Hillary Clinton has a small but steady lead over Bernie Sanders in the polls, and this week's Iowa Caucus found them virtually deadlocked.
But measured in money, Clinton's winning by a mile. There's no need for a coin flip here — unless you've got one worth $50 million.
Hillary took in $112 million through the end of 2015 to lead all presidential candidates by a huge margin. Bernie Sanders is second, at $74 million, a figure his campaign pumps up by pointing out he's getting a lot more small donations than the former Secretary of State.
The story's the same, but only more dramatic, here in Minnesota. Minnesotans donated a total of $2.5 million to would-be presidents through December 31. (For comparison's sake, that puts us above Oregon, a state with similar population, which gave $2.1 million, but far below Colorado, which shelled out almost $5 million.) Here, too, Hillary is dominating the field, with more than $1 million, or roughly 40 percent of everything anyone got from Minnesota residents.
Taking second place in the sweepstakes... hang your heads in shame, Minnesota: It's Ben Carson. The gifted brain surgeon-turned-gift to late night comics raked in $326,000 from our state's donor class, part of his shocking $53 million haul nationally, good enough for third-most of all candidates in the nationwide field.
Sanders nabbed third place among Minnesotans, with about $307,000 collected. The Sanders campaign's claim that they're doing well with more modest donors bears out here: Hillary has received maximum donation amounts ($2,700, under campaign finance laws) from dozens and dozens of Minnesotans, including some of the state's heavy hitter Democrats.
Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin gave maximum checks to Mrs. Clinton, as did Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, several members of the Twins-owning Pohlad family, and Dayton's ex-wife Alida Messinger, an heiress to the Rockefeller fortune. Interestingly, many of those fat checks landed in spring or summer of 2015, back when Clinton's polling lead over Sanders was something like 50 percent. Now, it's about a fourth that size.
Sanders is still waiting on some of the better-off liberals in the Twin Cities to reach for their checkbooks. In zip codes starting with 554- (Minneapolis and its closest suburbs) or 551- (St. Paul and its neighbors), the Vermont socialist's campaign has received only four checks for $2,700. Then again, given Bernie's leanings, the fact he makes moneyed Minnesota nervous could be taken as a good sign.
Jeb Bush ($216,000 from Minnesota, out of $32 million, nationally) and Ted Cruz ($199,000 here, $47 million total) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Cruz, like Carson, did best with exurban areas like Eden Prairie, Wayzata, Chanhassen, and Anoka. Bush is just about the only Republican with any friends in Minneapolis, with about $90,000 from city folk — a drop in the bucket compared to Hillary's $590,000 from Minneapolitans, but far more than other Republicans drew from the 612 area code.
Having dispensed with the big numbers, we now arrive at the most interesting. Donating to Donald Trump is doubly dumb. Trump cannot go a few minutes without reminding us of his (exaggerated, but still sizable) self-worth, and he has repeatedly said he is self-funding his run for president.
Then, there's the fact that donating to Trump is putting your money where his mouth is — when not kissing his own ass, he's using it to say stupid things about the economy and despicable things about other races and religions.
Defying logic and decency, then, are the Minnesotans who pooled together to give about $8,000 to Donald Trump. A pittance, in context, but, again, this is a guy who's not even asking for it.
So, we offer this helpful public service to anyone who had the same question we did: Who among us would give to Donald Trump? These people, that's who.
Jan Edwards, Plymouth, $1,000
Neil Wilson, Shakopee, $1,000
Craig Wylie, McGregor, $1,000
Tom Revier, Olivia, $512
Peggy Pichelman, Wayzata, $500
Curtis Hansen, Chaska, $500
Brian Jones, Paynesville, $500
Michael Harvanko, Brooklyn Park, $450
Steve Mytling, Watson, $400
Noel Collis, Albany, $250
Luz Campa, Buffalo, $250
Robert Naylor, Bemidji, $250
Michael Liden, Crookston, $250
Todd Potter, Becker, $250
Cliff Larson, Edina, $250
James Petersen, Lilydale, $250
<!———StartFragment———>Chad Harting, Merriefield, $210
Bruno Donsoy, $200
Jim Sweet, Rochester, $126
Mike Allbee, Maple Grove, $111
Ryan Helgeson, White Bear Lake, $100
Aaron Printup, Crystal Bay, $106
Christopher Pettit, Dover, $100
Leslie Rzeszut, Inver Grove Heights, $19<!———EndFragment———>
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