Mass.: No Battleground State, But Still A Campaign Financial Engine

By Corey Kane
Boston University News Service 

WASHINGTON—Massachusetts will not be a presidential battleground when the votes are counted Tuesday, but it nonetheless has proven to be one of this year’s most critical states in filling the campaign war chests of this year’s presidential aspirants.

The Bay State boasts the sixth highest fundraising total for the presidential contenders at $32 million, according to the Federal Election Commission. It sits right behind the five most populous states—California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois – in this category, even though Massachusetts ranks a mere 14th nationally in population.

However, on a per capita basis, Massachusetts is the second most giving among all states, with $4.84 donated to the presidential contest for every Bay State citizen. Neighboring Connecticut edged ahead for the nationwide lead at $4.86 donated per resident. Both are behind the District of Columbia at $24.17 donated per citizen.

By contrast, California, where presidential campaigns raised a total of $128 million, the per capita donation was $3.40.

It is no surprise that Obama, who won 62 percent of the Massachusetts vote in 2008, has a decisive edge in contributions from the state. Obama has raised $21 million compared to $10.4 million for Romney, who served as governor of Massachusetts from 2002-2006. The remaining amount, about $600,000, went to other Republican candidates in the primary or third party candidates.

Breaking down Obama contributors by employer, institutions of higher education occupied the top five slots: Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Northeastern University. The most commonly listed occupations donating to the president were the retired, attorneys, professors, physicians, and homemakers.

The top listed Massachusetts employers of contributors to Romney were Fidelity Investments; Bain Capital, the private equity and venture capital firm of which Romney was a co-founder; EMC Corp., an information technologies company; Ropes & Gray, a law firm; and PricewaterhouseCoopers, an accounting and financial consulting firm. The top listed occupations contributing to the Republican nominee were the retired, homemakers, attorneys, executives, and consultants.

Cambridge edged out Boston as the best place to fundraise for Obama–$2.4 million to $2.3 million—followed by Brookline, Newton, and Lexington. Romney’s best city was Boston at $1.3 million, then followed by Weston, Wellesley, Belmont, and Newton.



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