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Minnesota Ranks 10th in Nation in Campaign Contributions Per Congressional District in 2009

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South Carolina tops list at $1.6 million per district with Minnesota 10th at $983,029; candidates in Northeastern congressional districts receiving the most money overall

Buoyed in part by the aggressive fundraising of Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and the competitive intra-party battle between DFL hopefuls Tarryl Clark and Maureen Reed, the State of Minnesota cracked the Top 10 states with the highest average funds raised per congressional district for 2009.

A Smart Politics analysis of Federal Election Commission data from January 1-December 31 finds that, at nearly $2.8 million, candidates in the Gopher State's 6th Congressional District race received the sixth most funds in the nation last year, although this was still more than $2.5 million shy of the money raised in the 2010 rematch between Republican Joe Wilson and Democrat Rob Miller in South Carolina's 2nd CD (leading the nation at ($5.4 million).

(This data excludes from analysis the five congressional districts which held special elections in 2009: candidates in districts CA-10, CA-32, IL-05, NY-20, NY-23 raised more than $18.5 million collectively last year).

The Wilson-Miller fundraising battle helped to lead South Carolina, which also has two open seat races on the ballot this November, to an average of $1.63 million raised across its six U.S. House districts in 2009 - highest in the nation. Representative Wilson raised nearly $2.7 million in the 3rd Quarter of 2009 alone - the quarter in which his "You lie!" outburst during President Barack Obama's address to a Joint Session of Congress brought him to the forefront of Washington politics.

Far behind the 6th CD in the Gopher State was the 3rd Congressional District, which came in at #66 nationwide. While freshman Congressman Erik Paulsen raised in excess of $1.1 million last year, the campaigns of his DFL challengers Maureen Hackett and James Meffert got off to later, and comparatively slower, starts than their DFL allies in the 6th CD, netting them less than $200,000 collectively, compared to the nearly $1.2 million raised by Clark and Reed in the 6th.

Candidates in Minnesota's 8th CD ranked #128 in the country in funds raised, followed by the 1st CD at #172, the 2nd CD at #183, the 7th CD at #238, the 5th CD at #254, and the 4th CD at #330.

Overall, the most attractive contests for those contributing to U.S. House races were in the nation's Northeastern states - candidates in the 81 Congressional Districts (excluding NY-20 and NY-23) across the states of Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maine, and Vermont raised an average of $880,879 per district.

U.S. House candidates in the nation's 12 Midwestern states followed with an average of $854,775 per congressional district, followed by the South at $780,874, and the West at $761,162.

In the Upper Midwest, North Dakota (whose at-large Democratic incumbent Earl Pomeroy is expected to face one of his most difficult races in years) came in at #7 in the nation ($1.15 million), with Wisconsin at #27 ($759,520 per district), South Dakota at #29 ($756,220), and Iowa at #42 ($606,563).

A Smart Politics analysis also found there to be little correlation between the amount of money raised per district in a state and the average margin of victory in U.S. House contests in the 2008 elections.

In fact, four states whose average margin of victory for U.S. House races in 2008 ranked in the Top 10 most competitive in the country, currently rank in the Bottom 10 in terms of 2009 fundraising.

For example, Alaska had the lowest average statewide margin of victory in 2008 (with its at-large U.S. House race decided by 5.1 points), but currently ranks #44 in average statewide fundraising per district.

Wyoming had the second lowest average statewide margin of victory for U.S. House races in 2008 (with its at-large race decided by 9.8 points), but currently ranks #50 in fundraising. Iowa (7th in 2008 MoV) and Maine (8th) also found themselves in the bottom 10 in average funds contributed to U.S. House candidates in 2009 per district.

There are a few states, however, who ranked among the leaders in both the lowest average margins of victory in 2008 and the highest average campaign contributions per House district in 2009.

South Carolina (#1), for example, had the 6th lowest average margin of victory in 2008, at 20.6 points per district. New Mexico (#3 in average funds raised) came in 4th in 2008 with an average margin of victory of 16.5 points. Nevada (#5 in average funds raised) had the 5th lowest average margin of victory in 2008 (18.2 points).

Overall, nearly $350 million was raised across the nation' 430 U.S. House districts that did not hold special elections in 2009. Adding in the five districts that did hold special elections last year brings the total to just shy of $370 million.

Average Funds Raised Per U.S. House District by State, 2009

Rank
State
Average
2008 ave. MoV
MoV rank
1
South Carolina
$1,635,780
20.6
6
2
Connecticut
$1,352,485
32.0
25
3
New Mexico
$1,320,651
16.5
4
4
Kansas
$1,298,943
30.4
21
5
Nevada
$1,218,066
18.2
5
6
Virginia
$1,208,261
32.2
26
7
North Dakota
$1,153,666
24.0
12
8
Pennsylvania
$1,101,242
28.1
16
9
Idaho
$1,032,063
21.8
8
10
Minnesota
$983,029
27.6
15
11
Illinois*
$964,611
41.6
36
12
New Hampshire
$937,588
10.5
3
13
Maryland
$907,011
42.9
40
14
New York*
$895,231
46.0
42
15
Rhode Island
$866,575
42.3
37
16
Montana
$857,397
29.8
20
17
Alabama
$837,516
51.5
45
18
Arizona
$837,339
22.6
10
19
Ohio
$832,024
25.9
13
20
Florida
$823,792
31.1
23
21
Indiana
$812,825
28.6
17
22
Louisiana
$794,316
38.6
35
23
Michigan
$792,386
32.4
27
24
Missouri
$788,143
34.1
31
25
Tennessee
$785,213
52.3
47
26
Oregon
$768,693
47.4
43
27
Wisconsin
$759,520
36.3
33
28
Colorado
$757,529
26.0
14
29
South Dakota
$756,220
35.2
32
30
California*
$746,316
44.6
41
31
Delaware
$720,039
23.1
11
32
Mississippi
$707,508
30.9
22
33
Kentucky
$691,646
29.4
19
34
Massachusetts
$662,226
78.2
49
35
Washington
$660,561
31.3
24
36
Oklahoma
$658,390
37.6
34
37
Georgia
$645,586
42.8
39
38
Texas
$643,288
42.7
38
39
Nebraska
$636,629
33.1
28
40
Hawaii
$626,294
52.1
46
41
New Jersey
$619,258
34.0
30
42
Iowa
$606,563
20.9
7
43
Arkansas
$582,223
70.7
48
44
Alaska
$523,295
5.1
1
45
North Carolina
$494,696
29.0
18
46
West Virginia
$488,757
49.4
44
47
Maine
$421,868
21.8
8
48
Vermont
$369,254
78.4
50
49
Utah
$364,021
33.8
29
50
Wyoming
$327,721
9.8
2
* Data excludes money raised by candidates in the following congressional districts which held special elections in 2009: CA-10, CA-32, IL-05, NY-20, NY-23. Data includes money raised by incumbents in 2009 who later opted to not seek reelection in 2010, except for those U.S. Representatives who are seeking U.S. Senate seats. FEC data and election data compiled by Smart Politics.

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