Where has the money been coming from? The FEC maintains a user-friendly site that tracks donations by state and by candidate. Before presenting per capita donations, allow me to address a bemusing aspect of the FEC numbers.
Donation totals by state appear to exclude money given by PACs, political parties, or the candidates themselves, in addition to gifts over $2,300 given by an individual donor, the maximum amount that can be donated to a candidate for a specific campaign. Anything given beyond that amount is reclassified either as being designated for another campaign or as having come from a different person (a spouse, parent, or friend?).
I think this is the case because the national total from data available at the state level comes to $352 million on the Democratic side, while the total individual contribution is listed as $485 million. The total amount given in donations under $2000 comes to $323 million. So if $29 million came in the form of donations in the $2000-$2300 range, that's what's going on.
I'm not sure why this would be, but it'd actually make for a better gauge of popular involvement in the Presidential campaign by removing the few major donors who would otherwise skew per capita donations upward by significant (and varying) amounts at the state level.
However, that presumes over $100 million given by individuals at levels above $2300, which seems too high. It might have to do with people giving campaign contributions from outside the US, or it might just be that the FEC is a little sloppy and hasn't attributed every donation to the state it came from.
There might be something else going on as well. Initially, I used CNN's Campaign Money Race interactive map (scroll down a little and click on the graphic to the left of the page), but it differed from data provided by the FEC in a seemingly random way (it mostly reports lower amounts than the FEC does, but in several cases it reports higher totals than the FEC does). I contacted the organization to ask if they could clear it up for me but haven't yet received a response.
That said, the per capita donations as of March 31, by state in totality and by party affiliation of the recipients:
|3) New York||4.01||3.03||0.98|
|4) New Mexico||3.85||3.55||0.30|
|11) New Jersey||2.22||1.45||0.77|
|12) New Hampshire||2.05||1.16||0.89|
|20) Rhode Island||1.62||1.23||0.39|
|32) South Carolina||0.95||0.39||0.56|
|35) North Carolina||0.93||0.62||0.30|
|44) South Dakota||0.68||0.23||0.45|
|49) West Virginia||0.53||0.35||0.17|
|51) North Dakota||0.36||0.14||0.22|
Here's a visual representation via Many Eyes. Proximity to the coasts leads to more money coughed up. That is likely due in large part to Democratic-leaning states giving more than Republican-leaning states have given. Total per capita contributions correlate with Kerry's share of the '04 vote at a statistically significant .67. Donations to Democrats correlate with Kerry's share at a slightly more robust .70.
However, on the Republican side the relationship is much weaker. Donations to GOP candidates correlate with Bush's share of the '04 vote at only .38. As the Republican field leaned considerably further to the left and towards neoconservatism than does the Republican electorate, excepting Mormon Utah (which gave more to Romney than it gave to all the other candidates from both parties combined), the most generous states for Republicans--DC, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York--are hardly conservative strongholds.
Not surprisingly, people in the nation's capital, where politics is in the water, are far-and-away the most likely in the country to make contributions.
I'm curious as to why Nutmeggers have given so much, especially to Republicans. It isn't the result of a single candidate dominating--McCain, Romney, and Giuliani all raised about $1.5 million from the state.
Fielding a candidate helps. Dodd's from Connecticut (#2). Hillary and Giuliani are from New York (#3). Richardson's from New Mexico (#4). Romney is from, uh, both Massachusetts and Utah (#5 and #6). Hunter from California (#8), Obama from Illinois (#10), Biden from Delaware (#13), Paul from Texas (#19), McCain from Arizona (#21), Thompson from Tennessee (#23), and Huckabee from Arkansas (#24). It didn't do much for Edwards in North Carolina (#35) though, where demographics helped Obama outraise the former Senator in the state he'd represented for six years.
Part of the GOP's underwhelming performance might be blamed on the fact that the party's contest was effectively over in early March. That doesn't offer much comfort though. Even having the nomination squared away, McCain's contribution-seeking is resulting in a paucity of donations. Romney still had him beat two months after endorsing the Arizona Senator. Hillary has outraised him more than $2-to-$1; Obama has him beat nearly $3-to-$1. Further, one-in-four Republican primary participants continue to vote against him.
The per capita party advantage by state:
|State||Dem $ +(-)|
|2) New Mexico||3.26|
|3) New York||2.05|
|11) Rhode Island||0.85|
|13) New Jersey||0.68|
|20) North Carolina||0.32|
|22) New Hampshire||0.27|
|24) West Virginia||0.18|
|40) North Dakota||(0.07)|
|45) South Carolina||(0.17)|
|47) South Dakota||(0.22)|
The swing states are all giving more money to Democrats. Only Michigan--stripped of its delegates and devoid of Obama or Edwards on the ballot--strays from that trend. Even Obama's racialism, leftism, and putative elitism may not be enough to keep him from becoming the most powerful man in the world.