Majority of Biden’s campaign donations come from wealthiest, coastal ZIP codes, analysis finds

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The vast majority of donations to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign have come from the richest, most-educated ZIP codes, with the bulk of those located on the east and west coasts, a new report reveals.

The New York Times’ analysis of more than 25 million donations between April 1 and October 14 found that the bulk of the former vice president’s mountains of cash came from urban, well-educated, and wealthy portions of the country.

Meanwhile, according to an interactive map published by the Times, the majority of President Donald Trump’s donors came from the south, upper Midwest, and the build of western states.

“The findings paint a portrait of two candidates who are, in many ways, financing their campaigns from two different Americas,” the Times reported, adding that the “financial base” of the Trump campaign is Texas.

The analysis finds that the issues dividing the country also manifest themselves in where the campaign cash is coming from.

But the Times analysis, while providing raw data and numbers, goes on to mischaracterize the shift in Republican support for President Trump:

For years, affluent and college-educated voters, mostly white, had been the base of the Republican Party. Exit polls showed Republicans winning college graduates nationally from 1988 to 2004, and again in 2012. Voters who earned at least $100,000 have historically sided with most Republican presidential candidates by comfortable margins, too.

But under Mr. Trump, Republicans have hemorrhaged support from white voters with college degrees, who polls show have been repelled by his embrace of a politics of cultural division and racial grievance.

In fact, it is the Democratic Party that is ‘embracing’ “cultural division and racial grievance,” as evidenced by its support for race-centric movements like Black Lives Matter and the party’s noticeable shift to cultural leftism.

Trump, by comparison, has pushed an “America First” agenda that, pre-COVID-19, lifted all boats equally across demographics and racial groups, according to years’ worth of economic and other data.

In any event, the Times noted that ZIP codes where the median household income is at least $100,000 overwhelmingly donated to Biden, outpacing the president $486 million to $167 million, which accounted for the majority of the former vice president’s financial advantage.

Across the rest of the country, both candidates “were closely knotted together,” the Times reported.

The results were more pronounced in favor of Biden in parts of the country where more highly educated Americans, per capita, call home.

“Of the ZIP codes where at least 65 percent of people had graduated from college — just over 1,000 out of nearly 32,000 populated ZIP codes that reported donations — Mr. Biden outraised Mr. Trump $478 million to $104 million,” the paper reported. “Below that education level, Mr. Trump was ahead by nearly $40 million.”

In an interview with the paper, Amy Walter, the national editor of the Cook Political Report, described what the shift in cash to Democrats means for the GOP.

“Alienating white college-educated voters means more than just losing their votes; it’s also literally costing them money,” she said.

“These are the kinds of places that, not that long ago, hosted high-dollar fund-raisers exclusively for GOP candidates. Now, those donors are sitting in their living rooms, tapping out donations to Democrats around the country via their smartphones,” she added.

The average donation to committees directly linked to both campaigns, the Times analysis found, was $71 to the president and $76 to Biden. Over the past six months, Biden has raised $1.06 billion compared to Trump’s $734 million.

The shift in cash from well-heeled ZIP codes to Biden and Democrats also undercuts the party’s narrative that Trump and Republicans are ‘the party of the wealthy.’

To counter that, “Mr. Biden has emphasized his blue-collar roots and upbringing in Scranton, Pa. Mr. Trump, after falling behind in the money chase, has attacked Mr. Biden as beholden to the donor class,” the Times analysis notes.

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Jon Dougherty

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