Virginia Republicans are compiling a hefty bankroll to help Ronald Reagan and GOP congrssional candidates in the final days of the 1980 campaign, while the rival Democratic Party has raised virtually no money, according to reports filed this week with the state Board of Elections.
The state GOP reported raising nearly $201,000 between July 1 and Sept. 30 and party chairman Alfred Cramer predicted today the figure will rise to nearly $300,000 by election day. In contrast, state Democrats reported contributions of only $8,288 for campaign use and say they hope to raise a total of $30,000 before Nov. 4.
Republican money could make a critical difference for Reagan in Virginia, where recent polls have suggested that the former California governor's lead over President Carter has narrowed considerably over the last month.
The prestige of the state organization, one of the nation's strongest and best-financed, also is at stake, since the party is attempting to expand a string of electoral triumphs that has seen Republicans win Virginia's last three presidential and gubernatorial contests.
"The money is important," said Robert Hausenfluck, executive director of the Reagan campaign in Virginia, "Where it really elps is in voter identification and turnout. If we can get a few extra phone calls made on election day and get out a few extra pieces of mail to people who are undecided, it could make a big difference."
Cramer said the party is spending up to $40,000 for refined voter lists identifying Republicans, sympathizers and undecideds targeted for phone calls, mailings and personal visits. The party has paid for 550,000 bumper stickers and 400,000 brochures and plans another mailing of 225,000 brochures next week at a cost of another $40,000.
The GOP plans to operate 26 phone bank systems by election day, according to Cramer, and expects to have at least four candidate posters on display in each of the state's 1,874 precincts.
The Democrats, lacking similar resources, appear publicly to be in something close to a shambles. Carter state coordinator William Romjue resigned recently due to a bout with mononucleosis, while the party's director quit last month in a dispute with state chairman Richard J. Davis. The party fielded only six candidates for the state's 10 House of Representative seats, only three of whom -- all incumbents -- are considered to have decent chances of winning.
But party officials say they have funded nearly 20 workers for the Carter-Mondale campaign, which announced today it was sending two more people to the state. Democrats also can rely on some labor union support that does not necessarily show up in the official financial reports.
"Every single election the Republicans outspend us, two, three or four to one," said Robert L. Watson, Davis' chief aide. "They're a fancy operation, no doubt about it, but I think we'll make a good showing."
Virginia Democrats stand in marked contrast to their counterparts in Maryland, where Democrats hold the governor's seat and seven of 10 spots in Congress. But Maryland's traditionally underdog Republicans are making a major financial push this year and may outspend their campaign rivals by two to one.
The Virginia GOP list of recent contributors reads like a Who's Who of the state's business establishment. The biggest givers include Fairfax County contractor William A. Azel, who donated $2,500; Ethyl Corp. President Bruce Gottwald, $2,500; E. C. Robbins and his son, executives of A.H. Robbins, a Richmond drug manufacturer, $4,500; and Richmond investor J.Smith Ferebbe, $2,500.
"They have a lot of spigots they can turn on on Main Street [in Richmond]," said Watson.
Cramer credited Republican Gov. John N. Dalton with a major role in the fundraising. Dalton spokesman Charles Davis said the governor has been "very very active. . . .He's committed to a stong and healthy party and he views money as one of the ingredients that enable the party to get its message and philosophy across to people."
Republican congressional candidates also are outspending their Democratic opponents heavily. In Northern Virginia's hotly contested Tenth District, Republican Frank Wolf said this week he has raised $310,000 and hopes to draw at least $40,000 more in his bid to unseat incumbent Democrat Joseph L. Fisher. Fisher has received $175,000 in gifts and hopes to spend a total of $210,000.
Nearly half of Wolf's money has come from political action committees and other special action groups, many of them from outside Virginia, including a dozen oil companies, two automobile manufacturers and the American Medical Association. Fisher has raised money from labor union groups, but three-fourths of his donations come from individuals.
In the equally close Eighth District race, GOP challenger Stanford E. Parris has reported raising more than $202,000 -- nearly twice the $112,000 reported by his rival, Rep. Herbert E. Harris.