Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has a more than two-to-one campaign fundraising advantage over Republican standard bearer Donald Trump nationally, but New Jerseyans have given her almost six times the total they have contributed to Trump.
An analysis of campaign data collected by the Sunlight Foundation covering the period through the end of August found the former U.S. senator from New York and secretary of state bringing in more than $8.1 million from the Garden State, compared to $1.2 million for the New York businessman. Clinton had more than 57,000 contributions, while Trump had fewer than 11,000.
Clinton led Trump in fundraising in more than 80 percent of New Jersey ZIP codes, including in some of New Jersey’s typically reddest counties — Hunterdon, Morris, and Warren. Trump only beat Clinton in the money race in pockets of South Jersey and Sussex County. But Trump got at least $2 — his smallest reported contribution — from more ZIP codes than Clinton, with 560 giving to Trump and 548 to Clinton.
The former first lady’s financial supporters were much more generous than those backing her opponent. Fourteen ZIP codes gave at least $100,000 to Clinton, with the most coming from 08540 in Princeton — $428,542 from 1,719 contributions. The ZIP code most generous to Trump was Franklin Lakes’ 07417, with 78 contributions totaling $23,679.
Clinton’s largest contributor was ADP, the human resources software and services company headquartered in Roseland. The company gave her $64,378. She had 65 contributions from businesses and political committees. All but two of Trump’s contributions were from individuals, with the maximum he received $10,800 from Eugene and Donna Stark of Martinsville. The most an individual can contribute to a federal candidate’s committee is $2,700 per election, or $5,400 total, including a primary and general election contribution.
Absent from the list of Trump contributors, at least through August 31, was Gov. Chris Christie or any members of his immediate family. Christie was an early Trump backer after dropping his own presidential bid and is a close advisor to the Trump campaign, designated to head the transition team should he win the White House. Christie’s PAC, Leadership Matters for America, however, transferred $2,700 from its coffers to the Trump campaign on August 1, records show.
These are only the contributions to the candidates’ individual campaign committees and do not include any money given to the PACs and super PACs that are supporting or opposing the candidates. According to Federal Election Committee rules, individuals may give up to $5,000 a year to traditional political action committees, and individuals and businesses may contribute unlimited amounts to super PACs.
Overall, Clinton had raised $386 million and spent $318 million through August 31, while Trump had raised $170 million and spent $120 million. Because Clinton had spent so much more, she only had a cash advantage of about $18 million as the race entered its final lap: Clinton had $68 million cash on hand, while Trump had $50 million, the Sunlight Foundation’s data shows.
Clinton has benefitted from $25.9 million in outside spending from super PACs supporting her, slightly less than the $26.6 million spent to benefit Trump, according to the Sunlight Foundation data. However, super PACs working against Trump have spent more than $178 million, compared to about $38 million spent by those opposing Clinton.
Sunlight counts 41 committees supporting Clinton, lead by Priorities USA Action, the largest Democratic super PAC which backed President Obama’s re-election four years ago and has spent about $6 million to back her. Another 35 are working against her, including Rebuilding America Now, which has used $12.7 million against her. Trump, meanwhile, has 22 PACs supporting him, led by $20 million in spending by Great America PAC, formed in February 2016 as TrumPAC. Another 55 committees are working against him, with the pro-Clinton Priorities USA spending $116 million.
Take a closer look at how the candidates fared when it came to contributions across New Jersey.
NJ Spotlight, an independent online news service on issues critical to New Jersey, makes its in-depth reporting available to NewsWorks.