Monday, October 25, 2004

Residents in Virginia, Maryland and the District have donated a total of $52.6 million to the 2004 presidential campaigns — about $31.9 million to Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry and $20.7 million to President Bush.

A computation of donation data compiled by the Federal Election Commission from Jan. 1, 2003, through September shows significant regional donations to the candidates and the Republican and Democratic national committees, with Mr. Kerry garnering about 60 percent of the region’s total donations.

In 2000, Mr. Bush received 58 percent of the region’s $11.1 million total donations specifically to the candidates. Figures for 2000 contributions to the national committees were not available.

Mr. Bush received more donations than Mr. Kerry in traditionally Republican Virginia, but Mr. Kerry received more donations from residents of Maryland and the District, which are heavily Democratic, the data show.

Though the states and the District are thought to be decided for the Nov. 2 election, donors are spending record amounts to sway the national campaign for their favored candidate. The data include individual donations that exceed $200.



More than half of Mr. Bush’s $20.7 million regional total came from Virginia, where voters donated $7.9 million to the president and $3.4 million to the Republican National Committee.

In Maryland, voters contributed $3.7 million to Mr. Bush and $2.1 million to the RNC. In the District, voters donated $2.2 million to the president and $1.4 million to the RNC.

Campaign law prohibits donors from giving money directly to the candidates after their nominating conventions, so instead they must give to the national committee of the candidate’s party. Democrats and Republicans held their conventions in July and August, respectively.

Mr. Kerry received most of his $32 million regional total from Maryland, where voters contributed $7.4 million in donations and $2.6 million to the Democratic National Committee. Voters there also donated $1.98 million to the Kerry Victory 2004, a political action committee that, according to campaignmoney.com, is connected with the DNC Services Corp.

In Virginia, voters donated $5.9 million to Mr. Kerry and $1.8 million to the DNC. Voters also donated $1.2 million to the Kerry Victory 2004 committee.

In the District, voters contributed $7.3 million to Mr. Kerry and $2.1 million to the DNC. Voters also donated $1.6 million to the Kerry Victory 2004 committee.

Nationally, Mr. Bush had raised $338 million and Mr. Kerry had raised $310.9 million as of Oct. 1.

All three local jurisdictions rank in the top 12 in the nation by volume of donations to presidential candidates. In order, the largest donor states are California, New York, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Illinois, Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and the District.

California, New York and Texas are the most populous states. Virginia is the 12th most populous state and Maryland is the 19th. The District, which is not a state, is 50th.

Virginia, with its 13 electoral votes, has not helped send a Democrat to the White House since 1964. The District, with three electoral votes, has never voted Republican. In Maryland, with 10 electoral votes, Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-1 margin.

The same pattern among donors continued through the first two weeks of October.

From Oct. 1 through Oct. 13, Maryland residents donated $710,709 to the DNC, and Virginia residents gave $691,397 to the DNC. D.C. residents donated $543,748 to the DNC.

During the same period, Virginia residents donated $302,139 to the RNC. Maryland donated $155,606 and the District donated $79,604 to the RNC.

Several local political players made significant donations to the campaigns. Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat who endorsed Mr. Kerry early in the primary season, gave $2,000 to the campaign. He also campaigned for Mr. Kerry in the swing states of Missouri and Pennsylvania.

Former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III, a Republican, gave $2,000 to Mr. Bush, and Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos donated $25,000 to the DNC in 2003.

The information in this story does not include money raised by 527s, such as Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth and MoveOn.org.

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