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Last Minute Cash: What it Could Say About the State of Congressional Races

With Election Day just a few days away, Republicans and Democrats are both making last minute infusions of cash. 

The Congressional Leadership Fund is laying down one million dollars to help Republican Tom Garrett in the 5th congressional district. That’s a seat currently held by a retiring Republican.

Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington says that’s a sign the race is more competitive than Republicans expected.

“That’s a sign that there’s a great deal of concern that the candidate is at risk of losing the election, and so I think you’re seeing a lot of eleventh hour money going into the 5th Congressional District in Virginia because of concerns that might be a very competitive race," says Farnsworth.

On the Democratic side, groups like ActBlue are laying down money to help Democrat LuAnn Bennett, who's challenging incumbent Republican Barbara Comstock.

Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University says last-minute money from Republicans and Democrats is an indication of which way the winds are blowing.

“You could read both of these to mean that the Republicans are feeling worried," Kidd says. "The reason I don’t think that’s the case is that I think you would see Barbara Comstock feeling worried, and you might see some last minute money going to Barbara Comstock. But you don’t see that."

So what can campaigns use all that last minute cash for? It could be used to buy television advertising or direct mail if the campaign already has a plan in place.

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