SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

October 1, 2012

Obama has more local donors, Romney has bigger donations

By Jesse Roman
Staff Writer

---- — 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.

Romney also leads in individual fundraising across the broader scope of the entire 019 zip code area, which encompasses most of the North Shore from Lynn to Salisbury; Romney has raised a total of $740,000 in the region and Obama has raised $652,700.

Statewide, however, Obama holds a large fundraising edge over the state’s former governor. Through Sept. 21, Obama has raised about $11.7 million, compared to Romney’s $7.6 million, according to the website Opensecrets.org. Massachusetts has contributed the fourth most to Obama of any state, trailing only California, New York and Illinois, according to the website.

CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS

Candidate No. of donations Total donated Average donation

Obama 1,657 $232,085 $140

Romney 509 $390,808 $767

Note: Includes donations from Salem, Beverly, Peabody, Danvers, Marblehead, Swampscott, Ipswich, Hamilton and Wenham.

Source: Federal Election Commission

DONATIONS BY COMMUNITY

Community Obama No. of donations Romney No. of donations

Salem $21,897 314 $11,267 31

Beverly $44,955 307 $96,888 103

Peabody $18,566 160 $16,102 24

Danvers $5,257 92 $24,577 62

Marblehead $68,420 376 $139,835 158

Swampscott $30,422 184 $39,443 36

Ipswich $19,366 117 $22,040 35

Hamilton/Wenham $23,202 107 $40,656 60