So Deeds' camp is calling in the big guns. Former Vice President Al Gore is scheduled to headline a private fundraiser Friday in McLean at the home of longtime Democratic supporters Al and Claire Dwoskin, according to Politico. And on Tuesday former President Bill Clinton will be in Northern Virginia to campaign for Deeds, according to campaign sources.
Reports filed with the State Board of Elections on Thursday show McDonnell's totals for the race so far at nearly $19 million compared to $14.2 million for Deeds.
Both candidates spent about $5.1 million during the month, the overwhelming bulk of it for the television advertising blitz that began in earnest after Labor Day.
As September closed, the two major party candidates for governor together had raised a combined $33 million in a difficult economy, according to comparisons by the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonprofit and nonpartisan watchdog of money in Virginia politics.
That's close to fundraising totals four years ago by Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Jerry Kilgore, who ran in a time of robust economic growth. Their race set a record for fundraising in Virginia governor's races.
In other statewide races, Democrat Jody Wagner reported raising $465,302 in September to $476,336 for incumbent Republican Bill Bolling in the lieutenant governor's race.
Republican Sen. Kenneth Cuccinelli took in $672,814 to Democrat Steve Shannon's $532,575 in the attorney general's race.
By far, the primary benefactors for both gubernatorial candidates continues to be their respective political parties.
Deeds received nearly $1.3 million in September from Democratic organizations: $503,000 from the Democratic National Committee, $500,000 from the Democratic Governors Association and about $262,000 from the state Democratic Party.
McDonnell received nearly $820,000 from the Virginia Republican Party and $200,000 from the Republican National Committee.
The candidates' huge checks from their partisan partners reflects the importance of the Virginia race as a potential early referendum on President Barack Obama, fellow Democrats who control Congress and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, Obama's pick to head the Democratic National Committee. State law prohibits Kaine from running seeking re-election after one term.
McDonnell's campaign took $50,000 apiece from the Washington Redskins, for whom his wife was once a cheerleader; Sheila C. Johnson, the billionaire co-founder of the Black Entertainment Television network and a major donor to Obama, Kaine and other Democrats; and from Bob Perry, the Texas businessman who bankrolled the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attacks against Democrat John Kerry in the 2004 presidential race.
McDonnell also accepted $25,000 from Northrop Grumman, the gigantic defense contractor criticized in Tuesday's Virginia legislative report this week for costly delays and performance failures in a state information technology transformation contract worth $2.4 billion over 10 years. Deeds also received $25,000 from the company on Aug. 30.
Organized labor continued to be a major Deeds backer, giving nearly $624,000 during the month. Among the top union givers: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers gave $400,000, the Service Employees International Union gave $101,000, and the International Association of Fire Fighters donated $50,000.
U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner gave Deeds $25,000, and Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, gave $24,000. Ted Leonsis, owner of the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals and a former AOL vice chairman, gave $12,500.
Deeds received 48 checks of $10,000 or more in September compared to 61 for McDonnell.