According to OpenSecrets.org, a website dedicated tracking dollars and donations for federal elections, Democrat Walt Minnick is relying more heavily on campaign funding from outside the state of Idaho than is his challenger, Republican Raul Labrador. The website does note, however, that Minnick's out-of-state advantage is likely due to his status as an incumbent, which allows him to mingle in wider circles than lesser-known challengers. The website says that 54 percent of his campaign dollars taken in this election cycle are from out of state, while Labrador has only 24 percent of his money coming from outside the borders of Idaho.
Minnick is dominating the money race to this point. In the last quarter, he raised $293,000 and reported having more than $1.2 million cash on hand. Labrador has made strides in fundraising - his primary race was largely self-funded - but his numbers, released late last week, pale in comparison to Minnick's. Labrador reported raising $101,000 between May 6 and June 30. Labrador has just less than $70,000 cash on hand.
OpenSecrets.org analyzes campaign donations in a myriad of ways, including in-state versus out-of-state money, giving based on industry, cause, and issues. It reports that $319,359 of Minnick's money is from outside Idaho, with $278,086 coming within his home state. Labrador boasts a much higher percentage in that category, with $45,975 in in-state dollars and $14,800 in out-of-state dollars. The numbers aren't reflective of each man's entire war chest, however. Money from political action committees (PACs) and individual contributions less than $200 are not counted in the totals.
Minnick is besting Labrador in PAC donations as well, collecting $828,794 during this election cycle. Labrador has taken in more than $14,000 in PAC money, including a $2,500 from former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Free and Strong America PAC.
When campaign funds are analyzed by metro areas, both men tout the Boise region as their top source of individual contributions. Minnick, again likely due to his incumbency, then finds New York City, the Washington, D.C., area, Boston, and Portland, Ore., next on his list of top cities. Labrador's geography has a more western tilt. Following Boise on Labrador's list are Salt Lake City, Las Vegas (where he lived during his teen years), Phoenix, and Baltimore, Md.
OpenSecrets.org also breaks down campaign dollars based on what industry or sector of the economy individual donors work in. Minnick's top five in the industry section includes people from Democrat/Liberal work, as well as retired folks, securities and investment, lawyers, and insurance company employees. Labrador's top five features finance workers, manufacturers, Realtors, energy workers, and health professionals. Labrador's list also includes public servants, due to several state lawmakers, including Speaker of the House Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, Rep. JoAn Wood, R-Rigby, Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa, and Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, donating to his campaign.
A staffer with the Labrador campaign says the problem from Minnick is not the geographical source of campaign dollars, but rather the ideologies behind donations. “The issue here is who the money is coming from: Wall Street fat cats, San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi-style liberals, and people that are out of step with Idaho voters,” said China Veldhouse Gum, acting spokesperson for the Labrador campaign. “His liberal donors know who he is and understand he was given a pass on key votes to appear like a moderate. They understand that he shares Democratic Party values. His donors understand that Minnick is a hardcore environmentalist and a proud supporter of national Democrats like Sen. John Kerry, President Barack Obama, and Speaker Pelosi.”
John Foster, spokesman for the Minnick campaign, said that it is important to note that since Labrador won his primary election in May, Minnick has raised more in-state dollars than his opponent has risen in total. “While the support is important and much appreciated, this race is going to be about who has the background and qualifications to be effective,” said Foster. “That’s why we are confident Walt will win in November.”
For a full breakdown of campaign funding information, go to OpenSecrets.org.