By Douglas Moser firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s list of contributors and campaign contributions in the Merrimack Valley dwarfs challenger Elizabeth Warren’s tally in an area that is vital to the incumbent’s bid for a full term.
But, the Warren campaign leads the fundraising total statewide by $12 million, and the candidates traded shots over which groups and people are funneling money into the other’s campaign and where those donors come from.
“Look at where they come from, 60 to 65 percent of her’s is out of state and 60 to 65 percent of mine are in-state,” Brown said.
“That is a good indicator of where people’s votes will be,” he added, because people who donate money to a candidate are more likely to be committed to that candidate and motivated to get out and vote.
Warren’s campaign countered that the overwhelming majority of her local donations are smaller than $200, which is the federal threshold that requires a candidate to publicly disclose a donor’s name and residency.
“She is proud of the support she’s gotten from area residents. Nearly 750 (from Merrimack Valley) have contributed to her campaign and over 1,100 have signed up to volunteer,” Warren spokeswoman Julie Edwards said. “This campaign has been fueled from the outset by the strong grassroots support she’s received - more than 80 percent of her donations are less than $50 and more than 50 percent are less than $25.”
According to the Federal Elections Commission, which keeps track of all federal candidates’ contributions and expenditures, Brown has raised $204,202 from 468 donations in Andover, Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen and North Andover from the beginning of 2011 until Aug. 17, 2012. More recent data on individual donors was not available as of yesterday afternoon. Those donations include multiple contributions from a given donor.
That is a total of what are called itemized donors, meaning an individual has given at least $200 to a campaign. Individuals who have given less do not have to be disclosed.
However, the FEC said the campaigns are required by law to keep track of the name, residence and other information of every single donor no matter the size of the contribution.
The Brown campaign said it has received $373,365 in donations from the area, including smaller, non-itemized donations.
Warren’s campaign has received $36,513 in itemized donations from 146 donations in the area during that same period. Her data does not begin until August 2011, which was the reporting period during which she announced her candidacy last year.
Her campaign said residents from the area have contributed a total of $115,000.
The majority of Brown’s money has come from inside the state while Warren’s has come from out of state. Brown’s total itemized haul as of Aug. 17 is $13.2 million, of which $7.9 million, or 60 percent, came from Massachusetts donors. Seventy percent of his donations, 18,702 out of 26,733, came from in state.
Just under 40 percent of Warren’s itemized donations, $4.4 million out of $11.1 million, came from Massachusetts, and 34.8 percent of the donations, 12,648 out of 36,370, came from the commonwealth.
Brown has raised a total of $24,432,597 as of Sept. 30, with $16.3 million in itemized contributions and $3.8 million in non-itemized contributions under $200, according to the FEC.
Warren has raised a total of $36,638,737, with $19.7 million in itemized contributions and $16 million in smaller non-itemized contributions.
Both candidates are top fundraisers in the country, below only Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
“I would say that both Brown and Warren are connecting to their main donation bases – the former with the finance industry and the latter with academia and the legal community,” said Richard Padova, a professor of government and political science at Northern Essex Community College. “Judging by the polls, whatever fundraising gap may exist is not reflected in the poll numbers, which show a neck-and-neck race. Regarding the non-itemized contributions, I have a sense that’s where Warren may be making up the difference, so in actuality Brown’s known fundraising advantage may not really be an advantage in the big picture.”
Brown’s election chances hinge on his winning northeastern Massachusetts, Worcester Counter and the South Shore and Cape Cod, areas that were key to his upset victory in 2010, political observers said.
“Scott Brown did well in the working class neighborhoods of the Merrimack Valley,” said Frank Talty, a political science professor at UMass-Lowell and director of its Center for Public Opinion. “He’s going to continue to hold onto that. He’s doing well among independents, and a share of Democrats as well. But I think he has to do well in places like Lowell and Lawrence and Haverhill, where the president generally wins with good margins, and (Congresswoman) Niki Tsongas does well.”
Statewide, several recent polls have shown Warren with a lead ranging between about 2 and 5 percentage points.
The election is Nov. 6.
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Local itemized contributions by community as of Aug. 17 Candidate Andover Haverhill Lawrence Methuen N. Andover Scott Brown $133,355 $12,880 $2,150 $8,365 $47,452 Elizabeth Warren $28,043 $3,395 $150 $1,250 $3,075