Uninspir-ED: Gillespie Heads Into Second Debate Running Low on Cash, Enthusiasm
Gillespie’s Lackluster Fundraising Points to Home-Stretch Problems as High Early Burn Rate Failed to Motivate Voters
49 Days out from the election, recent indicators point to major enthusiasm problems for Ed Gillespie’s floundering campaign as he heads into the second debate tonight.
Gillespie – a well-connected D.C. lobbyist – reported a shockingly low fundraising figure over the weekend, raising just $3.7 million in July and August. Gillespie was doubled in fundraising by Northam and faces a $3 million shortfall in cash on hand.
Gillespie’s fundraising problems aren’t the only indication of lagging enthusiasm for his campaign: He’s been forced to pay a fringe Trump consultant in a desperate attempt to muster conservatives who spurned him in the primary.
New polling shows Gillespie’s sky-high burn rate and early spending failed to convince Virginia voters to overlook his lobbyist past and out-of-touch agenda.
“With 49 days left until the election, it’s clear that career lobbyist Ed Gillespie’s low-energy campaign has failed to gin up enthusiasm from either the Republican base or donors,” said DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold. “Gillespie burned through money like he was on a junket and now faces a steep road for the coming months. Republican voters and donors are coming to the same conclusion: There’s nothing inspiring about Ed Gillespie’s campaign to put a D.C. lobbyist in the governor’s mansion.”
See below for a roundup of recent coverage of the Gillespie enthusiasm gap:
Associated Press: “Democrat Ralph Northam has surged to a campaign fundraising edge over Republican Ed Gillespie in the governor’s race in Virginia, according to campaign finance reports. The latest reports for July and August were filed late Friday… Northam’s campaign now has a balance of about $5.6 million, compared to $2.6 million for Gillespie’s campaign.”
Washington Post: “Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial contender Ralph Northam raised more than twice as much money this summer as Republican opponent Ed Gillespie and had a war chest twice as large heading into the last two months of the campaign.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Northam enters homestretch with cash advantage over Gillespie… Gillespie …outspent Northam in broadcast TV buys in the state’s four major media markets by more than $600,000 between late July and Sept. 7, VPAP reported recently, citing Federal Communications Commission filings. Northam’s cash advantage is likely to reshape that balance with just over 50 days left in the contest.”
Politico: “A new poll from the University of Mary Washington gives Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam a 5-point lead over Republican Ed Gillespie in Virginia’s gubernatorial race.”