National Journal

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal

At the end of this month, the cluster of super PACs powering the 2016 presidential race will flip over their cards, disclosing donors in a Federal Elections Commission filing.

When they do, you can expect a flood of paperwork indicating donations from the expected power centers — Washington, New York, Los Angeles — and a few homes-of-billionaires, including Las Vegas (casino-owner Sheldon Adelson) and Houston (developer Robert J. Perry, among others).

But the 2016 field's most recent FEC reports, which only included donations made directly to the official campaign committees, could tell us something more important. When laid out on a map, the contributions made by average Americans show where candidates have the most support — and the parts of the country where they're weaker.

National Journal collected contributions over $200 made by individuals to Republican candidates this election cycle, calculated their location and aggregated them county by county, building a map showing each contender's geographic base of support. The maps below only show contributions made by third-party individuals, not PACs or the candidates themselves.

 

Jeb Bush

So far, Jeb Bush owns much of the coastal Northeast, beating out other GOP candidates in the wealthy suburbs surrounding New York and Washington, and racking up solid numbers in New Hampshire. The former Florida governor also posted good returns in his home state, where he's vying with Marco Rubio for support and beat the junior senator by half a million dollars.

His support elsewhere is more scattershot. While he raised the most in California's Santa Barbara County, Los Angeles itself went to Rubio along with conservative Orange County. And in Iowa and South Carolina, Bush raised money from just a handful of counties each.

Marco Rubio

Rubio is neck-and-neck with Bush in Florida, though that could change once figures become public from Right to Rise, Bush's massive super PAC ally.

Even so, there's no discounting Rubio's success in California, where he carried the money races in the counties surrounding Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.

He's also looking good in New Hampshire, but his fundraising in Iowa was pretty low.

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz dominated in Texas, topping every other candidate in most of the state's southeastern counties. His name has a presence in almost every critical state, including Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, and California.

He's also showing a modest belt of support in western Pennsylvania and Ohio, two general-election swing states.

But Cruz has also had plenty of time to fundraise. He was the first Republican to launch a presidential campaign, hitting the road two weeks before anyone else.

Ben Carson

Ben Carson should take his map and hang it up on his wall. It looks that good. Of course, that's because he has racked up large support in the American midwest, where huge counties and low populations give an inflated picture of success.

But even so, there's no denying his support in Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. He appears to be vying with Bush for control of Michigan, carrying the state's western border and "thumb" while leaving the Detroit suburbs to his rival.

Rand Paul

Rand Paul's map is less clear. Yes, he's got support in the Northeast — but rarely tops his rivals in any given county. Good coverage in Florida and California, but not chart-topping.

The only place where he saw unequivocal success was in Kentucky, his home state, where he carried a good chunk of counties. Even so, he only raised just over $100,000.

Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina, despite a relatively low fundraising total, deserves special mention for the relatively broad spread of her appeal. She unsurprisingly saw plenty of contributions in California, but also racked up support in Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Washington. That said, she rarely beat her rivals.

Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry

These candidates did pretty well in their home states — or very well, in the case of Lindsey Graham — but had much less success at large.

And last and least

Rick Santorum and George Pataki didn't do very well. Santorum leveraged his network in Pennsylvania for $80,000 or so (while Cruz raised $188,000; Hillary Clinton, $887,000). Pataki picked up a smattering of support in New York and parts of Connecticut.

Donald Trump

He raised almost nothing. But as he'll tell you, repeatedly and probably imminently, he's really rich.

Jeb Bush

So far, Jeb Bush owns much of the coastal Northeast, beating out other GOP candidates in the wealthy suburbs surrounding New York and Washington, and racking up solid numbers in New Hampshire. The former Florida governor also posted good returns in his home state, where he's vying with Marco Rubio for support and beat the junior senator by half a million dollars.

His support elsewhere is more scattershot. While he raised the most in California's Santa Barbara County, Los Angeles itself went to Rubio along with conservative Orange County. And in Iowa and South Carolina, Bush raised money from just a handful of counties each.

Marco Rubio

Rubio is neck-and-neck with Bush in Florida, though that could change once figures become public from Right to Rise, Bush's massive super PAC ally.

Even so, there's no discounting Rubio's success in California, where he carried the money races in the counties surrounding Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.

He's also looking good in New Hampshire, but his fundraising in Iowa was pretty low.

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz dominated in Texas, topping every other candidate in most of the state's southeastern counties. His name has a presence in almost every critical state, including Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, and California.

He's also showing a modest belt of support in western Pennsylvania and Ohio, two general-election swing states.

But Cruz has also had plenty of time to fundraise. He was the first Republican to launch a presidential campaign, hitting the road two weeks before anyone else.

Ben Carson

Ben Carson should take his map and hang it up on his wall. It looks that good. Of course, that's because he has racked up large support in the American midwest, where huge counties and low populations give an inflated picture of success.

But even so, there's no denying his support in Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. He appears to be vying with Bush for control of Michigan, carrying the state's western border and "thumb" while leaving the Detroit suburbs to his rival.

Rand Paul

Rand Paul's map is less clear. Yes, he's got support in the Northeast — but rarely tops his rivals in any given county. Good coverage in Florida and California, but not chart-topping.

The only place where he saw unequivocal success was in Kentucky, his home state, where he carried a good chunk of counties. Even so, he only raised just over $100,000.

Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina, despite a relatively low fundraising total, deserves special mention for the relatively broad spread of her appeal. She unsurprisingly saw plenty of contributions in California, but also racked up support in Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Washington. That said, she rarely beat her rivals.

Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry

These candidates did pretty well in their home states — or very well, in the case of Lindsey Graham — but had much less success at large.

And last and least

Rick Santorum and George Pataki didn't do very well. Santorum leveraged his network in Pennsylvania for $80,000 or so (while Cruz raised $188,000; Hillary Clinton, $887,000). Pataki picked up a smattering of support in New York and parts of Connecticut.

Donald Trump

He raised almost nothing. But as he'll tell you, repeatedly and probably imminently, he's really rich.

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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