Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Wisconsinites (Financially) Disengaged from 2012 Presidential Race

Bookmark and Share

Wisconsin is the only battleground state to populate the Bottom 10 for per capita large donor contributions to presidential candidates this cycle

wisconsinseal10.pngWhile the swing state of Wisconsin may be prime territory for political ads and a key state for the Obama and Romney campaigns - with native son Paul Ryan now on the latter's ticket - residents of the Badger State may not be quite as enthused with the campaign so far.

At least as measured by one variable.

For although Wisconsin ranks in the top half of the nation in per capita income, the state ranks 46th in per capita large donor giving to presidential candidates this cycle.

A Smart Politics review of FEC data through August 2012 finds that Wisconsin is the only 'battleground' that ranks in the Bottom 10 states for itemized contributions to 2012 presidential candidates.

Wisconsin residents have contributed $853 per 1,000 residents so far this cycle to Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and the other ex- and current GOP and third party candidates who launched presidential campaigns.

That comes in at just above half the national statewide average of $1,659 per 1,000 residents and bests only Mississippi at #47 ($809), Indiana at #48 ($804), West Virginia at #49 ($759), and Arkansas at #50 ($696).

In fact, Wisconsin is the only swing state that populates the bottom of the list with North Dakota at #45 ($865), Kentucky at #44 ($886), Alabama at #43 ($917), South Carolina at #42 ($937), South Dakota at #41 ($1,010), and Kansas at #40 ($1,086).

One unusual facet of Wisconsin's placement on this list of campaign donations is its relative wealth vis-à-vis most of the other bottom dwellers.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis' March 2012 report, Wisconsin ranks #25 in the nation in per capita personal income in 2011 with Indiana (#41), Alabama (#42), Arkansas (#44), South Carolina (#46), West Virginia (#48), and Mississippi (#50) coming in much lower.

Only North Dakota (#9), South Dakota (#21), and Kansas (#23) rank ahead of Wisconsin on the per capita income list among the stingiest large donor states in the 2012 presidential election cycle.

All this is not to suggest that the other battleground states in the 2012 election are at the very top of fundraising states in the nation.

In fact, only two battleground states crack the Top 10 for per capita large donor funds donated to presidential candidates this cycle: Virginia at #8 ($2,450 per 1,000 residents) and Colorado at #9 ($2,412).

The remaining eight states in the Top 10 are all Democratic and Republican strongholds.

Mitt Romney's home state of Massachusetts leads the way at a rate of $3,573 per 1,000 residents in large donor giving, followed by Connecticut at #2 ($3,551), Vermont at #3 ($2,929), Wyoming at #4 ($2,897), Utah at #5 ($2,742), Maryland at #6 ($2,676), New York at #7 ($2,659), and California at #10 ($2,305).

As for the other swing states, New Hampshire comes in at #11 ($2,208), with Florida at #15 ($2,011), Nevada at #16 ($1,784), Pennsylvania at #27 ($1,460), Michigan at #32 ($1,259), North Carolina at #36 ($1,191), Ohio at #38 ($1,091), and Iowa at #39 ($1,090).

Wisconsin's shallow pockets in the 2012 fundraising game is curious to be sure.

Some might suggest the state was bled dry by the two sets of recall elections that took place in 2011 and 2012.

Or perhaps that the high profile recall process itself - and the untold number of negative campaign ads that flooded the airwaves - have turned voters off to political campaigns.

These are plausible explanations, but not persuasive in a state that consistently ranks among the top in the nation in voter turnout.

So perhaps Wisconsinites are simply savvy political observers and are simply not impressed with the choices on the ballot this time around and are saving their money for another day...

Itemized Contributions to 2012 Presidential Candidates by State

Rank
State
Contributions
Per 1,000
1
Massachusetts
$23,401,154
$3,573.99
2
Connecticut
$12,693,773
$3,551.60
3
Vermont
$1,832,984
$2,929.30
4
Wyoming
$1,633,132
$2,897.55
5
Utah
$7,579,783
$2,742.44
6
Maryland
$15,454,381
$2,676.75
7
New York
$51,538,013
$2,659.60
8
Virginia
$19,606,980
$2,450.56
9
Colorado
$12,132,987
$2,412.51
10
California
$85,882,222
$2,305.32
11
New Hampshire
$2,907,191
$2,208.32
12
Washington
$14,469,371
$2,151.73
13
Texas
$52,091,722
$2,071.61
14
Illinois
$25,865,823
$2,015.94
15
Florida
$37,811,211
$2,011.09
16
Nevada
$4,818,565
$1,784.29
17
New Jersey
$15,509,423
$1,764.06
18
Alaska
$1,241,329
$1,747.78
19
Maine
$2,290,305
$1,724.16
20
New Mexico
$3,484,098
$1,691.98
21
Oregon
$6,316,967
$1,648.88
22
Montana
$1,619,811
$1,637.14
23
Idaho
$2,466,565
$1,573.48
24
Georgia
$15,112,071
$1,559.93
25
Delaware
$1,393,992
$1,552.44
26
Hawaii
$2,012,353
$1,479.34
27
Pennsylvania
$18,549,551
$1,460.32
28
Arizona
$9,300,299
$1,454.99
29
Minnesota
$7,634,263
$1,439.36
30
Oklahoma
$5,197,600
$1,385.53
31
Rhode Island
$1,382,766
$1,313.71
32
Michigan
$12,445,690
$1,259.22
33
Louisiana
$5,639,102
$1,243.91
34
Tennessee
$7,830,379
$1,233.89
35
Missouri
$7,370,065
$1,230.62
36
North Carolina
$11,357,456
$1,191.07
37
Nebraska
$2,071,725
$1,134.36
38
Ohio
$12,588,640
$1,091.20
39
Iowa
$3,323,147
$1,090.86
40
Kansas
$3,098,627
$1,086.05
41
South Dakota
$822,505
$1,010.23
42
South Carolina
$4,335,068
$937.24
43
Alabama
$4,383,002
$917.00
44
Kentucky
$3,848,698
$886.93
45
North Dakota
$581,978
$865.28
46
Wisconsin
$4,855,783
$853.84
47
Mississippi
$2,402,565
$809.68
48
Indiana
$5,214,766
$804.28
49
West Virginia
$1,407,881
$759.79
50
Arkansas
$2,031,864
$696.82
Table compiled by Smart Politics with data culled from the FEC and U.S. Census Bureau. Contributions through August 2012.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Is the Revolution Over? 3rd Party US House Candidacies Fall 22% from 2010
Next post: Gary Johnson's Deepest Fundraising Puddles

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting