Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Per capita contributions to '08 Presidential election by state as of 3/31/08

Among many portents of the bloodletting the Republican party faces this November has been the Democratic party's fundraising advantage in the Presidential campaign. For every dollar donated, more than $.61 has gone to a Democratic candidate. In '04, the Democratic contenders outdid President Bush, garnering $.57 of each dollar donated to the election. He still won. But the total four years ago was just over $600 million, an amount already surpassed before the candidates for the general election have been decided. And in '00, Republican contenders brought in more money than Democratic contenders did.

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:

StateTotal DemsReps
1) D.C.25.7022.233.48

2) Connecticut

3) New York4.013.030.98
4) New Mexico3.853.550.30
5) Massachusetts3.292.261.04
6) Utah2.840.482.36
7) Maryland2.842.230.61
8) California2.561.810.74
9) Virginia2.391.460.93
10) Illinois2.361.850.51
11) New Jersey2.221.450.77
12) New Hampshire2.051.160.89
13) Delaware1.971.590.38
14) Florida1.900.990.91
15) Vermont1.891.530.36
16) Colorado1.861.190.66
17) Nevada1.770.810.96
18) Washington1.661.230.43
19) Texas1.650.790.86
20) Rhode Island1.621.230.39
21) Arizona1.550.551.01
22) Wyoming1.520.670.85
23) Tennessee1.210.320.88
24) Arkansas1.160.620.53
25) Hawaii1.130.860.27
26) Pennsylvania1.120.780.34
27) Maine1.090.830.27
28) Oregon1.090.730.36
29) Idaho1.090.280.81
30) Georgia1.080.580.50
31) Missouri0.960.510.45
32) South Carolina0.950.390.56
33) Oklahoma0.940.530.41
34) Alaska0.930.510.42
35) North Carolina0.930.620.30
36) Minnesota0.880.600.28
37) Montana0.860.520.34
38) Michigan0.810.330.48
39) Iowa0.780.460.32
40) Louisiana0.760.370.39
41) Kansas0.730.290.45
42) Ohio0.720.390.33
43) Wisconsin0.680.400.28
44) South Dakota0.680.230.45
45) Alabama0.670.340.34
46) Kentucky0.620.420.20
47) Nebraska0.600.350.24
48) Mississippi0.550.200.35
49) West Virginia0.530.350.17
50) Indiana0.510.290.22
51) North Dakota0.360.140.22

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:

StateDem $ +(-)
1) D.C.18.75
2) New Mexico3.26
3) New York2.05
4) Maryland1.62
5) Illinois1.34
6) Connecticut1.32
7) Massachusetts1.22
8) Delaware1.22
9) Vermont1.18
10) California1.07
11) Rhode Island0.85
12) Washington0.81
13) New Jersey0.68
14) Hawaii0.59
15) Maine0.56
16) Virginia0.53
17) Colorado0.53
18) Pennsylvania0.44
19) Oregon0.37
20) North Carolina0.32
21) Minnesota0.31
22) New Hampshire0.27
23) Kentucky0.21
24) West Virginia0.18
25) Montana0.17
26) Iowa0.14
27) Oklahoma0.13
28) Wisconsin0.11
29) Nebraska0.11
30) Arkansas0.09
31) Alaska0.09
32) Georgia0.09
33) Florida0.09
34) Indiana0.08
35) Ohio0.06
36) Missouri0.06
37) Alabama0.00
38) Louisiana(0.03)
39) Texas(0.07)
40) North Dakota(0.07)
41) Mississippi(0.15)
42) Michigan(0.15)
43) Nevada(0.15)
44) Kansas(0.16)
45) South Carolina(0.17)
46) Wyoming(0.17)
47) South Dakota(0.22)
48) Arizona(0.46)
49) Idaho(0.53)
50) Tennessee(0.56)
51) Utah(1.88)

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.


Half Sigma said...

This chart demonstrates that the Democrats have become the party of the rich.

States where people vote Republican have a paucity of people who can afford to donate $2000 to a candidate--they need the $2000 to live on.

Luckily for the Republicans, poor people's votes count equally as rich people's votes.

Anonymous said...

"This chart demonstrates that the Democrats have become the party of the rich."

That the rich have become more and more inclined towards the Democratic party. The dark poor are not new Republicans, either. Republicans are losing at the top without gaining at the bottom.

Anonymous said...

During the Bush years the national GOP degenerated to the point where it served no special role beyond that the one of fooling Christian Fundamentalists. Easy to understand why rich people would desert such a party.

Audacious Epigone said...

The FEC just released new numbers, a month further along. The commentary is represented well by comparing Texas and New York. Texas has the second largest population in the country, yet New York has it beat $2-to-$1, and California takes it $5-to-$2. And these new numbers include the Democratic primary/caucus in Texas. Wow.

Al Fin said...

The Democrats have learned to rape and pillage Americans so that they like it and ask for more.