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What are the Most Partisan Cities in Minnesota for U.S. House Campaign Contributions?

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Champlin and Lakeland have the largest Republican tilts for U.S. House campaign contributions; Anoka, Elk River, and Minneapolis have the largest Democratic tilts

This is the sixth in a series of reports on campaign fundraising in Minnesota's U.S. House races. Previous reports examined which 6th CD candidate was raising more in-state money, which 6th CD candidate was receiving more contributions from Minnesota political elites, to which candidates Minneapolis residents have made campaign contributions, Michele Bachmann's fundraising in her home town of Stillwater, and the large contributions coming from Wayzata.

While yesterday's Smart Politics report revealed that the tiny city of Wazayta has left the biggest footprint in campaign fundraising to Minnesota U.S. House candidates - particularly for Republicans - the west metro suburb is not the city with the largest GOP tilt when it comes to which political party Minnesotans direct their campaign dollars.

Wayzata is a staple for GOP fundraising, to be sure. Republican congressional candidates have raised more money from Wayzatans ($289,020) than any other city in the state - including Minneapolis, which has approximately 100 times the number of residents ($288,893).

But Wayzata is also the fourth largest donor to DFL congressional candidates this election cycle, at $126,100 through mid-July, behind only Minneapolis ($758,457), St. Paul ($279,055), and Edina ($155,775).

Thus, while the GOP fundraising from Wayzatans is notable, the 70/30 percent split it enjoys over Democrats does not come close to the partisan tilt in campaign contributions seen in other cities around the Gopher State.

Smart Politics examined the partisan giving to Minnesota U.S. House candidates from the 44 cities in Minnesota that have contributed at least $20,000 in itemized individual contributions for the election cycle to date.

The donations from residents in these 44 cities tally $4.3 million, or 81 percent of the $5.3 million that has been donated to all Minnesota U.S. House candidates from some 599 cities and towns across the state.

The overall distribution of funds from these 44 cities is basically even between Republican candidates ($2,208,768) and DFLers ($2,111,660).

And what cities have the biggest partisan tilt when it comes to campaign contributions by its residents in Minnesota U.S. House races?

Twenty-nine of these 44 cities had a fundraising advantage in the favor of the Republican Party, but none more so than the City of Champlin in the 3rd Congressional District.

Champlin residents have given 100 percent of their $35,855 in large donor contributions to Republican U.S. House candidates this election cycle, without a single large donor sending money to a DFLer.

Although the city is represented by Republican Erik Paulsen in the U.S. House, the plurality of funds was directed to 6th CD GOPer Michele Bachmann ($9,755). Another $9,600 went to 2nd CD Representative John Kline, with $8,500 to Paulsen and $8,000 to 1st CD challenger Randy Demmer.

Champlin's $35K + in large donor contributions ranks 24th in the Gopher State overall this election cycle.

But the curious thing about the severe partisan tilt for Champlin's campaign contributions is that the City is not heavily Republican.

In the 2008 Presidential election, John McCain carried Champlin by just 4.7 points, 51.5 percent to 46.8 percent for Barack Obama.

And while Erik Paulsen carried each of the city's four precincts by between 9 and 19 points in his U.S. House race against Ashwin Madia, DFL State Representative Denise Dittrich carried each precinct by between 12 and 23 points.

The city with the second largest partisan advantage toward the GOP in campaign contributions to Minnesota's U.S. House candidates is the small town of Lakeland in the 6th CD.

With a 2000 Census population of just shy of 2,000 residents, Lakeland has donated $32,475 thus far to Minnesota's congressional candidates, which is good for 28th highest in the state. The city's $16.94 contribution-per-resident rate is 10th highest in the state.

Lakeland residents have donated a whopping 98.5 percent of their large donor funds to Republican candidates ($31,975) thus far in the election cycle, compared to just 1.5 percent to DFLers ($500).

Lakeland's Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has received over half of this money, at $16,575, with Kline next at $9,600 and then Paulsen at $5,800.

These lopsided donations from Lakeland residents to Republican U.S. House officeholders is odd, particularly those to Bachmann, considering DFLer Elwyn Tinklenberg carried the city by 7.1 points in the 2008 congressional race (47.9 to 40.8 percent over Bachmann).

Moreover, Lakeland residents also voted for Obama in the 2008 presidential election - defeating McCain 49.2 to 48.0 percent in the city.

Five other cities with substantial large donor contributions this election cycle have also given more than 90 percent of their funds to Republican candidates: Granite Falls (95.1 percent), Waconia (93.5 percent), Prior Lake (93.1 percent), Willmar (93.0 percent), and Medina (92.0 percent).

Minnesota Cities with Republican Tilt in Itemized Individual Contributions to Gopher State U.S. House Candidates

Rank
City
DFL
GOP
% DFL
% GOP
Total
1
Champlin
$0
$35,855
0.0
100.0
$35,855
2
Lakeland
$500
$31,975
1.5
98.5
$32,475
3
Granite Falls
$1,000
$19,450
4.9
95.1
$20,450
4
Waconia
$2,100
$30,255
6.5
93.5
$32,355
5
Prior Lake
$3,875
$52,485
6.9
93.1
$56,360
6
Willmar
$2,250
$30,012
7.0
93.0
$32,262
7
Medina
$3,150
$36,084
8.0
92.0
$39,234
8
Long Lake
$5,950
$43,700
12.0
88.0
$49,650
9
Sartell
$3,400
$19,075
15.1
84.9
$22,475
10
Lake Elmo
$3,650
$17,570
17.2
82.8
$21,220
11
Eden Prairie
$34,680
$161,332
17.7
82.3
$196,012
12
Orono
$4,750
$21,425
18.1
81.9
$26,175
13
Burnsville
$17,400
$63,366
21.5
78.5
$80,766
14
Excelsior
$26,700
$92,952
22.3
77.7
$119,652
15
Plymouth
$17,150
$43,194
28.4
71.6
$60,344
16
Lakeville
$6,430
$15,649
29.1
70.9
$22,079
17
Winona
$13,610
$32,535
29.5
70.5
$46,145
18
Wayzata
$126,100
$289,020
30.4
69.6
$415,120
19
Bloomington
$17,125
$39,066
30.5
69.5
$56,191
20
St. Peter
$8,300
$17,625
32.0
68.0
$25,925
21
Andover
$9,625
$19,510
33.0
67.0
$29,135
22
Maple Grove
$8,060
$15,110
34.8
65.2
$23,170
23
Woodbury
$24,400
$45,230
35.0
65.0
$69,630
24
Mound
$10,750
$15,224
41.4
58.6
$25,974
25
Hopkins
$13,147
$17,500
42.9
57.1
$30,647
26
Mahtomedi
$9,450
$11,628
44.8
55.2
$21,078
27
Edina
$153,775
$181,382
45.9
54.1
$335,157
28
White Bear Lake
$24,975
$26,620
48.4
51.6
$51,595
29
Duluth
$17,025
$17,917
48.7
51.3
$34,942
Note: Campaign contributions from January 1, 2009 through July 21, 2010. Source: Federal Election Commission. Table compiled by Smart Politics.

But some big donor cities in the Gopher State have also witnessed a clear Democratic advantage in their congressional campaign contributions this election cycle - and no more so than the north metro City of Anoka.

Anoka residents have given $41,677 to Minnesota's U.S. House candidates through mid-July, which ranks 21st highest in the state.

Of that total, 92.6 percent has been directed to DFL candidates ($38,600) with just 7.4 percent to Republicans ($3,077).

The majority of this money has gone to support the city's 6th CD DFL challengers: $9,900 to Tarryl Clark, $9,600 to Elwyn Tinklenberg, and $500 to Maureen Reed. Tim Walz also received a sizable $9,850 from Anoka residents.

Despite this imbalance in fundraising, the city did not break toward Democratic candidates in 2008 in large numbers. Barack Obama carried the city by just 3.9 points, 50.7 to 46.8 percent, with John McCain carrying the 3rd and 8th Precincts.

Moreover, Republican Norm Coleman carried five of the eight precincts in his U.S. Senate race against Al Franken, winning Anoka by a 2.4-point margin (42.3 to 39.9 percent).

Additionally, Republican State Representative Jim Abeler won all eight precincts, including seven of them by more than 20 points.

Despite the competitiveness of Republican candidates in the city, Anoka residents are not opening up their checkbooks to GOP U.S. House candidates.

But while Republicans are enjoying a more than 2:1 fundraising advantage in 21 cities among those that have contributed at least $20,000 in the election cycle to date, only three such cities have 2:1 Democratic tilts: Anoka, Elk River (84.7 percent) and Minneapolis (72.4 percent).

In fact, it is only because the DFL advantage is as strong as it is in Minneapolis, that the party remains competitive in the large-donor arena overall.

DFLers outgained Republicans by more than $469,000 in Minneapolis ($758,457 to $288,893), but only by $306,747 in the other 14 major cities combined in which they had a large donor contribution advantage for U.S. House races ($783,876 to $477,129).

In short, large donor support runs narrow but deep for the DFL and wider and more shallow for the Republicans.

Minnesota Cities with Democratic Tilt in Itemized Individual Contributions to Gopher State U.S. House Candidates

Rank
City
DFL
GOP
% DFL
% GOP
Total
1
Anoka
$38,600
$3,077
92.6
7.4
$41,677
2
Elk River
$23,800
$4,305
84.7
15.3
$28,105
3
Minneapolis
$758,457
$288,893
72.4
27.6
$1,047,405
4
Stillwater
$54,300
$27,845
66.1
33.9
$82,145
5
North Mankato
$18,550
$9,680
65.7
34.3
$28,230
6
Golden Valley
$36,950
$20,290
64.6
35.4
$57,240
7
Mankato
$34,395
$19,800
63.5
36.5
$54,195
8
St. Cloud
$66,649
$39,213
63.0
37.0
$105,862
9
St. Paul
$279,055
$165,740
62.7
37.3
$444,795
10
Eagan
$20,000
$13,421
59.8
40.2
$33,421
11
North Oaks
$15,350
$10,355
59.7
40.3
$25,705
12
Roseville
$21,760
$15,625
58.2
41.8
$37,385
13
Rochester
$75,917
$60,266
55.7
44.3
$136,183
14
Mendota Heights
$18,975
$16,820
53.0
47.0
$35,795
14
Minnetonka
$79,575
$70,692
53.0
47.0
$150,267
Note: Campaign contributions from January 1, 2009 through July 21, 2010. Source: Federal Election Commission. Table compiled by Smart Politics.

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2 Comments


  • Query : If you discounted George and Barbara Anderson of Crown Iron Works / Crown Holdings from the Champlin tally, what would that yield ? Yes, it would still be zero for the DFL, but wouldn’t the amount be much lower ?

    Query : If you discounted Stanley and Karen Hubbard from the Lakeland tally, what would that yield ?

    It’s very interesting analysis … it may show more about the influence of individual power players than the general support by the community.

    The most surprising is that Minnetonka is so competitive ... yet if you consider the amount of money that Marilyn Carlson and the Rauenhorst families have given to Pawlenty's Freedom Fund, it is remarkable that the Dems are even close. I assume that your analysis did not include Pawlenty's PAC or the margin may have been different.

  • Yes - removing certain families from the donor lists would drop these two cities down the list substantially.

    The Hubbards have donated approximately 80 percent of Lakeland's contributions, and for all the Andersons it eclipses 90 percent in Champlin.

    Champlin's lack of DFL money is still an oddity, however, given it has more than 20,000 residents and has a mixed partisan voting record.

  • Leave a comment


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