On February 9th, 2009, the Federal Election Commission in Washington, DC released their final tallies for all Presidential campaign contributions during the 2007-2008 election cycle. The Center for Responsive Politics has compiled the data and made it available at OpenSecrets.org.. This article is the first in a series analyzing the FEC final data for the last election.
New Rochelle played a major role in funding the 2008 Presidential horse race which saw John McCain and Barack Obama rise to the top of their respective parties with Obama coming out on top in the November election. The total amount of campaign contributions to the presidential campaigns -- this excludes donations to PACs, 504 Committees, and Parties -- was $666,444 coming from 747 individual contributions.
The actual amount given was much higher but 47 contributions totaling $68,488 had to be returned by the campaigns for various reasons including donors giving behind the legal limit of $2,300 per candidate for the primaries and the general election. Had the money not been returned the total figure would have been $734,932.
Before looking at the major candidates let's start by looking at the least popular presidential candidates in New Rochelle.
The biggest losers among the Democratic primary candidates were Tommy Thompson and Mike Gravel who did not raise a dime in the Queen City. Likewise, for the Republicans Jim Gilmore, Duncan Hunter, Alan Keyes and Tom Tancredo got shut out. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Mike Huckabee who hung around in the primaries a good long while and got a lot of media attention did not raise any money at all in New Rochelle. Less surprising, Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party and Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party also scored a goose egg in New Rochelle.
Several candidates got on the scoreboard but just barely with one donor apiece - Bob Barr (Libertarian) raised $250, Sam Brownback (R) raised $750 and Tom Vilsack (D), Ralph Nader (I) and Ron Paul (R) each raised $2,300 from a single donor.
Coming up in the series, we'll look at some of the more successful candidates, how the party donations broke down during the 2008 presidential election cycle and look inside the numbers by location, employer and the quarterly/monthly trends.