Dollars for Democrats
A look at the political contributions to 2020 Democratic presidential candidates flowing from Long Islanders shows that, when it comes to top-tier candidates, the preferences are similar to the national donation trend. But there are some significant differences.
Data compiled by the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit newsroom, show that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders gets the most dollars from Long Island, with $279,222. The runner-up, trailing by more than $100,000, is South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, with $178,000. Next are former Vice President Joe Biden, with $141,655, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, with $127,208.
According to Federal Election Commission reports, the top five fundraisers nationally so far are Sanders ($46.3 million), Warren ($35.7 million), Buttigieg ($32.3 million), California Sen. Kamala Harris ($25.1 million) and Biden ($22 million).
Not surprisingly, Biden is doing far better among Long Islanders than with national contributors. Long Island’s population is older than average and its liberals mostly aren’t that progressive. The other noticeable Long Island difference among the frontrunners is Kamala Harris, who came in seventh on Long Island with $99,699 because she was bested by Biden and two New York candidates who are doing better locally than nationally.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio got $106,952 on the Island ($98,000 of that in Nassau County), and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand grabbed $102,377. Nationally, de Blasio ranks 21st, with $1.1 million, while Gillibrand is 15th, with $2.3 million.
Overall, Nassau ($695,523) gave more than Suffolk ($607,881), but subtract the hugely lopsided take for de Blasio in western Nassau and the two counties are about even in contributions. How the counties differ is in the type of Democratic candidate they prefer.
The top uber-progressives fared far better in Suffolk than Nassau, with Sanders and Warren both getting 56 percent of their Long Island funding from the eastern county and just 44 percent from the western one. Some moderates seemed to do a bit better in Nassau, where Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar found 68 percent of her Long Island take.
But Biden, Buttigieg and Harris got nearly the same amounts from each county.
Here are more curious facts unearthed from the wealth of information.
- Every single Long Island ZIP code gave at least something to at least one candidate.
- Most of the candidates are seeking tiny contributions thanks to a debate qualification system that puts a premium on garnering as many total contributors as possible.
- Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel raised exactly $1 each from 20 different ZIP codes.
- Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton pulled in $10,276 from Long Island, but more than 60 percent of that total came from just two ZIP codes, with $4,150 from Island Park’s 11560 and $2,150 from the sparsely populated Fishers Island’s 06390.
- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee raised $5,937 of his Long Island $16,447 total from the Water Mill ZIP code 11976.
- Biden got his biggest Long Island haul, $6,311, in the Port Washington-Sands Point ZIP code which was by far the most generous community overall, donating a total of $71,850. The not-so-close runner-up, with just $46,243, was Manhasset’s 11030.
See for yourself
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