Former Vice President Joe Biden had roughly 400,000 more individual donors than President Donald Trump in the last three months, the latest evidence of Biden’s newfound financial strength, according to a New York Times analysis of Federal Election Commission data.
The estimated donor numbers offer another sign of the nation’s political divisions. From April through June, Biden had more donors than Trump in 26 states, including key battlegrounds like Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Trump led in 24, including critical states like Florida and Arizona.
Biden attracted more donors in urban areas and on the coasts, while Trump had the advantage in rural areas around the country.
The most recent fundraising quarter unfolded as Democratic donors turned their focus to the general election, pouring money into Biden’s campaign and significantly narrowing the cash lead Trump had built by courting donors for his reelection bid since taking office in 2017.
Biden’s best ZIP code, in terms of the sheer number of donors, covers part of the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In fact, three of his four best ZIP codes were on the Upper West Side. The other was in Washington, D.C. Parts of Brooklyn were also among Biden’s strongest places, as were other neighborhoods in Manhattan and Washington.
Trump’s best ZIP code encompasses much of The Villages, a retirement community in Central Florida. Other strong areas for Trump included parts of the Houston, Phoenix and Las Vegas suburbs, as well as Orange County in California.
This is the first time such detailed donor data has been available for a head-to-head comparison of the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates in a general election.
This analysis, covering the second quarter of 2020, is based on fundraising records disclosed recently by the campaigns and by WinRed and ActBlue, online fundraising platforms that process donations for Trump and Biden, respectively.
Who’s leading in five key battlegrounds
Heading into 2020, Biden lagged behind three of his Democratic primary rivals in amassing donors, but as his party’s presumptive nominee, he has raked in cash. Trump, unlike many Republican candidates, has proved to be a magnet for small-dollar donations, and his campaign has invested heavily in prospecting for donors. Here’s a look at five important battleground states, all of which Trump carried in 2016.
In Pennsylvania, Biden was dominant in attracting donors not just in deep-blue Philadelphia but also in its suburbs, where Democrats thrived in the 2018 midterm elections. He can also claim bragging rights in one particularly meaningful place: the ZIP code in Scranton, his childhood home. In this map and others, college towns stand out. The dot of blue in central Pennsylvania is State College, home to Penn State. Trump had the edge in many less populous areas across the state.
Trump’s expansive donor base is particularly evident in Florida. He drew far more donors than Biden across much of the Panhandle, a conservative part of the state where Trump won by large margins in 2016. He was also strong in many other places, including southwest Florida and the northeastern part of the state, the region that had been scheduled to host next month’s Republican National Convention in Jacksonville. (Trump said Thursday that he was canceling the Jacksonville portion of the convention.) Biden was stronger in many parts of southeast Florida, a liberal, densely populated region, although Trump had slightly more donors in one place where he is particularly fond of spending time: the ZIP code that contains Mar-a-Lago.
Wisconsin shows a similar pattern to other Rust Belt states: strength for Biden in cities like Madison and Milwaukee, where a scaled-down Democratic National Convention will be held next month, but more donors for Trump in many other places. And Biden attracted donors in other college towns, like Eau Claire, La Crosse and Stevens Point. Trump was ahead of Biden in suburban areas west of Milwaukee, traditionally a Republican stronghold.
Although Biden had pockets of strength in cities like Phoenix and Tucson, many areas in Arizona were particularly Trump-friendly. Two ZIP codes in the Phoenix suburbs were among Trump’s best in the country in terms of the total number of donors. The president far outpaced Biden in parts of western Arizona, including the place where a festival called Trumpstock took place last year.
The same general split between urban and rural areas held true in North Carolina, with Biden showing strength in cities like Charlotte and Greensboro. He drew a particularly large number of donors in the area known as the Research Triangle, which includes Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Trump led Biden in many less populous places. An especially strong area for Trump was along Lake Norman, where one of his golf clubs is. A boat parade was recently held on the lake in his support.
A state-by-state breakdown
California, the nation’s most populous state, was also home to the largest number of donors for each candidate — roughly 260,000 for Biden and 140,000 for Trump. The president had more donors than Biden in Texas and Florida, while Biden had more in New York.
By one measure, Biden was strongest in Washington, D.C., where he had roughly 20 donors for each person who gave to Trump. Vermont was next, followed by Massachusetts, with more than three Biden donors for every Trump donor in both states. Biden had at least twice as many donors as Trump in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New York and Rhode Island.
Of the six states that flipped from blue to red in the 2016 election, Biden led in five of them — Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — while Trump was ahead in Florida.
Trump had the biggest relative advantage in Mississippi, with more than twice as many donors as Biden. Trump had at least 1.5 times as many donors as Biden in Alabama, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Data includes donations reported to the Federal Election Commission by the Trump campaign, the joint fundraising committees Trump Victory and Trump Make America Great Again Committee, the Biden campaign, and the joint fundraising committees Biden Victory Fund and Biden Action Fund. Additional donations processed on behalf of those committees and reported by the online fundraising platforms ActBlue and WinRed are also included. These sources together account for approximately 90% of money donated by individuals. The estimated number of individual donors was based on the name and ZIP code of each donor. About 1% of donors had ZIP codes that do not map to physical areas and are not shown on the maps.
All data on maps and tables are from April 1 through June 30. Information about donors giving $200 or less by check or through the campaigns’ online stores is not available. The Biden campaign said it had approximately 200,000 additional donors that The Times could not count through public records. The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for its donor count.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
© 2020 The New York Times Company