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Follow the money - Bad news for Republicans
Posted by: McQ on Monday, January 07, 2008

We here at QandO cite Intrade a lot because of the fact that those trading on the site are putting money where their mouth is when it comes to picking political winner. And thus their analysis is probably a bit more serious because they're willing to back it with bucks.

The same is true with money going to campaigns. It is an indicator of who the contributors think will win the race. They demonstrate that by a willingness to back the campaign with their money.

Nielson has a study out which should have alarm bells and sirens sounding off all over the GOP:
The study showed that 64 percent of the donors in the top 10 donor segments gave to Democratic candidates compared to 36 percent for Republican candidates. The numbers were also similar for donations, with Democratic candidates receiving 62 percent of the donated dollars and Republicans receiving 38 percent.
That's not good news for the Republicans. However it is important to add some context to those numbers. The split in the donations, in total, isn't as large as it might seem when compared to 2004, although for Republicans it should still be alarming. In 2004 Republicans received 46.6% to the Democrats 53.45. This year the totals are R 40.1% to D 59.9%. That's a pretty fair bump.

The top 10 donor segments are a sort of bell weather, like strategic congressional districts, which have a good track record of predicting more general outcomes. In this case where the money is flowing.

The segments are categorized as "Young Digerati - Young Digerati are the nation's tech-savvy singles and couples living in fashionable neighborhoods on the urban fringe." or "Money & Brains - The residents of Money & Brains seem to have it all: high incomes, advanced degrees and sophisticated tastes to match their credentials." You can read about each of the categories here [pdf].

The most interesting thing about these categories, beside the money they're giving and to whom, is how they've changed in their giving. Again, that gives a bit of context to the numbers.

For instance of the 10 categories, 4 have completely 'shifted to the Dems'. 2 other categories are 'trending toward the Dems'. The total all 10 categories have given so far for the 2008 presidential election is $145.4 million dollars.

Nielson points out that works out to:
Nationally, Democrats are out-raising Republicans, capturing nearly 60 percent of all donated dollars.
Now that we've established which party is getting the most money, which candidates within those parties is raking in the most dough?


  • Hillary Clinton received 21 percent of all donations (35 percent of donations to Democrats). She draws contributors from Family Life segments, including Suburban Pioneers (48 percent overall; and 68 percent of Democrats), Low-Rise Living (34 percent overall; 51 percent of Democrats), Beltway Boomers (22 percent overall; and 46 percent of Democrats), which are households with a high percentage of children.
  • Barak Obama received 20 percent of all donations (33 percent of donations to Democrats). He does well with a number of blue-collar and mid-scale segments including Blue-Chip Blues (24 percent overall; 45 percent of Democrats), City Roots (28 percent overall; 40 percent of Democrats) as well as younger segments like Bohemian Mix and Urban Achievers (approximately 29 percent overall; 39 percent of Democrats, each) and Young Digerati (26 percent overall; 37 percent of Democrats).
Two numbers are important. Percent of all donations and percent of all donations to Demcrats.

In that race Clinton leads Obama 22 to 20 and 35 to 33. I would guess, given Iowa and what we're seeing among the polls, those numbers might change dramatically.


  • Rudy Giuliani received 14 percent of all donations (35 percent of donations to Republicans). He is attracting more support from urban and metro areas and looks to do better with a mix of both liberal and conservative segments including Close-in Couples (17 percent overall; 53 percent share of donors among Republicans), Cosmopolitans (15 percent overall; 48 percent of Republicans), and Second City Elite (20 percent overall; 39 percent of Republicans).
  • Mitt Romney received 14 percent of all donations (36 percent of donations to Republicans). He has success in suburban areas with more traditional lifestyle segments that include Domestic Duos (35 percent overall; 62 percent of Republicans), Kids & Cul-de-Sacs (30 percent overall, 58 percent of Republicans) and White Picket Fences (34 percent overall, 56 percent of Republicans).
Again, the difference is large. While Giuliani and Romney are tied in the percentage of total donations and virtually tied in the percent of donations to Republicans, they are way behind both Obama and Clinton in percentage of total donations.

Now perhaps that can be explained away somewhat by the fact that the Republican field is somewhat bigger than the Democratic field and some of the second tier (and rising) candidates are taking some of that money (McCain, Thompson, Huckabee and, yes, Paul). But when the other party is taking in 60% of all the money, the difference remains large.

Another, in a long line of indicators that the GOP really as its work cut out for it if it hopes to win the White House in '08.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Just to highlight this from Nielsen’s news release:
Data for this Nielsen analysis was obtained from the website and includes all individual donations to Presidential Primary candidates prior to June 2007. (Fred Thompson had not yet declared his candidacy and is therefore not included in the study.)
Might be worth mentioning also that Cap’n Paul’s biggest fundraising blowouts didn’t occur until the latter part of last year, if I’m not mistaken.

It’d be interesting to know if the trends held over these last several months, during which time the campaigns actually got going in earnest. C’mon Nielsen. Cough up.
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Absent a clear front-runner, I think most Republicans are taking a wait and see stand with their money.
Written By: Keith_Indy
Absent a clear front-runner, I think most Republicans are taking a wait and see stand with their money.
I agree.
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I’m curious how they decided that those are the "top 10" groups. I looked over some of the different groups, and I personally didn’t see any way they could be ordered, because they have so many axes on which they vary.

I think their PRIZM NE segmentation system is useful, but not definitive. For one thing, I’ve noticed that politics is not definitively influenced by lifestyle. Young suburban moms in Utah tend to be conservative while young suburban moms in California tend to be liberal. So I’d be wary of drawing conclusions from "Lifestyle Group X is doing Y" where Y is something political and X has nationwide scope.
Written By: Wacky Hermit
Doesn’t surprise me a bit. Dems have been out of power so long Americans — especially young Americans — have forgotten what they’re like in power, whereas Dems go into a foaming rage every time they hear the name "Bush."

A couple years of tax-hiking Christian-bashing terrorist-coddling nanny-statism and things will look a lot different. I would not be surprised if 2008 turns out a lot like 1992, and 2010 a lot like 1994.
Written By: TallDave

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