Candidates come often to Ohio but not to raise money

Where candidates go to raise money
Where candidates go to raise money

Ohio lags far behind other states in campaign donations.

Note to Ohio voters: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump may need your votes Nov. 8, but rest assured they’re getting much of their campaign cash elsewhere.

Ohio lagged far behind big donor states such as California, Florida, New York and Massachusetts in donors, and contributions in the state totaled just $16.94 million as of Sept. 30, according to Federal Election Commission records.

That puts it 13th on the list this cycle, below not only larger, more populous states, but above tiny Washington, D.C., which kicked in $17.03 million to all presidential candidates.

Ohio donors gave most of their money to Democrat Clinton — $5.1 million — and gave more money to Ohio Gov. John Kasich for his short-lived presidential campaign than they did to the eventual GOP nominee, Trump.

Trump hauled in $2.5 million from Ohioans as of Sept. 30.

That’s far below what Ohio Republicans Mitt Romney raised in 2012: Over the course of that election, Romney raised more than $20 million in Ohio while President Barack Obama raised nearly $8.5 million. Obama still won the state, with 50 percent of the vote to Romney’s 48 percent.

In 2008, Ohioans gave nearly $7.4 million to Obama and $5.9 million to Republican nominee Sen. John McCain.

Many of the state’s biggest GOP donors — the Lindners, the Castellinis, the Wexners — appear not to have given to Trump during 2016, according to a review of financial reports.

“I would imagine the moneyed Republican donor crowd would like a candidate like Romney more than a candidate like Trump,” said Kyle Kondik, director of communications for the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

He said he’s not surprised Kasich out-raised Trump.

“Kasich has a lot of very good relationships with big donors in the state, while Trump probably doesn’t,” he said, adding that Trump’s financial support has primarily been through smaller donations.

This year’s fundraising totals do not mean that Democrats have given more overall in the state. When donations to Kasich, Trump and all the other Republicans who ran during the primary season are combined, Ohioans gave $10.26 million to Republican presidential candidates and $6.6 million to Democrats.

During a normal year, analysts would likely surmise that Clinton’s stronger fundraising in Ohio indicates that Trump is in trouble in the state. But this is no ordinary year. Trump has so far given about $56 million to his own campaign, including $2 million in the last month, according to Viveca Novak of the campaign finance watchdog the Center for Responsive Politics.

For the most part, Ohio is a small player when it comes to fundraising. Donors in California gave Clinton $76 million while New York donated $53 million. Clinton also had strong support in other swing states: Florida donors gave her $18 million, Pennsylvania $9.9 million and Virginia nearly $12.6 million.

Still, in most states her fundraising pace lags what Obama received in 2012. Obama hauled in $91.6 million in California, $50.5 million in New York and $22.7 million in Florida. Ohioans gave him $8.49 million that year.

Trump has fared best in Texas, where donors have given him $10 million; California, which gave him nearly $8.6 million and Florida, where donors contributed $7.6 million. Donors in his home state of New York have given him $3.45 million.

In all, Trump has raised $218.8 million and Clinton has raised $445.4 million, according to the FEC.

But Trump, who has received almost non-stop media coverage since he announced, didn’t send out his first fundraising email until June, said Novak, months after most of his primary opponents had dropped out.

“He was much later to start,” she said.

Trump has paid for about one-fourth of his campaign himself, Novak said.

Trump drew from the wealthy Cleveland suburbs for his largest Ohio haul, raising $366,571 from ZIP codes beginning in 441, including Lakewood, Westlake, North Royalton and Seven Hills. He also fared well in southern Ohio, raising $203,807 from ZIP codes beginning in 452: Cincinnati, Blue Ash and West Chester.

By contrast, Clinton raised $1.17 million from ZIP codes beginning with 441, including Lakewood, Shaker Heights and Westlake. She raised $980,405 from the 452 ZIP codes, including Cincinnati , Mount Washington and Blue Ash. And she raised $847,510 from 432 ZIP codes, such as Gahanna, Bexley and Columbus.

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