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Connecticut: Red Money Flowing from a Sea of Blue

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Only Utah gives more money per capita to Republican presidential candidates and only Utah and Texas have a greater fundraising disparity between the GOP and Barack Obama

connecticutseal10.pngWhen it comes to partisan strongholds in electoral politics, few states are as dominated by the Democratic Party as Connecticut.

The Democratic Party counts both U.S. Senators in its caucus, holds all five U.S. House seats, controls all six state constitutional offices, and holds nearly two-thirds of the state's legislative seats.

On top of that, the Democratic Party is also on its longest ever presidential winning streak in the Nutmeg State since the party's founding in 1828 - at five consecutive elections dating back to 1992.

But when it comes to funding presidential campaigns, Connecticut Republicans definitely come out of the woodwork to support their party.

So much so, in fact, that there is no greater disparity in blue state giving to the GOP across the country.

A Smart Politics study of large donor individual contributions to presidential candidates through Q1 2012 finds that Connecticut ranks second only to Utah in per capita giving to the GOP field and owns the largest blue state per capita disparity in giving to the GOP vis-à-vis Barack Obama.

Through March, Connecticut residents have given $3.99 million in large donor money to Republican presidential candidates, of which slightly more than 80 percent was directed to Mitt Romney ($3.2 million).

That adds up to a GOP giving rate of $1,119 per 1,000 residents using 2010 U.S. Census data which is second only to the deep red state of Utah at $1,497.

Rounding out the Top 5 states for large donor fundraising to Republicans are two other deep red states - Texas at #3 ($908 per 1,000 residents) and Wyoming at #4 ($843) - and Romney's home state of Massachusetts at #5 ($806).

While Connecticut borders Romney's home state of Massachusetts, its fundraising narrative is distinct from the Bay State's other two overwhelmingly Democratic neighbors - Vermont and Rhode Island.

Rhode Island ranks just #35 in per capita giving to the GOP presidential field this cycle ($272 per 1,000 residents) while Vermont ranks #38 ($248).

And while neighboring New York comes in at #10 in large donor giving to Republican candidates ($633 per 1,000 residents), Empire State residents, unlike those in Connecticut, are giving more funds to President Obama's campaign (at $672).

In other words, it's not simply that Connecticut is running away with Utah in the top tier in donations to Republican candidates, but also the degree to which Republicans are receiving large donor money relative to Obama.

The per capita deficit between large donor funds from Connecticut residents to Barack Obama relative to those given to Republican presidential candidates is the third largest in the country - and the largest for any blue state - with a $616.50 GOP tilt per 1,000 residents.

Only the deep red states of Utah (with a $1,331.83 per capita advantage for the GOP) and Texas (with a $677 advantage) find Obama in a bigger statewide hole among large donors.

Smart Politics projects Connecticut will likely pass up Texas on this scale after Q2 2012, as the vast majority of Lone Star State campaign giving occurred early while its Governor Rick Perry was still in the race. (Connecticut expanded its GOP per capita fundraising lead over Texas from $48 per 1,000 residents at the end of Q4 2011 to $211 at the end of Q1 2012).

Large Donor Per Capita Contributions to Republican Presidential Candidates by State, 2012 Cycle

Rank
State
Raised
Per 1,000
1
Utah
$4,136,630
$1,497
2
Connecticut
$3,999,656
$1,119
3
Texas
$22,833,926
$908
4
Wyoming
$475,671
$844
5
Massachusetts
$5,281,355
$807
6
Florida
$13,011,940
$692
7
Idaho
$1,058,043
$675
8
Virginia
$5,166,344
$646
9
New Hampshire
$845,579
$642
10
New York
$12,265,993
$633
11
Nevada
$1,692,250
$627
12
Colorado
$2,748,623
$547
13
Louisiana
$2,332,946
$515
14
California
$18,397,052
$494
15
Arizona
$3,152,421
$493
16
Georgia
$4,738,258
$489
17
New Jersey
$4,272,258
$486
18
Tennessee
$2,863,193
$451
19
Minnesota
$2,205,002
$416
20
Alaska
$291,755
$411
21
Illinois
$5,263,211
$410
22
Maryland
$2,352,740
$408
23
Oklahoma
$1,482,611
$395
24
South Dakota
$321,265
$395
25
Montana
$388,030
$392
26
Washington
$2,493,714
$371
27
Missouri
$2,122,133
$354
28
Michigan
$3,355,237
$339
29
Pennsylvania
$4,118,130
$324
30
Ohio
$3,395,463
$294
31
Iowa
$877,760
$288
32
Oregon
$1,095,242
$286
33
North Dakota
$186,879
$278
34
Nebraska
$506,758
$277
35
Rhode Island
$286,263
$272
36
South Carolina
$1,228,494
$266
37
Kansas
$746,849
$262
38
Vermont
$155,184
$248
39
Alabama
$1,166,484
$244
40
New Mexico
$497,648
$242
41
Mississippi
$679,717
$229
42
Hawaii
$304,858
$224
43
West Virginia
$414,465
$224
44
Kentucky
$939,252
$216
45
North Carolina
$2,063,585
$216
46
Maine
$262,901
$198
47
Indiana
$1,225,485
$189
48
Delaware
$166,751
$186
49
Wisconsin
$851,357
$150
50
Arkansas
$427,137
$146
Through March 31, 2012. Table compiled by Smart Politics with FEC data.

Unlike the Republican side of the ledger, which is a mixture of red and blue states, the Top 10 fundraising states for the president have all been solidly Democratic since the Election of 1992.

Vermont leads with a large donor rate to Obama of $1,450 per 1,000 residents followed by the president's home state of Illinois at #2 ($1,177), Massachusetts at #3 ($904), Maine at #4 ($809), Maryland at #5 ($702), New York at #6 ($673), California at #7 ($561), Hawaii at #8 ($520), Washington at #9 ($510), and Connecticut at #10 ($503).

The Top 14 per capita fundraising states for the president all voted for him in 2008 with Alaska the only McCain state in the Top 19 at #15.

Connecticut has been at or near the top of the list for the highest median household income across the country for several years.

But due to comparatively slow giving in the state to Obama this cycle, Connecticut ranks behind Massachusetts, Vermont, and Utah in total money given to presidential candidates from both parties.

The District of Columbia, of course, surpasses all states in per capita giving both to Republicans and to Obama with the president at a significant advantage: $6,241 per 1,000 residents for Obama compared to $2,004 for the GOP.

Large Donor Per Capita Contributions to Barack Obama by State, 2012 Cycle

Rank
State
Raised
Per 1,000
1
Vermont
$907,259
$1,450
2
Illinois
$15,107,791
$1,177
3
Massachusetts
$5,919,532
$904
4
Maine
$1,074,829
$809
5
Maryland
$4,053,768
$702
6
New York
$13,037,132
$673
7
California
$20,908,036
$561
8
Hawaii
$706,927
$520
9
Washington
$3,429,031
$510
10
Connecticut
$1,796,230
$503
11
Virginia
$3,556,952
$445
12
New Hampshire
$531,487
$404
13
Rhode Island
$414,540
$394
14
New Mexico
$737,687
$358
15
Colorado
$1,771,473
$352
16
Alaska
$242,138
$341
17
Florida
$6,254,052
$333
18
Delaware
$294,059
$327
19
New Jersey
$2,792,251
$318
20
Wyoming
$156,990
$279
21
Minnesota
$1,444,637
$272
22
Montana
$264,862
$268
23
Oregon
$1,003,185
$262
24
Georgia
$2,453,826
$253
25
Pennsylvania
$3,070,160
$242
26
Texas
$5,807,935
$231
27
Nevada
$587,025
$217
28
North Carolina
$2,052,942
$215
29
Michigan
$2,020,190
$204
30
Missouri
$1,148,656
$192
31
Arizona
$1,118,641
$175
32
Wisconsin
$988,053
$174
33
Utah
$455,612
$165
34
Iowa
$478,756
$157
35
Kentucky
$638,548
$147
36
Kansas
$385,495
$135
37
Oklahoma
$503,784
$134
38
Ohio
$1,539,771
$133
39
Tennessee
$790,337
$125
40
South Carolina
$535,829
$116
41
Indiana
$702,639
$108
42
Louisiana
$475,409
$105
43
Idaho
$164,299
$105
44
Nebraska
$189,125
$104
45
Alabama
$457,931
$96
46
Arkansas
$271,332
$93
47
South Dakota
$70,397
$86
48
West Virginia
$146,216
$79
49
North Dakota
$50,322
$75
50
Mississippi
$157,592
$53
Through March 31, 2012. Table compiled by Smart Politics with FEC data.

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