Mapping the Money: How Much are N.H. Voters Giving to 2016 Candidates?

Oct 19, 2015

Republican donors in New Hampshire are beginning to loosen their purse strings for their party’s primary contenders.

Granite Staters contributed more than $220,000 to GOP presidential candidates in the third quarter of 2015. That’s $70,000 more than Democrats took in, and a big change from earlier in the year, when Republican candidates were out-raised in New Hampshire by a two-to-one margin.

On the Democratic side, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders relied on small-dollar donors to collect more than $70,500 in the state last quarter. He outraised Hillary Clinton, who saw her financial support from New Hampshire drop sharply.

Some 850 Granite Staters ponied up a total of $374,449 for presidential candidates from July through September, according to the most recent candidate filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Interactive: Top N.H. Donation Towns for 2016 Candidates (July - Sept 2015)

The $221,665 raised by Republicans during the period is more than twice the amount the party’s candidates collected in the second quarter.

Carly Fiorina led the way for Republicans, with $40,200 in Granite State contributions. That’s compared to the $8,800 the former Hewlett Packard CEO raised in the state from April through June. Fiorina’s support came overwhelmingly from bigger contributors; more than 90 percent gave $200 or more.

Just behind Fiorina, with $35,900 in contributions, was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who dropped out of the presidential race September 21. More than a half-dozen Walker donors gave $2,700, the maximum allowed for a primary under federal election law.

Ben Carson, the former pediatric neurosurgeon and political newcomer, raised $35,754; that’s five times as much as he reported from New Hampshire in the second quarter. Carson had 120 individual donors in the third quarter, more than any other Republican. But, like Republicans overall, he relied primarily on donors who gave $200 or more.

Meanwhile, nearly one in four contributors to Sanders gave $50 or less, the highest percentage of small-money donors among all the candidates. Moreover, of the 300 Granite Staters who gave to Sanders in the third quarter, nearly a third was listed as “not employed” or retired on the candidate’s FEC paperwork.

Clinton continues to lead all primary candidates in contributions from Granite Staters. But the $65,000 she raised in the third quarter is considerably less than the nearly $140,000 she collected in the previous three-month period.

One explanation: Clinton has fewer large donors in the state to tap.

In the second quarter, three dozen donors gave Clinton the maximum $2,700, and no one gave less than $200. Clinton’s third-quarter donor pool is more diverse, including 36 people who gave $200 or less, while nine gave the maximum allowed.

Jeb Bush leads all Republicans with about $52,000 from just 33 New Hampshire donors, including about $25,000 in the third quarter. The average Granite Stater’s donation to Bush is nearly $1,700.

Mapping the data by city and town shows some interesting trends (use the +/- tool to zoom in and out, and click on any colored bubble for town-specific donor details):

Map: 3rd Quarter Donations to 2016 Candidates by Town (July - Sept 2015)

Campaign donations were fairly evenly distributed across the state between the two parties last quarter. Republicans showed most financial strength in the Seacoast, the Lakes Region and in the Manchester-Nashua corridor. Democratic candidates received cash from nearly every corner of the state (except for the far North Country.) 

You can see how that contrasts with the previous quarter, covering April to June, in the map below, where Democratic donors dominated the statewide contribution landscape. The biggest Democratic dollars over that period came in liberal strongholds like the Upper Valley, Concord, Portsmouth and Keene, as well as a swath of the Seacoast and Lakes Region.

Map: 2nd Quarter Donations to 2016 Candidates by Town (April - June 2015)

Finally, here's total presidential campaign donations, for all of 2016, across the state. Again, zoom in for a clear picture of a specific city or town, and click on a bubble for campaign donor details.

Map: Total Donations to 2016 Candidates by Town