the Virginia Petroleum Convenience and Grocery Association PAC, and several big-money donors hailing from the banking and financial lobbies.
As the race has shaped up, it’s become quite clear to Virginia voters that the political establishment on both sides of the aisle would prefer to see Cox, or another establishment-backed figure, heading up the GOP’s 2021 ticket – regardless of what the party’s grassroots base of working and middle-class voters have to say about it.
With some citing Trump-backed candidate Corey Stewart’s deep 2017 Gubernatorial Primary run, and subsequent 2018 Senatorial Primary victory, Virginia’s GOP establishment has opted to ditch the inclusive primary process in favor of a nominating convention, sharply limiting the number of voters able to participate, and giving the party establishment much more control over who and who doesn’t take part.
Even The Washington Post has taken note of the establishment’s tactics and their by-design negative impact on the Chase campaign, calling the convention a “way to sideline the most Trumpian contender, state Sen. Amanda F. Chase.”