Among CT campaign donors, Clinton overwhelms Sanders

Washington – The tight race in Iowa between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is not reflected in Connecticut among donors to the two candidates.  As of Dec. 31, Clinton has raised more money in the state than any other candidate for the White House – $1.6 million – six times more than Sanders’ $270,125.

Nationally, the multiple is not as large. Clinton has raised $112 million and Sanders $74 million.

Clinton has the endorsements, and donations, from Connecticut’s political class.

Federal Elections Commission records show Gov. Dannel P. Malloy donated $1,350 to Clinton’s campaign, as did his wife Catherine.

Other Clinton donors include state Sens. Beth Bye ($175) and Joan Hartley ($3,700); state Rep. Caroline Simmons ($2,500); Secretary of State Denise Merrill ($2,700); and Gayle Weinstein, the first selectman of Weston ($1,000.)

Ron Schurin, a political science professor at the University of Connecticut, said Connecticut’s Democratic power establishment “made the rational calculation that Clinton is the establishment candidate” and are wise to back her.

Money from Democrats in Connecticut will continue to flow to Clinton if she holds her own in Iowa, the first in the nation contest among White House candidates, and in New Hampshire and wins the South Carolina primary, Schurin said.

If somehow Sanders becomes the Democratic nominee, he’s not likely to hold a grudge over the contributions to Clinton, Schurin said.

“If Bernie Sanders would, he’d be holding a grudge against the entire Democratic political establishment in the nation,” Schurin said.

He said money from Democrats in Connecticut will continue to flow to Clinton unless she falters in Iowa, the first contest in the nation of White House candidates, and the upcoming primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Connecticut will not hold its primary until April 26. As of Dec. 31, Connecticut donors have given presidential candidates of both parties a total of nearly $4.4 million.

In Iowa, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and billionaire Donald Trump are fighting to be the state’s favorite Republican candidate.

But in Connecticut, Cruz has raised only about $152,000 and Trump hardly appears on the radar, raising only $16,995 from donors in the state last year.

CT itemized contributions to presidential candidates.
Data through December 2015.
Candidate Donations ($)
Clinton, Hillary Rodham $1,577,235
Bush, Jeb $1,069,386
Rubio, Marco $421,097
Sanders, Bernard $270,152
Christie, Christopher J. $224,825
Cruz, Rafael Edward ‘Ted’ $151,540
Carson, Benjamin S. $131,270
Graham, Lindsey O. $88,235
Kasich, John R. $85,123
Fiorina, Carly $78,745
Walker, Scott $74,171
Paul, Rand $57,766
O’Malley, Martin Joseph $51,250
Santorum, Richard J. $17,656
Lessig, Lawrence $17,525
Trump, Donald J. $16,995
Pataki, George E. $14,600
Webb, James Henry Jr. $9,659
Huckabee, Mike $6,253
Stein, Jill $3,325
Perry, James R. (Rick) $3,000
Jindal, Bobby $2,700
Federal Elections Commission

As far as Republican candidates go, former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush is Connecticut’s favorite.

Bush has raised a little more than $1 million. The former governor is followed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has raised about $421,000.

Bush had the support of David McCormick, the president of Bridgewater Associates, who gave $2,700. But both Bush and Rubio had strong support from the financial industry centered in Fairfield County.

New York Yankee Mark Texeira was among Rubio’s donors. The ball player gave $2,700 and his wife Georgia another $2,700.

Meanwhile Linda McMahon, World Wrestling Federation founder and failed Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, donated to both Bush and Rubio, giving the campaigns of each men $2,700.

Schurin said Bush is considered the candidate “of the Republican corporate donor.”

But he said the flow of money into Bush’s campaign is likely to slow if he does not make a good showing in Iowa. A poor performance on the campaign trail, and the notion that Bush has not spent his campaign money well is likely to shift money to Rubio, another candidate that is seen by Connecticut’s GOP to be more in line with its values, Schurin said.

Nationally, Cruz has raised $46.9 million, Bush $31.8 million and Rubio $27.7 million.

But the candidate with the most political cash is Republican Ben Carson, who raised nearly $54 millino across the nation. Only about $131,000 of Carson’s donations came from Connecticut.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Linda McMahor ran for governor and U.S. senator. She ran twice for senator but did not run for governor.

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