Navigating NHPR's Primary Money Map

Jul 21, 2015

NHPR's recent interactive map showing how Granite Staters are donating to the 2016 presidential candidates is a unique visual guide to campaign fundraising.

On first glance, a couple of obvious geographic partisan disparities jump out. For instance, Republican donors are heavily concentrated in southern Hillsborough County and Rockingham County. There's also a pocket of Republican donors in the Lakes Region.

Democrats, on the other hand, have much of the Upper Valley, Cheshire County, and Central New Hampshire to themselves. Democratic candidates have also raised considerable cash along the Seacoast.

In total, Democrats have outraised Republicans in New Hampshire by a two to one ratio -- and the vast majority of Democratic donations in the state have gone to Hillary Clinton. She's raised $140,000 in New Hampshire so far, compared to $58,000 for Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley, the two other Democratic candidates to have filed fundraising totals so far.

Clinton also attracted the most individual donors in the state - 108 - though Sanders was not far behind with 103 donors. The Republican with the most Granite State donors so far is Rand Paul, with 50.

The top five cities and towns for donations include Concord, Hanover, Keene and Portsmouth -- all Democratic strongholds. But that list also includes the town of Holderness, a small, lakefront community that seems to be home to a group of deep-pocketed Clinton supporters.

In fact, most New Hampshire communities lean strongly in one partisan direction or the other when it comes to campaign donations. Of the 127 cities and towns whose residents contributed to a presidential candidate this year, just 11 had a partisan giving split of within 10 percent of dead even. Rochester was the only city in the state with a perfect a 50/50 ratio of Democratic/Republican donations -- though just two residents there made contributions: one to Sanders, one to Ben Carson.

To be sure, we're looking at a relative small number of people in all these calculations. Fewer than 400 Granite Staters have donated so far this election season, though more will certainly contribute as we get closer to Primary Day. And the candidate fundraising reports filed last week represent just a fraction of the total dollars to be raised and spent in the 2016 presidential election. Almost every campaign is also relying on at least one Super PAC, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts but cannot coordinate their activities with the candidates.