SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election

October 1, 2012

Obama has more local donors, Romney has bigger donations

President Barack Obama has many more local donors than his Republican opponent — just not nearly as much money.

According to Federal Election Commission data, Obama has received more than 1,650 campaign contributions from Salem, Beverly, Peabody and nearby towns during the 2012 election cycle, far outpacing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. However, Romney has raised almost twice as much money as the president locally.

Through the end of August, Romney has received about $390,800 from donors in nine local cities and towns, while Obama has raised just over $232,000.

Super PAC and PAC donations are separate.

Though vastly outnumbered, Romney supporters here have reached deeper into their wallets to aid the former governor’s campaign. Romney’s campaign has taken in an average of about $770 per contribution on the North Shore. Obama supporters have given an average $140.

“That’s a pattern you’d expect, given the makeup of the parties and who they appeal to,” said Timothy Sherrat, a political science professor at Gordon College. “Romney has better overall numbers in the (affluent) towns where you’d expect there to be more Republican conservatives.”

Marblehead and Beverly have been a strong fundraising base for the Romney campaign. More than 300 Beverly donors gave the Romney campaign an average of $940, while 158 Marblehead donors gave an average of $885. Only 36 Swampscott residents have donated to the Romney camp, but each gave an average of nearly $1,100.

The maximum contribution an individual can make to a campaign is $2,500.

Obama’s contributors have given far less, some as little as $5. Obama has received seven maximum contributions of $2,500 in the nine cities and towns; Romney has had 105 donors give that much.

Beverly is also an important hub for the Romney campaign in other ways. It is the home of Kerry Healey, Romney’s lieutenant governor and currently a senior adviser on his campaign. The city also hosts Red Curve Solutions, a consulting firm based at 138 Conant St., which has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist the Romney election effort.

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