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Outside money can be key factor in 2014 elections

WASHINGTON (AP) - Terry McAuliffe's successful campaign for governor in Virginia might provide a playbook for fellow Democrats in 2014 - and a warning for Republicans.

Outside money makes a difference.

A really big difference.

McAuliffe raised and spent almost $33 million to defeat Republican Ken Cuccinelli.

The nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project says outside groups supporting McAuliffe spent an additional $3 million on television ads in just the final month of the campaign.

What's up for grabs in 2014? Try 435 seats in the House, one-third of the 100-member Senate and 36 governor's offices.

Outside spending could play a pivotal - if not deciding - role.

This year's elections will be the first when both parties fully embrace outside groups and their potential to accept unlimited contributions from supporters.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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