Democrats Are Winning the Money Race in Minnesota

In a front-page story in the Sunday edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, reporters Rachel Stassen-Berger and Glenn Howatt do a public service by following the money in Minnesota state elections from 2007 to 2012.  The reporters track money from individuals, labor unions, party units, corporate donors and others.

The Star Tribune makes the point of how concentrated political donations are in the state.  A mere 26 donors account for more than half of the $53 million spent on state political campaigns during the period examined.

To their credit, the reporters don’t bury the real lede too far down, as they write in the second paragraph of their story,

The analysis shows those donations heavily favored Democrats.  Unless that trend is reversed, Republicans could find themselves at a disadvantage heading into the 2014 elections, when they will attempt to retake the governor’s office and the Minnesota House.

They are correct.  But just how heavily the donations favor Democrats, the reporters do not say.  So I have taken a shot at answering the question by identifying the top 26 donors identified by the Star Tribune as either Democrat-leaning or Republican –leaning.

I use the word “leaning” as even Donor No.1, Education Minnesota, gives trace amounts to Republicans.  Likewise, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce donates money to both the Republican party and the Democrat party, but I classify them in the Republican camp for the purposes of estimating the total Republican disadvantage.

Democrat vs. Republican favoring donors

Of the top 26 donors, all but 7 lean toward the Democrats in their donations.  Adding up the dollars given by each donor during the 2007-2012 period, Democrat-leaning donors gave $20.5 million and Republican-leaning donors gave $6.2 million.  That works out to more than a 3 to 1 advantage for the Democrats.

Also notice who is not on the list.  There is not a Koch brother, Citizens United, or Karl Rove to be found.  The bêtes noires of the left are noticeably missing from Minnesota politics, despite their ubiquity in local progressive propaganda.

If Republicans were enjoying a 3 to 1 fundraising advantage, just imagine the cries for campaign finance reform and getting money out of state politics.  Instead, the silence is deafening.