The Political Geography of Early Presidential Campaign Donors

33 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2014

Date Written: 2014


The political geography of campaign donations has long been an important component of the study political behavior. Despite several studies that have explored political geography, there is still much uncertainty involving the geography of campaign contributions, which is the primary question we examine in this study. We begin by first exploring previous studies that assess the geography of political contributions. Second, we explore the geographic distribution of campaign contributions in the United States looking at specifically county-level data during the 2004, 2008, and 2012 presidential preprimary campaigns. Next, we discuss methodological issues relating to the creation of campaign donor maps. Finally, we explore which party is the most successful fundraiser in different areas of the U.S. along with the influence of “early” donors in certain areas of the country. Examining these aspects will allow us to identify geographic patterns of what is arguably the most important of partisan activity -- that of giving money.

Suggested Citation

Sebold, Karen and Mitchell, Joshua, The Political Geography of Early Presidential Campaign Donors (2014). APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN:

Joshua Mitchell

Independent ( email )

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