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Female Donors Driving the Fundraising Success of Maureen Reed and Tarryl Clark

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While Republicans Erik Paulsen and Michele Bachmann are leading by a wide margin in the amount of funds raised overall by the Gopher State's U.S. House representatives and announced congressional candidates in the current election cycle, it is Bachmann's two DFL challengers, Maureen Reed and Tarryl Clark, who have most effectively tapped into one particularly lucrative fundraising resource - women.

Clark and Reed are 1-2 (or 2-1) atop all Minnesota congressional candidates across a number of fundraising dimensions measuring the contributions to the 2010 candidates by female donors, according to a Smart Politics analysis of 2009 Federal Elections Commission data.

For starters, Clark and Reed are raising a larger percentage of their individual itemized fundraising from women than any congressional candidate in the Gopher State. Clark is raising 48.2 percent of her large donor funds from women with Reed close behind at 47.8 percent. The state's eight incumbents are raising an average of only 22.7 percent of their funds from female donors.

While at first blush the success of Clark and Reed among women might be explained by the fact that they are Democrats (whose supporters are disproportionately female), that is countered by the Smart Politics finding that the three U.S. House members from Minnesota with the lowest rate of fundraising from women are all DFLers.

Keith Ellison is only receiving 13.3 percent of his large donor funds from women, with Jim Oberstar at just 14.1 percent, and Collin Peterson at 16.3 percent.

Percentage of Itemized Individual Funds Raised by Minnesota U.S. House Candidates by Female Donors, January-September 2009

Rank
Candidate
District
Female
Male
1
Tarryl Clark*
6
48.2
51.6
2
Maureen Reed*
6
47.8
51.6
3
Betty McCollum
4
43.7
56.3
4
Tim Walz
1
28.4
71.6
5
Erik Paulsen
3
26.4
73.6
6
Michele Bachmann*
6
23.7
75.6
7
John Kline
2
20.2
79.8
8
Collin Peterson
7
16.3
83.7
9
Jim Oberstar*
8
14.1
85.4
10
Keith Ellison
5
13.3
86.7
* Percentages do not sum to 100 percent for all candidates due to a small percentage of itemized contributions (< 1 percent) identifying donor first names by initials so that the gender cannot be determined. FEC data compiled by Smart Politics.

Reed and Clark are also ranked 1-2 in terms of the average dollars of large donor funds raised from women per day.

Reed filed her candidacy paperwork on May 12th of this year and has raised an average of $1,140.14 per day in large donor contributions from in-state and out-of-state female donors. That is more than 30 times the daily amount of funds from female donors raised by Collin Peterson ($37.36 per day), more than 12 times the daily average raised by Keith Ellison ($94.12), and more than 8 times the average amount raised by DFLer Betty McCollum ($130.57).

Tarryl Clark, who filed her candidacy paperwork on July 17th, is not far behind. Clark has raised an average of $979.59 per day from women during the 76 days of fundraising she had available from the launching of her campaign through September 30th, the end of the 3rd Quarter.

Reed and Clark are also ranked 2nd and 4th among average daily large donor contributions received from men, with GOPers Erik Paulsen and Michele Bachmann 1st and 3rd respectively.

Average Itemized Individual Funds Raised Per Day by Minnesota U.S. House Candidates by Female Donors, January-September 2009

Rank
Candidate
District
Per Day Female
Per Day Male
1
Maureen Reed
6
$1,140.14
$1,229.75
2
Tarryl Clark
6
$979.59
$1,049.34
3
Erik Paulsen
3
$518.13
$1,446.21
4
Michele Bachmann
6
$367.33
$1,170.26
5
Tim Walz
1
$209.62
$529.26
6
John Kline
2
$197.53
$779.63
7
Jim Oberstar
8
$145.60
$881.84
8
Betty McCollum
4
$130.57
$168.04
9
Keith Ellison
5
$94.12
$616.08
10
Collin Peterson
7
$37.36
$191.45
* Maureen Reed began her candidacy on May 12th with Tarryl Clark on July 17th. All other candidates were able to receive funds at the beginning of the year. FEC data compiled by Smart Politics.

Despite giving incumbents like Michele Bachmann a 4.5 month head start on the 2010 fundraising front (in the case of Reed) and a 6.5 month head start (in the case of Clark), the two DFL hopefuls in the 6th Congressional District also rank at or near the top in terms of total funds raised from women in 2009.

Reed leads the pack, with $161,900 raised from female donors so far this year - a 61.4 percent larger amount than Congresswoman Bachmann ($100,281), despite being able to fundraise in just over half of the 273 days available to Bachmann during the first three quarters of this year (142).

Erik Paulsen has raised the second largest tally from female donors ($141,250), with Clark in 4th at $74,449 despite having only 27 percent as many days to raise funds as the Gopher State's U.S. House incumbents this year (76 of 273).

Total Itemized Individual Funds Raised by Minnesota U.S. House Candidates by Female Donors, January-September 2009

Rank
Candidate
District
Female
Male
1
Maureen Reed*
6
$161,900
$174,625
2
Erik Paulsen
3
$141,450
$394,814
3
Michele Bachmann*
6
$100,281
$319,480
4
Tarryl Clark*
6
$74,449
$79,750
5
Tim Walz
1
$57,225
$144,489
6
John Kline
2
$53,925
$212,840
7
Jim Oberstar*
8
$39,750
$240,742
8
Betty McCollum
4
$35,645
$45,875
9
Keith Ellison
5
$25,695
$168,190
10
Collin Peterson
7
$10,199
$52,267
* The following candidates also raised large donor individual funds from donors of an indeterminate gender due to designated the donor with initials: Reed ($2,000), Bachmann ($2,900), Clark ($250), and Oberstar ($1,500). FEC data compiled by Smart Politics.

Smart Politics also analyzed the amount of funds raised by Minnesota's congressional candidates from female donors in state and found no significant difference from the total (national) trends other than Keith Ellison fell from 9th place to the basement among Minnesota's congressional candidates in terms of total funds raised and average per-day contributions from women.

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