Friday, September 12, 2008

that campaign finance graph in full:

The Beeb has all the numbers, but the key facts are:

a) Obama has raised over twice as much as McCain; $401 million to $171 million. It's very rare for a campaign to lose with such a huge funding disparity, though it has happened - the UK election in 1997 is an example, but it's notable that the rich losers in that election were long-term incumbents.

b) almost half of Obama's funds came in small packages, under $200. McCain raised only $50 million in that smallest category of donations and a comparable $50 million in the largest, $2000-and-over; at $75 mil, Obama's proportional gains from this group are notably smaller.

c) Obviously Obama far outstrips McCain in most professional categories, because he has twice as much money. This is not true of retired people, the oil/gas industry, the insurance industry, real estate or 'misc finance' (and he's only just ahead in 'misc business' and 'commercial banks'). The truly vast gaps in Obama's favour are among medics, educators, the entertainment and tech industries, and lawyers. Yep, lawyers. There's a detailed Black Agenda Report article expressing bad feeling about this, which is interesting but includes a lot of weasel words and no mention of the fact that the same people are McCain's second biggest donors (the retired are by far the biggest, and are narrowly Obama's second biggest).

d) In spite of lots of recent wittering about the real, 'small-town America', the non-coastal states are not actually giving McCain a lot of money. Even Texas is even-handed in its donations. (538's state profiles mention fundraising, and they've covered four so far where McCain has raised more money than Obama, but these are usually tiny margins and they just aren't giving nearly enough to add colour to the Beeb map. Incidentally, 538 disagree with the Beeb about Florida being a 'key battleground'; see their 'Tipping Point' list).

[addendum: I've just discovered OpenSecrets, which has some wonderful break-downs of data. If you love graphs as much as I do, check out their donor demographic and industries/selected sector breakdowns.]

I've not seen a whole lot of public politics in GA. The day we drove to South Carolina we saw an abundance of signboards, I guess because they had a lot of local election stuff going on at the time. I've seen no signs in our neighbourhood, though there's someone up the road who has a Gavel bumper sticker; one home on the route between here and the nearby highway has a McCain sign, and no one has driven over it yet. We laugh when we pass Ron Paul signs. There are some Senate and Congress signs by the highways, but not a vast number (that the Democrats only picked a Senate candidate a couple of weeks ago might be part of the reason for that). Disturbingly, I've seen more ageing Bush/Cheney04 bumper stickers lately than ones relating to the current election. (Still not many though. The most common political identity emblems you see on cars in GA are firstly the icthos, secondly the Confederate flag).

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