P2020 Fundraising By Zip Code: Warren Secured Home Support Sanders Gained Momentum in Mass.
Back in July, our sister site RealtyHop took a look at the presidential candidates’ filed fundraising numbers for the second quarter. We then stated, by looking at the numbers (and numbers don’t lie), that based on the fundraising numbers only five of the Democratic presidential candidates truly had a shot. As the campaign finance data for the third quarter has now been released, we can take another close look to see if the trend has changed.
The previous study analyzed individual donations in the 30 most populous U.S. cities. This time around we took a deeper look at the individual donations on a state, county, and zip code level, including Massachusetts. We chose specifically to rank zip codes by unique donor counts instead of dollar amounts, as we feel this better represents how many people support each candidate.
Our key findings this quarter include:
- Senator Elizabeth Warren secured home support and topped all other 18 Democratic candidates with in total 4,398 unique donors as of September 30th. Warren leads in 132 zip codes, including 02114 (Boston / Suffolk County), 02145 (Middlesex County), and 02186 (Norfolk County). [Fundraising Map]
- President Donald Trump, meanwhile, came in second with a total of 2,863 unique donors, just 55 unique donors ahead of Bernie Sanders who ended up with 2,808 unique donors. 17% of the donors in Massachusetts support Trump.
- Warren saw an impressive 144% surge in support from her home base after the first Democratic debate, and Sanders saw a big jump by 101%. [Figure 1]
- Warren has consistently recorded above-average performance in Massachusetts. In July, she outperformed other candidates by 169% above average. [Figure 2]
- Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Joe Biden have both consistently recorded below-average unique donations since April.
Which Candidate Does Your Neighbor Support?
The interactive map and graph below show the share of unique donors each of the top 10 candidates has in zip codes across Massachusetts. More detailed, the map shows where each zip code stands, politically, and which presidential candidate is the front-runner in each zip code. In terms of the color shades, purple areas are whether neither the 19 Democratic candidates combined nor Trump has more than 55% of the donors. Light blue and light red represent zip codes where the party has 55% to 70% of the donors, and blue or red represents a majority of 70% and more.
From the interactive map above, we see that the majority of donor share for Massachusetts is mostly Democratic in the Boston area but more spread as you move further out. Trump took the lead in 171 zip codes throughout Massachusetts in terms of unique donors while Warren ended up taking the lead in 132 zip codes. Sanders came in third, with the lead in 82 zip codes. Besides, all candidates shared the lead in various zip codes with Warren sharing the lead in 46 zip codes, Trump in 43 zip codes, and Sanders in 36 zip codes.
When taking a closer look at the corresponding interactive line graph above the map, we see that Elizabeth Warren is in the lead in terms of the total number of unique donors. As of September 30th, Warren had drawn 4,398 unique donors in Massachusetts. Donald Trump comes in second with a total of 2,863 unique donors, just 55 unique donations ahead of Bernie Sanders who ended up with 2,808 unique donors.
Warren Sees Impressive Jump in Donations
Following the fundraising data is a good way to get insight into where each candidate stands with the public as donations equal support. Unique donor counts also better represent how many people support each candidate. We’ve therefore put together a line graph that shows each candidate’s progress.
Above we see the timeline for each candidate and their fundraising progress from April to the end of September. Prior to the first Democratic debate, Trump attracted on average 8.3 unique donors a day while Warren clocked on average 12.5 unique donors daily. The race was somewhat close in the early days with Trump and Warren in the lead; however, we saw big surges in donations after the first Democratic debate. Warren saw an impressive 144% surge in unique donor count after the first Democratic debate while support for Trump only grew by 74%. Sanders also saw a big jump in unique donor support after the first Democratic debate, by 101%.
We also see that Warren’s fundraising effort further resulted in more unique donors, 27%, after the second Democratic debate. Sanders, meanwhile, started gaining momentum, and his unique donor count jumped by an additional 40%. While Sanders and Trump both have attracted thousands of unique donors, it is clear from the data that Warren is the winner in terms of the total number of unique donors.
The Top Five – Who Outperformed and Who Faltered?
The interactive chart below compares the top five Democratic candidates to the average number of unique donors amongst the group.
As one can see from the interactive chart, Warren had a strong start in April and May in terms of unique donations, with 97% and 96% above average unique donor counts. Warren took a bit of a fall in June but remained 18% above average. She then again saw a big surge of 169% above average in July. The number of unique donors has gone down a bit up to September but Warren was still above average in general in terms of unique donor count.
Senator Harris and Vice President Biden have both consistently recorded below-average performance since April. Biden hit the lowest point in July with 85% below average, while Harris’ lowest point was in September with an 85% below-average unique donor count as well. Both candidates have not yet seen any above-average numbers. From the interactive chart we also see that Buttigieg had a rocky road in Massachusetts, with a range of above and below-average numbers from April to September, but nothing drastic.
Unique Donors Leaderboard – By County
We thought we would break down the campaign finance data by county in addition to zip codes to better understand the political scene in Massachusetts. You can also select the areas from the drop-down menu on the map to learn more.
- Middlesex County: 88% of donors supported Democratic candidates
Front-runner – Elizabeth Warren, 1,977 unique donors, highest number of unique donors from 02138 (216 unique donors)
- Norfolk County: 80% of donors supported Democratic candidates
Front-runner – Elizabeth Warren, 488 unique donors, highest number of unique donors from 02446 (85 unique donors)
- Suffolk County: 91% of donors supported Democratic candidates
Front-runner – Elizabeth Warren, 568 unique donors, highest number of unique donors from 02130 (124 unique donors)
The campaign donations data was retrieved from the FEC, and the city shapefiles were retrieved from the Census website. To calculate unique donors, we combed through over 80,000 recorded campaign donations, looking at donor names, committees, receipt dates, and 5-digit zip codes. We then grouped donations from the same name and zip code together and analyzed the data by zip code and candidate. In Massachusetts, we found over 16,500 unique donors as of Q3 2019.