Alabama. Louisiana. Mississippi. Red states through and through, right? The popular vote in all three has favored the GOP since at least 2000. And donors from these states have given more to the Republican nominee in at least the last three presidential cycles.
The 2016 election has turned that fundraising orthodoxy on its head. In fact, Hillary Clinton‘s campaign committee and the outside groups supporting her have outraised Donald Trump and his allied groups in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Republican contenders who dropped out months ago still lead Clinton’s fundraising in 15 states, but Trump hasn’t managed to best her in a single state.
OpenSecrets Blog analyzed itemized contributions, or donations of more than $200; campaign finance reports don’t contain identifying information, such as donor’s name and state, for smaller gifts. The data goes through July 31.
Now, it’s important to note this is only a fraction of fundraising, especially in Trump’s case. Only 15 percent of the Republican nominee’s campaign funds, or $19.4 million, are in this large contribution bucket. We can’t tell where Trump’s $37.2 million in donations under $200 came from. Clinton, on the other hand, raked in $200 million, or 63 percent of her campaign funding, from large contributions. But she does have another $62.2 million in small contributions that we can’t trace by state.
“It’s tricky because he’s raised so much money from small donor money you can’t track,” said Brendan Glavin at the Campaign Finance Institute. “You’re looking at nearly twice as much money, comparing unitemized to itemized. Romney was the reverse. He did not do a good job with small donor money.”
Keeping that in mind, from the data we do have, Trump only came within a five-figure margin of Clinton in two states: North Dakota ($33,000 short of Clinton’s $82,000) and Wyoming (a $99,000 difference.) However, in the rest of the 48 states and D.C., Clinton had at least a six-figure lead on donations; in 28 states, she led by millions. Her largest margins are in New York, with a $71.1 million difference, and California, where she has a $69.9 million lead. Trump received more support from Californians than from donors in any other state, but it amounts to just $5.2 million.
Clinton’s campaign raised more dollars from large donors in all 50 states and D.C., but Trump’s outside groups did outraise Clinton’s outside allies in 22 states, by the largest margins in North Carolina (a $107,000 lead) and Oregon ($105,000).
Granted, the Republican nominee has had anything but a traditional fundraising strategy, sending out his first email soliciting donations on June 21. Trump’s campaign ramped up his efforts after a dismal May that left him with only $1.3 million cash on hand; he raised around $36 million in July. But in total, Trump’s campaign and outside groups supporting him have brought in less than one-third of Team Clinton’s $435.4 million: around $137.4 million so far.
If we look at just the last two months – when Trump accelerated his fundraising efforts – FEC data show Trump’s team beat out Clinton and her allies in Mississippi ($68,000 more), North Dakota ($5,800 more) and South Dakota ($7,600 more). While besting Clinton in 14 states in June, Trump’s camp lost steam in July, leading Clinton only in Mississippi.
The campaigns and outside groups won’t file their August reports till mid-September, but given the big fundraising push by both nominees that month, totals could soar. Clinton reportedly raised $20 million at a couple of events in the Hamptons, plus millions more in California and other states; how many candidates could boast Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi and Jimmy Buffett performing “Hey, Jude” at a fundraiser? Trump’s drive for dollars included a $25,000-a-head dinner at the home of private equity CEO Saul Fox in the wealthy Bay Area enclave of Woodside.
Even though Trump is the last Republican standing, his primary opponents put up quite a fight, a few raising more than Trump has so far despite bowing out of the competition months ago. Marco Rubio and his outside allies raised $161 million, Ted Cruz and outside groups raised $159 million and Jeb Bush and supporters brought in $155 million, even with his campaign ending earliest of the bunch, in mid-February.
Those three Republican former candidates each had a hand in outraising Clinton in 15 states: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Most of the funds for each of the three (especially Bush) came from large contributions: Donations over $200 encompassed 93 percent of Bush’s campaign, 73 percent of Rubio’s and 63 percent of Cruz’s efforts.
But some typically red states weren’t on that list. Clinton actually bested the four Republicans in 11 states where Romney both won the popular vote and outraised President Obama in 2012: Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee.
Of course, bringing in more cash from a state isn’t the same as winning that state. In 2012, Romney outraised Obama in 35 states; of those 35, Obama won the popular vote in 11 of them.
Even when comparing Trump campaign numbers to Bernie Sanders’ campaign, the primary opponent on the left whose small-donor strategy he tried to emulate, Trump comes out behind. Sanders brought in $24 million in small donations in April, while Trump only managed to earn $19 million last month.
But Trump falls short of Sanders’ big donor haul as well. For example, in California, Sanders raised $19 million in the primary, compared to Trump’s meager $5.2 million. Or Sanders’ $5.5 million in the state of Washington, which compares to Trump’s $463,000. Or his $4.6 million in Massachusetts, where Trump and his outside groups have only received $359,000. And the list goes on.
Researchers Douglas Weber and Alex Baumgart contributed to this post.