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September a strong month for presidential candidates in Pierce County, but Obama leads in cash

Post by Eric Lint / The News Tribune on Oct. 22, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
October 22, 2012 10:59 pm

Newly released data from the Federal Election Commission shows both presidential candidates reported their best month yet across Washington State.

Among contributors giving $200 or more, President Obama nearly tripled Governor Romney’s statewide totals for the month of September – $3,111,891 to $1,202,326. In Pierce County, the difference was more modest – $131,757 to $63,283 – just over double. The gain over August’s numbers in the county for Obama was 33% and for Romney, 9%.

Pierce County monthly receipts from itemized contributors ($) – Obama in blue, Romney in red.

Based on available itemized contributions (only donations greater than $200 in aggregate are required by law to be reported to the FEC), the President leads Governor Romney in the total number of unique individuals contributing as well. To date, four times as many Pierce County residents donated to Obama than to Romney – 1,264 to 444. Statewide patterns match this with Obama supporters outnumbering Romney’s 22,427 to 5,435.

Cumulative chart of unique contributors (incline shows new contributors).

Repeat donors favor Barack Obama, but the average contribution size favors Romney. The typical donor has written four checks on average to the President’s campaign, but only two to Romney’s.

But Romney’s donors write bigger checks. Statewide, the average Romney contributor has to date given $895 on average, versus Obama’s $557. Average total contribution sizes in Pierce County are $593 to Romney and $393 to Obama.

To date, Pierce County accounts for 4.0% of Obama’s statewide cash haul and 5.6% of his donors. For Romney, Pierce County has given 5.4% of his statewide money and 8.2% of his donors.

To be sure, relying on itemized individual reporting of campaign finances has its flaws. For one, reporting is often incomplete; contributors do not always give their location allowing us to categorize them properly. But these numbers nevertheless give a reliable snapshot of trends.

Download our summaries below to delve deeper into the data on your own or visit the FEC website where you may find information on all candidates for federal office. If you’d like to see analysis on other metrics, let us know in comments.

The next FEC reporting deadline – and last before the election – is October 25th. All federal candidates (House and Senate included) must show their finances through October 17th at that deadline. We’ll follow up with more analysis shortly after that data is released.

2012 President – Individual itemized to 120930 – Summary only.xlsx (30KB)
2012 President – Individual itemized to 120930 – Full data.xlsx (5391KB)

Leon Gonion contributed to this report.

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