Biden Gains Momentum in Manhattan and Brooklyn, While Trump Continues the Lead in Staten Island
Former Vice President Joe Biden shocked the world with his Super Tuesday revival, and he is now on the right path to the Democratic nomination against President Donald Trump in November.
Thanks to the wide support he received from Black voters and the consolidation among Democratic moderates, Mr. Biden seized primary victories across the nation, clinching wins in key states such as Michigan, Florida, and Arizona. Now, the question is no longer Bernie vs. Biden, or progressive vs. moderate, but more so if Mr. Biden could unite the Democratic party and beat President Trump.
Each quarter we at RentHop review the fundraising data released by the FEC with the hope of providing insights to voters. Our study for Q4 2019 for key cities such as Des Moines and Las Vegas shows that a city’s contributions might align with the outcome of the caucuses and primaries, and we believe that it would also shed light on the general election.
Below are our key findings in New York City for Q1 2020:
- From Jan 1, 2019 to Mar 31, 2020, Biden attracted 6,382 unique donors, whereas Trump gained 3,656 unique donors.
- With Mayor Pete dropping out of the race, Manhattan voters shifted their support to Biden. As of Q1 2020, the Biden campaign attracted 4,845 unique donors in Manhattan, a 112% growth from 2,281 at the end of Q4 2019.
- While Brooklyn, as of Mar 31, 2020, was still Sanders’ base, the number of unique donors contributing to Biden’s campaign jumped 232% this quarter, from 249 to 826.
- Among the 217 zip codes included in this study, 201 are blue zip codes. Meanwhile, Biden leads in 99, or 46% of the zip codes. We expect this number to continue to grow as Democratic voters consolidate their support.
- 17 NYC zip codes are becoming “bluer”, including 11434 (Queens), 11691 (Queens), and 10310 (Staten Island). This means that the Democratic support is growing in these zip codes.
Which Candidate Does Your Neighbor Support?
The interactive map below highlights New York City and its zip codes. More detailed, the map shows where each zip code stands, politically, and which presidential candidate is leading in each zip code. You can click on the zip code polygons or select from the drop-down menu to learn more. For a more detailed analysis of how candidates are doing in the same zip code, view the corresponding interactive line graph above the map.
Blue zip codes are zip codes where the aggregated number of unique donors of all Democratic candidates (including past candidates) is higher than the number of unique donors received by Republican candidates (including Trump, Sanford, Walsh, and Weld), and red zip codes are areas where the Republican candidates attracted more unique donors than all Democratic candidates combined.
Looking at the map and the chart above, we can tell that Senator Bernie Sanders was the front runner in the City of New York in Q1 2020, but as Vice President Biden seized primary victories in other states and positioned himself as the presumptive party nominee, more donors were turning to his campaign. In March, the Biden campaign attracted over 2,000 unique donors, pushing the total unique donor count to 6,382 as of March 31, 2020, around 74% more than what Trump had attracted.
When breaking down the contributions by borough, we can see that Biden’s unique donor base composes largely of Manhattan voters. In fact, of the 10 zip codes where Biden gained over 100 unique donors in Q1 2020, nine are located in Manhattan. 76% of the donors who have contributed to Biden’s campaign are in Manhattan. While Brooklyn, as of Mar 31, 2020, was still Sanders’ base, the number of unique donors contributing to the Vice President’s campaign jumped 232% this quarter, from 249 to 826.
Trump’s fundraising effort, on the other hand, seems to be slowing down in New York City. From Jan 2020 to Mar 2020, Mr. Trump only gained 20% more unique donors in the city. Of all the unique donors the incumbent President has attracted in the past six quarters, 31% are from Manhattan, and 28% are from Queens.
Democrats Are Taking Over these Zip Codes
In addition to analyzing which candidate leads in each zip code, we also noticed that certain zip codes are becoming “bluer” from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020. In total 17 zip codes went from neutral to blue, whereas the Republican party has yet to successfully flip any zip codes in New York City. Below are some highlights of these zip codes.
- Zip code 10271 (Manhattan): Democratic donor share went from 50% to 86%. Four of the donors contributed to the Sanders campaign, and two to other past Democratic candidates. Trump attracted one unique donor in this zip code. Biden, meanwhile, has yet to generate anything in this zip code.
- Zip code 11434 (Queens): Democratic donor share went from 50% to 78%. Seven of the unique donors contributed to the Biden campaign, and six to Bernie 2020. Trump attracted five unique donors in this zip code.
- Zip code 11417 (Queens): Democratic donor share went from 47% to 61%, making it a light blue zip code. Trump, however, is still the unique donor leader in this zip code, with 10 unique donors as of Q1 2020.
- Zip code 11691 (Queens): Democratic donor share went from 50% to 62%, making it a light blue zip code. Trump, however, is still the unique donor leader in this zip code, with a total of 11 unique donors compared to Biden’s four as of Q1 2020.
- Zip code 10310 (Staten Island): Democratic donor share went from 50% to 60%, making it a light blue zip code. Most of the Democratic support in this zip code, however, was driven by past Democratic candidates, such as Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, and Bernie Sanders. Biden received contributions from only three unique donors in zip code 10310, compared to Trump’s 15 as of Q1 2020.
Biden Thrives in these Zip Codes
As he became the presumptive Democratic nomitee against President Trump in November, Biden finally started gaining momentum in New York City after months of flat numbers. Below are some of the zip codes where the Biden campaign saw the most quarter-over-quarter growth.
- Zip code 11225 (Brooklyn): 14 unique donors, +1300% Q/Q
- Zip code 11205 (Brooklyn): 11 unique donors, +1100% Q/Q
- Zip code 11203 (Brooklyn): 9 unique donors, +800% Q/Q
- Zip code 11358 (Queens): 9 unique donors, +800% Q/Q
- Zip code 10037 (Manhattan): 11 unique donors, +450% Q/Q
Unique Donor Leaderboard – Biden
Below are the top 10 zip codes where Biden received the most support.
- Zip code 10023: 96% Blue, 428 unique donors contributed to Biden’s campaign.
- Zip code 10024: 97% Blue, 400 Uunique donors
- Zip code 10021: 93% Blue, 358 unique donors
- Zip code 10128: 93% Blue, 328 unique donors
- Zip code 10028: 91% Blue, 282 unique donors
- Zip code 10011: 98% Blue, 277 unique donors
- Zip code 10025: 98% Blue, 272 unique donors
- Zip code 10022: 89% Blue, 243 unique donors
- Zip code 10003: 98% Blue, 219 unique donors
- Zip code 11201: 98% Blue, 209 unique donors
Unique Donor Leaderboard – Trump
Below are the top 10 zip codes where Trump received the most support.
- Zip code 10314: 51% Red, 101 unique donors contributed to Trump’s campaign.
- Zip code 10022: 11% Red, 100 unique donors
- Zip code 10028: 9% Red, 91 unique donors
- Zip code 10128: 7% Red, 83 unique donors
- Zip code 11209: 24% Red, 81 unique donors
- Zip code 11375: 18% Red, 75 unique donors
- Zip code 10312: 56% Red, 72 unique donors
- Zip code 10021: 7% Red, 70 unique donors
- Zip code 10065: 11% Red, 69 unique donors
- Zip code 11235: 41% Red, 69 unique donors
The campaign donations data was retrieved from the FEC covering all individual contributions dated between Jan 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020. The city and zip code shapefiles were retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau. In terms of unique donors, we deduped by names, zip codes, and committee names. We adopted 5-digit zip codes for this report as not all candidates collect 9-digit zip codes. People who have changed their names or moved in between donations could artificially inflate these numbers.
Frequently Asked Questions about Our Election Studies
1. Why would Trump be leading in a Blue Zip Code?
This is related to the nature of the primary. As we all know, there were as many as 31 Democratic candidates competing for the nomination, and so the support was divided among them. Meanwhile, while the Republican Party has 3 candidates running, all the support is gravitating towards Trump, and therefore he alone could receive support from more unique donors than any single Democratic candidate. Now that Joe Biden is the likely nominee, we should start seeing some changes.
2. Why should we care about unique donors?
While the dollar amount raised is important for candidates, we believe that it is more crucial to understand how many unique donors each candidate has attracted, as each unique donor potentially means one vote, and by measuring donor counts, it gives us a better idea of how many people support each candidate.
3. How is the party majority calculated?
The party majority is calculated using the aggregated unique donor count of a party and the aggregated unique donor count from Jan 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020. For instance, if Democratic candidates attracted a total of 200 unique donors, and the total number of unique donors within a city is 500, the Democratic share would be 40%. In terms of the color shades, purple areas are whether neither the 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.