Clinton Holds Ten-Fold Lead in Donors Across Greater Boston
With just a week to go in this election cycle the only thing left to do is vote (seriously, get out and vote!). As Hillary and the Donald go pantsuit to “hair”, we’ve been left with a hunger for some cold hard data and in the final FEC disclosure of the season, we found just that. As a data-driven real estate startup, RentHop recognizes the magnitude of the situation. Not only will renters and brokers be affected, but as half the country simultaneously moves to Canada, rent prices may finally decrease! We feel it is our duty to lend some of our data science muscle and weigh in on this nightmare.
Our key Boston Area Findings:
- In Suffolk County, Hillary has raised $3.7 million from 3,581 documented donors, with 92% of donors choosing her
- Trump raised just $127,586 in Suffolk County from 274 unique documented donors
- Clinton has steadily widened her lead in recent months, nearly doubling her number of donors since July, while Trump made marginal gains
- Jill Stein has only 120 in the whole state, while Gary Johnson has 230
The map and graph below show the share of unique donors each candidate has in zip codes across Massachusetts. Candidates that have dropped out of the race are listed as “Past Dem” and “Past GOP”. The drop down list allows you to type in a zip code or county. You can also click a zip code on the map. Purple areas are where neither Clinton nor Trump have more than 55% of the donors. Light blue and light red represent areas where the candidate has 55-70% of the donors, and dark blue or red represents a 70+% majority.
Using Google Chrome on Mac? The map may not display properly, please try Safari!
Our data shows that most of Massachusetts has their heads securely on their shoulders, with blue stretching across the state. There are, of course, pockets of red scattered about.
Some interesting facts about Massachusetts donors
- Hillary has a majority of donors in 398 Zip Codes across Massachusetts and 81.5% of the statewide donors giving her $18.63 million
- Trump has a majority of donors in 86 Zip Codes across the state in mostly less populous areas, giving him 2% of the state’s donors and $1.325 million
- In most areas, even if Trump has more donors, Hillary still raised more money
- Evan McMullin, that guy you’ve definitely heard of, is a real candidate and he has 8 real donors in the whole state
The data for this study was provided by the Federal Election Commission (FEC.gov). Here, disclosures for all campaigns can be found, documenting every dollar in and out. The final disclosure for the season, dated October 27, 2016, contains nearly 6.5 million lines of donor data since the beginning of the election cycle. We’ve chosen to rank zip codes by donor counts instead of dollar amounts, as we feel this better represents how many people support each candidate.
Here are just a few Boston area Zip Codes Where Hillary is Untouchable
- 02138 (Harvard – Cambridge) – 885 donors to Trump’s 9 – 98.3% donor share
- 02118 (South End – Boston) – 431 donors to Trump’s 6 – 98.2% donor share
- 02130 (Jamaica Plain) – 575 donors to Trump’s 10 – 97.6% donor share
- 02140 (North Cambridge) – 362 donors to Trump’s 4 – 97.6% donor share
- 02460 (Newtonville) – 149 to Trump’s 4 – 97.3% of donors
- 02446 (Brookline) – 505 donors to Trump’s 13 – 97.1% donor share
Most of Trump’s support came from outside the Greater Boston Area, but there were a few places near the city where he had support. Plymouth (02360) had the most donors to Trump, at 49, but he was still outnumbered by Clinton’s 106 donors there.
Donald Leads in These Boston area Zip Codes
- 01826 (Dracut) – 35 donors to Clinton’s 13 – 72.9% Donor Share
- 01906 (Saugus) – 36 donors to Clinton’s 19 – 4% of donors
- 02341 (Hanson) – 12 donors to Clinton’s 7 – 63.2% donor share
- 02191 (North Weymouth) – 9 donors to Clinton’s 5 – 60% donor share
- 02359 (Pembroke)– 17 donors to Clinton’s 12 – 58.6% donor share
- 01876 (Tewksbury)– 35 donors to Clinton’s 26 – 55.5% donor share
What is a “unique donor”?
To calculate unique donors, we combed through 6.4 million donations, looking at the names, dates, and zip codes. We removed common prefixes (Dr., Mr., Mrs, Ms,) that are often added accidentally or inconsistently across forms, and shortened 9-digit zip codes to 5 digits, since some candidates weren’t collecting the longer version, and many people don’t know theirs. People that have changed their names or moved in between donations could artificially inflate these numbers. After grouping donations from the same name and zip code together, we found there were just over 1.4 million unique donors between all candidates.
We at RentHop recognize that this is just one take on the current political climate, and it may under or over-represent some demographics. We believe in the power of knowledge and the transparency of open data to allow voters and all people to make informed decisions. We hope the consequence of this election is not overlooked, and no winner is assumed until every vote, including yours, is counted.