Which Candidate Does Your City Support?

Posted July 22nd, 2019

Just a little over a week ago, the presidential candidates filed their fundraising numbers for the second quarter. So far, 24 Democratic candidates have officially made their announcements, making it the largest primary field ever. However, based on the fundraising numbers, only five of them truly have a shot. To better understand voter preferences and where each candidate stands, we at RealtyHop analyzed individual donations in the 30 most populous U.S. cities, and here’s what we’ve found:

  • Buttigieg is the front runner in six cities, including Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Louisville, New York, and San Diego. He raised the most in New York City, with over 2,200 unique donors contributed, totaling $2 million.
  • Former vice president Joe Biden takes the lead Charlotte, Las Vegas, Nashville, and Philadelphia. He raised over $343,000 in Philly from 195 unique donors.
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts is ahead of everyone else in Portland and Baltimore and has raised around $290,000 in Boston.
  • With his existing advantage in collecting small donations, Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont raised over $1.8 million in the top 30 U.S. cities and had over 1,500 unique donors in New York City alone.
  • Senator Kamala Harris ranks #1 in Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose. In L.A., she raised a remarkable amount of $2.3 million from over 18,000 unique donors.

Mapping the Donations
The interactive map below highlights the top 30 U.S. cities by population and the top three candidates with the most amount raised from individual donors from January 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019. The bigger the circle, the higher the contribution rate, which means more people donated in the city relative to the total population. Blue circles indicate cities where Democratic candidates take the lead, and red circles indicate cities where Mr. Donald Trump leads in terms of the number of unique donors.

Contribution rates were higher in Washington, San Francisco, and Seattle, followed by Boston, Denver, and Los Angeles. In Washington, Buttigieg raised close to $1 million, around 80% more than what Harris received from donors. In San Francisco, however, Harris outshined the rest of the candidates, with over $1.4 million raised in six months. Not surprisingly, Inslee outranked all other candidates in Seattle and raised close to $686,000 so far. Hickenlooper, the former Governor of Colorado, also secured his ranking in Denver, receiving well over $730,000 from donors.
While Beto O’Rourke, the former congressman from Texas, underperformed compared to many of his fellow Democratic candidates, he still managed to secure his base in Texas. Of the six Texas cities in this report, O’Rourke led four of them in terms of amount raised, including Austin, Dallas, El Paso, and Houston. In the H-Town, Mr. O’Rourke raised around $427,000 but is outranked by Trump in terms of the number of unique donors. Mr. Trump has attracted over 2,900 unique donors in Houston and has raised in total $411,873.
Meanwhile, it seems that voters in El Paso have slightly more unified preferences among the 24 plus 1 (Trump) candidates. 12 candidates received no financial support in the Chuco Town, including Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator from New York, John Delaney, the former congressman from Maryland, and Amy Klobuchar, Senator from Minnesota. Similarly, in Detroit, 11 of the candidates attracted no contributions, and Andrew Yang, the advocate of Universal Basic Income, is one of them.
In Las Vegas, Biden raised around $123,000 while Trump captured more unique donors. Five candidates raised no fund in this city, including the New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. In Oklahoma City, there is a 50/50 fundraising share between the Democratic and Republican parties. Put simply, Trump alone raised as much as the 24 Democratic candidates combined. Similarly, in Phoenix, the parties also have a 50/50 fundraising share, and Trump raised $115,416 in the first two quarters, more than double the amount Buttigieg raised.
How Did We Do This?
The campaign donations data was retrieved from the FEC, and the city shapefiles were retrieved from the Census website. In terms of unique donors, we deduped by names, zip codes, and candidate names. We adopted 5-digit zip codes for this report as not all candidates collect 9-digit zip codes. We then grouped the zip codes by their respective cities and further analyzed the data by each candidate.

Are you as excited and nervous about the presidential election as we are? Good news, we will continue to update the map and track the fundraising numbers in the coming quarters. As we get closer to the general election, we will also conduct in-depth zip code analysis on individual contributions in different cities. Stay tuned!