Millions of dollars have been spent so far on three congressional campaigns in hotly contested Virginia districts — with one surpassing even the 2020 presidential campaigns and another close behind.
Advertising in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District topped $11 million earlier this week, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. The 2nd District racked up more than $8 million.
Those races are roughly in the ballpark of the combined costs of advertising for President Trump and Joe Biden, which total more than $9 million.
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“I believe it’s one of the most expensive congressional races in the country already,” Joe Desilets, the campaign manager for the 7th District’s GOP candidate Nick Freitas told Fox News Thursday. “Just on TV and radio, there’s over $13 million between past and future spending in this election, and obviously there’s a ton more in mail, digital, and other campaign spending.”
Recent polls show him neck-and-neck with incumbent Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger, who is serving her first term after flipping the district in 2018.
Freitas’ campaign and supportive PACs have spent more than $4.4 million so far, compared to Spanberger’s $6.6 million. But Freitas is breaking GOP fundraising records, according to Desilets.
“We feel great about where the race is right now, and it’s clear that the Democrats are increasingly worried,” Desilets said. “Every time we turn around, they add another million dollars in attack ads.”
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Spanberger, a former federal law enforcement officer and ex-CIA case officer, is the first Democrat to win election in the district since 1968.
While at least three congressional races in the state are close, polls show Biden with an advantage in the presidential race. Virginia went to Hillary Clinton in 2016, and no Republican has won a statewide election there since 2009.
Still, ads supporting Biden have cost more than $6 million, roughly double what the other side has spent.
That combined total is barely ahead of the $8 million spent in the 2nd District race between incumbent Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria and GOP challenger Scott Taylor. Like Spanberger, Luria is serving her first term. She narrowly won the seat from Taylor two years ago.
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The 5th District race between Dr. Cameron Webb and Bob Good is also tight, with spending at around $4 million between the two camps.
The state’s Democratic Party summed the situation up simply in an email soliciting donations Thursday night.
“We’ve hit our fundraising goals every month this year, but here’s the thing: so have the Republicans.”