The Republican National Committee has announced that it will not be providing financial assistance to Virginia Republicans in the upcoming state legislative elections in November. This decision, confirmed by a source familiar with the matter, was made despite a request from Virginia Republican Party chairman Rich Anderson during a meeting with senior RNC staffers in Washington, D.C. on Monday.
According to sources, Anderson had requested that the RNC pour money into the state to help Governor Glenn Youngkin maintain control of the House of Delegates and possibly flip the state Senate. However, senior RNC officials denied Anderson's request, citing a previous meeting in which they were informed by Dave Rexrode, who heads Youngkin's political action committee, that the national party did not need to spend money in Virginia at that time.
Insiders say that this earlier meeting, along with the need to prioritize fundraising for federal races and the expensive 2024 presidential election, influenced the RNC's decision not to allocate resources to Virginia. However, some worry about the optics of this decision, especially after President Joe Biden ordered the Democratic National Committee to invest over $1 million in the state to support Democratic state legislative candidates.
In response to concerns, Anderson downplayed the RNC's lack of support, citing Youngkin's impressive fundraising of $15.5 million since March and the Republican State Leadership Committee's expenditure of $5.5 million. Anderson also expressed confidence in the party's candidates and their ability to win in November, stating, "candidate quality matters so much."
The RNC under Trump’s endorsed candidate is sitting idle while Republicans are fighting for the legislatures in NJ and Virginia https://t.co/fHXANIcuAc
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) October 12, 2023
While the RNC is not directly providing financial assistance to Virginia, it is investing in voter-targeting data in the state. This data is shared with the state party and Republican candidates to help better understand and target the election in the final 30 days.
On the other hand, the DNC has allocated roughly $1.5 million to Virginia and other Democratic-aligned groups, such as the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, have also invested heavily in the state. Democrats have focused on making the race about abortion to mobilize their voters, while Youngkin's PAC has responded with a new $1.4 million ad campaign, portraying Democrats as the extremists on the issue.
Early voting in Virginia began in late September, and Youngkin's team has launched an effort called "Secure Your Vote Virginia," encouraging Republicans to register early and vote absentee. The RNC also launched a similar initiative, "Bank Your Vote," urging Republicans nationwide to compete with Democrats in early and absentee voting.
Although the RNC is not providing direct financial help for most off-year elections this year, it notably met with Kentucky GOP operatives in December. After the meeting, the RNC provided funding to assist Kentucky Republicans in staffing for their competitive gubernatorial election between Democratic governor Andy Beshear and his Republican opponent, Attorney General Daniel Cameron.