Whitmer’s attracted 31,600 out-of-state donors with $9.5 million fundraiser – MLive.com | Region & Cash

In a sign of her prominence in a nationwide-watched election, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s record-breaking fundraising saw more donors for her campaign outside of Michigan than in Michigan, according to an analysis of campaign finance data.

About 56% of the more than $9.5 million Whitmer raised from individuals in 2022 came from Michiganders — about 24,300 donors. But Whitmer’s campaign also received donations from nearly 31,600 out-of-state donors.

Still, the $4.9 million she received from Michigan donors is more than her potential Republican competitors combined inside and outside Michigan have raised, excluding the $10 million in personal wealth that the Bloomfield Hills businessman Kevin Rinke has agreed to race.

Can’t see the map? click here.

Norton Shores commentator Tudor Dixon collectively raised $1 million in Michigan and former Detroit Police Commissioner James Craig raised $1.2 million from Michiganders but failed to make it into the vote.

Whitmer’s visibility was a line of attack for her opposition. Gustavo Portela, spokesman for the Michigan Republican Party, accused Whitmer of merely using the state as a springboard for the presidential candidacy.

“Rather than focusing on her national profile, she should focus on the problems the Michiganders have singled her out to solve and have yet to solve, like fixing our damn roads and now instilling the relief that constantly getting in the way for the past few months,” Portela said in a statement.

Democratic policy adviser Adrian Hemond said it was just the status of our “fully nationalized” election. Numerous races in the recent election have been able to attract donations from afar, even at the local level, and Republican gubernatorial candidates have had no shortage of out-of-state donors either.

“Whether you’re an oil billionaire supporting Republicans living somewhere like Texas or a Hollywood millionaire living in California, your state isn’t really up for grabs,” Hemond said. “So what do you do? They donate to people like Gretchen Whitmer.”

Whitmer’s historically star-studded donor lists have reflected this: directors Steven Spielberg and Rob Reiner gave generously, as did fashion designer Tom Ford, who needed a refund of $350 in over-given contributions.

Big corporate leaders like Microsoft Vice Chairman Bradford Smith or two scions of billionaire dynasties like the Soros family gave up to the contribution limit. Major film producers, healthcare leaders and philanthropists all made generous donations to the campaign.

Campaign finance data shows the same is true for everyday political donors. About twice as many people outside of Michigan gave less than $20 to Whitmer’s campaign than those inside the state, with $152,000 from donors in Michigan and $204,000 in the rest of the US. With about 323 million residents in the US outside of Michigan, the donor pool is quite a bit larger.

Of all donors who donated less than $200, Whitmer raised slightly more within Michigan, and her campaign chose to focus on her support at home.

“We are proud of the support of more than 43,000 Michiganians across all 83 counties who have contributed to Governor Whitmer’s re-election campaign during this time period, with nearly 94% of donations being less than $200,” said Maeve Coyle, communications director for Whitmer’s campaign, in a statement.

She participated in 117 fundraisers across the country this year in places like Los Angeles, California, Las Vegas, Nevada and Washington, DC, although many were virtual. Fundraisers brought in nearly $2.7 million, more than 25% of her total fundraising that year.

While about two-thirds of Mattawan chiropractor Garrett Soldano’s $2.1 million comes from donations of less than $200, only about a quarter of Whitmer’s nearly $30 million comes from these smaller contributions.

Whitmer raised the most money from Ann Arbor, raising about $477,000 from 1,620 donations, more donations than Tudor Dixon’s campaign received this year as a whole. She also raised about $265,000 from 857 residents of New York City — the fourth-biggest donor of any city. It’s more than the $151,000 she raised from Grand Rapids, which is a central source of campaign funds for many Republicans, though more than 1,000 Grand Rapidians have donated to the campaign.

Can’t see the map? click here.

Matt Grossmann, director of Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, said it can be difficult to draw any conclusions about the breadth of a candidate’s fundraising.

“It shows the nature of the relative national and local interest in the race, which I think has different determinants on either side,” Grossmann said. “I think that’s why I would say that the ratio (of national versus state donors) isn’t the whole truth, because national donors are just driven by different things than local donors.”

Grossmann speculated that elsewhere in the country there might be a sense that Whitmer’s re-election is less certain than the feeling in Michigan, leading to more donor commitment. He said government donors are more informed about the breed’s status and are better at reporting how much support it has.

Hemond said it was simply a testament to the effectiveness of the candidate and the campaign.

“Especially when it comes to fundraising for small balls nationally, it’s important to have a solid operation that can convey a compelling message to partisans who have nothing else to spend their money on politically,” Hemond said.

Still, Whitmer’s 2022 fundraiser is a record for both her campaign and Michigan in general. She has raised more money than she did in 2021, when she controversially spent months accepting donations with no contribution limits, taking advantage of a decades-old decision that elected officials facing recall attempts could ignore limits despite attempts to recall them.

About $3.5 million in donations above the $7,150 limit was eventually wired to the Michigan Democratic Party in late 2021.

MLive reporter Taylor DesOrmeau contributed to this report.

Continue reading:

Whitmer raises $2.5 million for re-election and gives the Michigan Democratic Party $3.5 million raised for the recall defense

Leave a Comment