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Terry McAteer: Trump sees California as a re-election cash cow

Terry McAteer

While California is considered a dark blue state, as President Trump has only 35 percent approval ratings, this low rating is not affecting his ability to raise cash throughout the state.

According to reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission, Trump raised over $3 million in California these past six months the Golden State is his top fundraising state, providing over 11% of his re-election cash to date.

Trump actually out-raised most of the Democratic contenders in California including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Former Vice President Biden has raised over $2.5 million; Senator Sanders has collected $2 million and Senator Elizabeth Warren has netted just under $2 million.

California’s top campaign fundraiser was, unsurprisingly, California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris with just under $6 million during the first six months of the year. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg was second with over $5 million in cash contributions. While Trump finished behind these two Democrats, his campaign reported more small individual donors in California than any of the 20 Democratic candidates. Ninety-three percent of all his donors have contributed less than $100 to his re-election.

Trump actually out-raised most of the Democratic contenders in California including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Nevada County’s contributions are unique, to say the least, as they are reported by zip code to the commission. Beto O’Rourke is the top fundraiser in Penn Valley thus far with $2,140 in contributions and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has received the most contributions in North San Juan. Democratic candidate and author Marianne Williamson can claim the prize in Alta Sierra with $2,800. Bernie Sanders has received $5,321 from Nevada City and $769 from Smartsville. Over the hill in Truckee, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar has collected $7,800 to date.

Nevada County’s zip code contributions pale in comparison with 90049, the Brentwood neighborhood in Los Angeles. Brentwood can claim the most total contributions to all candidates with over $600,000 in contributions these past six months. Harris is the top money recipient in the 94115 neighborhood of San Francisco’s Pacific Heights, with over $200,000 towards her presidential campaign. Other top zip code contributions included San Francisco’s Noe Valley and Presidio Heights, Atherton, Palo Alto, Pacific Palisades, Hollywood and Beverly Hills, each providing over $300,000 to candidates.

While money isn’t everything to a campaign, candidates are doing their best to fill their coffers as a show of strength to the other candidates.

In Harris’ case, her contributions report states that over 50% has come from her home state of California — which would make sense. On the other hand, Buttigieg’s California contributions represent just 25% of his donations, making it seem that he is doing a better job in fundraising around the rest of the country than Harris.

Nationwide, Democratic candidates collectively are bringing in nearly $5 million per month, which is expected to grow as the year continues.

Since California’s Presidential Primary election has been moved from June to March, our state will see added political activity since only elections in New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina precede the March 3 “Super Tuesday.” California will join 13 other states voting on that day.

If you’ve complained before about the length of the Presidential election cycle, the 2020 election will go down in history as the longest and most expensive election season of all-time … thus far.

Terry McAteer is a member of The Union Editorial Board. His views are his own and do not represent the views of The Union or its editorial board members. Contact him at editboard@theunion.com.


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