Trends in Campaign Spending

In Virginia legislative elections, the methods used to reach voters have changed over time.


Mail: Includes direct mail, postage, design fees, photography.
Fundraising: Consultants and events; direct mail appeals. Does not include donation fees.
Newspaper Ads: Ads placed in print and online newspapers.
Polling: Polls, telemarketing, phone banks.
Signs: Bumper stickers, yard signs, buttons, other promotional materials.
Staff: Consulting and staff, staff benefits, staff housing, payroll taxes.
Radio and TV production, airtime, media consulting.
Web: Website, digital ads, social media, electronic newsletters.
Donation Fees: Online donation processing fees.

Note: The expenditures are ranked by the amount spent by General Assembly candidates in the calendar year of the election. In-kind expenditures not included, except for direct mail sent by state political parties. VPAP tagged expenditures based on the candidate’s description of expenses. Not all spending shown. These nine categories were identified as primary ways campaigns conduct voter outreach.

Source: Campaign finance reports filed with the State Department of Elections.