RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - With Super Tuesday nearly here, big money is floating around Virginia. We wanted to know just how much cash the presidential candidates were getting out of Virginians and who is getting the most support here in terms of dollars.
Our data comes from the Virginia Public Access Project and the website opensecrets.org.
The Democrats raised the most money in January from Virginians, taking in $474,000, edging out the Republican candidates by over $100,000, who raised $349,000 in January. We asked VCU political Science Professor Deirdre Condit if money means votes.
"It doesn't necessarily," said Condit. "It isn't the deciding factor often, and once you reach a certain level of spending, you've reached saturation points in commercials, you've reached saturation points in contact and name exposure. There's actually some evidence then of diminishing return."
Look at Republican Jeb Bush. He raised more than $1.3 million from Virginians, more than any other Republican candidate, and he's now out of the race.
So who's received the most money from the voters in the Commonwealth?
Hillary Clinton is raking it in, raising more than $3.3 million from Virginians.
Not a surprise to Condit. She says it shows a strong connection between Clinton and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
"For a very long time he has been her, the Clinton family's chief fundraiser. So, he's an expert at it," said Condit.
Democrat Bernie Sanders took in quite a bit of money in January, bringing his fundraising total in Virginia to $550,819.
The frontrunner in the polls for the Republicans, Donald Trump, is self-funding and has raised only $36,515 in Virginia.
"It's his argument. I get to self-fund. I'm so rich nobody has to give me a dime. So I'm not beholding to anybody, and so he's really not raising money out there," said Condit.
As for the rest of the Republican field, just as in the national race, they are all lumped together. Marco Rubio had the best January in Virginia. He leads the pack with $808,398 raised from voters in the Commonwealth. Ben Carson is in second in terms of fundraising in the Commonwealth, with $797,574. Ted Cruz pulled in $688,887.
"It says that Virginia is going to be competitive among those three," added Condit.
Whether money actually equals votes, we'll find out Tuesday night.
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