Will Donations from Iowans Predict Caucus Winner?

Iowa Republicans, having examined the GOP presidential candidates in intimate detail for months, tonight will make their choice. And if contributions by Hawkeye State residents to the contenders are good predictors, it’ll be Mitt Romney and Ron Paul coming out on top, just as the polls suggest.

Flag-map-of-IowaAccording to research by the Center for Responsive Politics, residents of Iowa have donated more than $222,000 to Republican presidential candidates so far this election cycle. The former Massachusetts governor has collected the most money from Iowans who have donated more than $200 to any candidate, according to the Center’s research. Romney has raised $61,800 — or about 28 percent of all money donated to Republican presidential candidates.

But Paul is right on his heels. The Texas lawmaker has raised $59,435, or about 27 percent of donations by Iowans to the GOP field, according to the Center’s research.

The most recent polls show Romney and Paul neck-and-neck among Iowa caucus-goers. The most recent Huffington Post/Pollster analysis ranks Romney’s support at 22.4 percent and Paul’s at 21 percent.

Romney and Paul have each raised at least twice as much money from residents of Iowa than any of their GOP rivals.

After the top two, the correlation breaks down a bit. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who are the only GOP presidential candidates to have visited all 99 counties in Iowa, have each received about $1 out of every $10 donated by Iowans.

For her part, Bachmann has collected $26,675, according to the Center’s research; her support among Iowans has tanked, though, since her Ames straw poll victory in August. Santorum, recently surging in the polls, has raised $22,400.

This table shows the campaign contributions from Iowans who gave more than $200. (Campaigns are not required to report information about donors who contribute $200 or less.)


Candidate$ from IowansPercentage
Mitt Romney$61,80027.8%
Ron Paul$59,43526.8%
Michele Bachmann$26,67412.0%
Rick Santorum$22,40010.1%
Herman Cain$20,5009.2%
Tim Pawlenty$14,5006.5%
Rick Perry$8,9504.0%
Newt Gingrich$7,6503.4%
Gary Johnson$2500.1%

On the Democratic side, President Barack Obama has raised $165,600 from Iowans, according to the Center’s research. That’s about $2 out of every $5 that residents of Iowa have donated.

SOURCE: Open Secrets Blog