Purple Politics, Red Money

Voters, campaign contributors color Wisconsin differently

January 7, 2014

Madison – Wisconsin’s voting patterns may be purple, but its money is distinctly red, according to a Democracy Campaign review of 10 years worth of campaign contributions by zip code.

Partisan Campaign Contributions in Wisconsin 2003-2012Individual contributions of $100 or more to partisan statewide and legislative candidates from Wisconsin zip codes totaled $94.4 million from 2003 through 2012, and $57.4 million, or 61 percent went to Republicans and $37 million, or 39 percent went to Democratic candidates, the Democracy Campaign found.

The review also found 87 percent of these contributions to Democrats and Republicans – $82.04 million – came from only 21 percent, or 186 of the state’s 896 zip codes. Those top zip codes, which generated $100,000 or more in contributions during the 10-year period, usually covered the state’s largest urban areas or their nearby suburbs (see Maps and Table 1).

The Democracy Campaign map plotting the zip codes that generated $100,000 or more in campaign contributions color codes them using three shades of red to show the degree of contributions that went mostly to Republicans, three shades of blue to show the degree of contributions that went mostly to Democrats and purple to represent zip codes whose partisan campaign contributions were closely split. For more information about the map’s color-coding, check out the detailed explanation at the end of the report as well as the legends that accompany the maps.

The numbers aside, there were two striking messages from the zip code review and maps:

  • Most Wisconsin voters and most parts of the state don’t contribute heavily to state campaigns and therefore don’t get the representation they deserve because large campaign contributions are a key tool powerful special interests use to influence public policy and spending decisions by legislative and statewide officeholders.
  • There is a stark contrast between political giving and voting patterns over the past 10 years. While most of the campaign cash went to GOP candidates, voters elected both Republican and Democratic governors and attorneys general and swapped control of the Senate and Assembly back and forth between the parties during the same period.

The review showed 131 of the top zip codes gave sharply more money to Republicans and 29 of the top codes generated sharply more campaign cash for Democrats. The remaining 26 zip codes saw contributions more closely split between the two parties. Overall, the top 186 zip codes generated $49.1 million in contributions for Republican candidates versus $32.94 million for Democrats.

There were 22 zip codes where one of the party’s candidates collected 86 percent or more of the contributions. Republicans claimed 19 of those zip does compared to three for Democrats. And these most partisan codes generated $5.65 million for GOP candidates compared to $1.52 million for Democrats.

The three zip codes that generated 86 percent or more in Democratic contributions – 53208, 53726 and 53212 – represent parts of Milwaukee and Madison. Cities covered by the 19 zip codes that generated 86 percent or more in Republican contributions included all or parts of mostly smaller cities around the state including Afton, Brownsville, Prescott, Dousman, Watertown, Sheboygan Falls, Hartford, Lake Geneva, Hayward, Prairie du Chien, Hartland, Burlington, Elkhorn and Waukesha.

Only one zip code generated a statistical 100 percent of its contributions for one party. Afton’s 53501 zip code generated $527,400 in large individual contributions for Republicans and only $1,250 for Democrats during the 10-year period.

There were 18 zip codes that generated more than $1 million each in campaign contributions. Most of these zip codes cover parts of Milwaukee and Madison and their surrounding suburbs. Nine of these zip codes generated 56 percent or more contributions for Republicans, seven of the zip codes generated 56 percent or more contributions for Democrats and two zip codes generated contributions closely split between candidates of both parties. All told, these 18 zip codes generated $17.74 million in contributions to Republicans and $15.51 million for Democrats.

The top zip code for partisan campaign contributions was 53217 which covers parts of Milwaukee, Bayside, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills and Whitefish Bay and generated $5.24 million. Fifty-eight percent, or $3.05 million went to Republican candidates and $2.19 million or 42 percent went to Democrats.

Three other zip codes topped $2 million in total campaign contributions including:

  • 53092 which covers Mequon and Thiensville and generated $2.96 million in total contributions including $2.07 million for Republicans and $891,601 for Democrats – a difference of 70 percent versus 30 percent;
  • 53211 which covers parts of Milwaukee, Glendale, Shorewood and Whitefish Bay and generated $2.93 million in total contributions including $2.09 million for Democrats and $838,829 for Republicans – a 71 percent versus 29 percent difference;
  • 53711 which covers parts of Madison and Fitchburg and generated $2.14 million in total contributions including $1.56 million for Democrats and $577,801 for Republicans – a 73 percent versus 27 percent difference.

Out-of-state contributions during the 10-year period totaled about $28.76 million, including $21.5 million to Republican candidates and $7.2 million to Democrats in Wisconsin. Thirty-six states, excluding Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia generated $100,000 or more in campaign contributions to legislative and partisan statewide candidates from 2003 through 2012 (Table 2).

The states that generated the most out-of-state contributions were Illinois at $4.02 million, California at $3.23 million, Texas at $2.75 million, Florida at $2.25 million and New York at $1.98 million.

Republican Governor Scott Walker collected the most out-of-state contributions – $18.21 million. Two other candidates received more than $1 million in out-of-state contributions during the 10-year period – former Democratic Governor Jim Doyle at $2.27 million and Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett at $1.86 million.

Aside from Walker, Doyle and Barrett the remaining top two dozen recipients of out-of-state contributions from 2003 through 2012 were other candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general; candidates in the 2011 and 2012 legislative recall elections; and the four legislative campaign committee used by Assembly and Senate Republican and Democratic legislative leaders to milk wealthy special interests for campaign cash at election time.

Here’s how the Democracy Campaign colored the top codes: Zip codes where partisan contributions totaled $100,000 or more and favored a party by 86 percent or more are dark blue or dark red; codes where contributions favored a party by between 71 percent and 85 percent are medium blue or medium red; codes where contributions favored a party by between 56 percent and 70 percent are light blue or light red; and codes where contributions favored a party by up to 55 percent are purple.

Maps and Tables

Top Zip Code Contribution Map (PDF) • Wealth Code Map (PDF) • Table 1Table 2

______________________________________________________________

Table 1
Wisconsin Zip Codes That Generated $100,000 Or More
In Individual Campaign Contributions
2003 – 2012

Zip
Code
Total
Contributions
Total
to Dems
Dem %
of Total
Total
to GOP
GOP %
of Total
53217 $5,236,605.47 $2,188,852.18 42% $3,047,753.29 58%
53092 $2,960,170.10 $891,600.74 30% $2,068,569.36 70%
53211 $2,932,703.78 $2,093,874.47 71% $838,829.31 29%
53711 $2,141,489.54 $1,563,688.26 73% $577,801.28 27%
53066 $1,873,346.57 $274,109.84 15% $1,599,236.73 85%
53704 $1,848,622.19 $1,368,999.89 74% $479,622.30 26%
53705 $1,842,036.99 $1,522,850.86 83% $319,186.13 17%
53202 $1,809,679.01 $1,046,726.86 58% $762,952.15 42%
53029 $1,599,677.20 $199,054.20 12% $1,400,623.00 88%
53562 $1,485,303.92 $942,007.25 63% $543,296.67 37%
53045 $1,463,361.83 $428,745.63 29% $1,034,616.20 71%
54115 $1,325,128.93 $212,784.07 16% $1,112,344.86 84%
53072 $1,155,299.19 $188,124.07 16% $967,175.12 84%
53005 $1,148,595.99 $309,791.37 27% $838,804.62 73%
54701 $1,147,944.17 $528,674.52 46% $619,269.65 54%
53122 $1,118,779.05 $275,959.56 25% $842,819.49 75%
53703 $1,094,687.32 $909,812.60 83% $184,874.72 17%
54601 $1,063,235.92 $562,449.41 53% $500,786.51 47%
54313 $892,024.42 $185,272.37 21% $706,752.05 79%
54935 $890,511.82 $209,664.10 24% $680,847.72 76%
53213 $886,193.40 $482,648.70 54% $403,544.70 46%
53593 $844,494.61 $448,131.84 53% $396,362.77 47%
53545 $814,828.06 $217,561.57 27% $597,266.49 73%
53402 $787,023.97 $189,859.99 24% $597,163.98 76%
54403 $776,891.18 $216,892.98 28% $559,998.20 72%
54301 $764,054.52 $324,132.33 42% $439,922.19 58%
53717 $742,749.64 $496,674.62 67% $246,075.02 33%
54650 $739,513.08 $196,841.45 27% $542,671.63 73%
53186 $739,450.19 $115,337.51 16% $624,112.68 84%
53188 $707,553.39 $133,206.31 19% $574,347.08 81%
53095 $705,278.53 $123,481.27 18% $581,797.26 82%
53226 $699,130.42 $213,212.47 30% $485,917.95 70%
53018 $682,435.92 $180,204.08 26% $502,231.84 74%
53189 $644,512.79 $76,651.12 12% $567,861.67 88%
54401 $625,302.22 $209,832.79 34% $415,469.43 66%
53132 $606,111.29 $216,303.63 36% $389,807.66 64%
53051 $579,945.31 $137,439.27 24% $442,506.04 76%
53012 $560,014.70 $146,284.30 26% $413,730.40 74%
53716 $553,021.60 $391,483.42 71% $161,538.18 29%
53151 $536,533.69 $161,232.33 30% $375,301.36 70%
53105 $536,227.15 $63,610.06 12% $472,617.09 88%
53501 $528,650.00 $1,250.00 0% $527,400.00 100%
54449 $515,774.07 $181,849.74 35% $333,924.33 65%
54729 $496,406.80 $202,901.06 41% $293,505.74 59%
54915 $475,968.21 $212,227.18 45% $263,741.03 55%
54481 $475,878.29 $257,860.79 54% $218,017.50 46%
54956 $457,777.71 $122,189.76 27% $335,587.95 73%
54311 $447,838.30 $138,347.55 31% $309,490.75 69%
53726 $437,921.67 $384,573.07 88% $53,348.60 12%
53597 $432,780.38 $160,758.35 37% $272,022.03 63%
53590 $425,486.30 $233,766.19 55% $191,720.11 45%
54901 $419,864.84 $196,914.28 47% $222,950.56 53%
53097 $419,139.53 $109,510.00 26% $309,629.53 74%
54016 $414,856.24 $76,477.57 18% $338,378.67 82%
54703 $410,808.51 $135,963.53 33% $274,844.98 67%
53142 $406,803.28 $305,896.82 75% $100,906.46 25%
53719 $389,006.14 $250,241.55 64% $138,764.59 36%
53575 $383,273.50 $226,475.86 59% $156,797.64 41%
53129 $368,339.68 $129,005.68 35% $239,334.00 65%
53713 $358,270.07 $285,765.61 80% $72,504.46 20%
54904 $358,119.99 $101,601.60 28% $256,518.39 72%
53965 $356,871.30 $186,009.30 52% $170,862.00 48%
53147 $354,006.77 $33,811.76 10% $320,195.01 90%
53027 $353,367.26 $33,587.33 10% $319,779.93 90%
54911 $352,845.04 $176,683.98 50% $176,161.06 50%
53083 $339,823.53 $54,693.00 16% $285,130.53 84%
54220 $338,056.68 $124,941.67 37% $213,115.01 63%
53024 $336,986.30 $95,324.09 28% $241,662.21 72%
54913 $334,082.31 $103,652.43 31% $230,429.88 69%
54914 $329,824.60 $158,095.48 48% $171,729.12 52%
53190 $324,420.43 $140,786.98 43% $183,633.45 57%
53207 $321,031.50 $255,412.69 80% $65,618.81 20%
54130 $320,455.37 $79,416.37 25% $241,039.00 75%
53144 $306,736.48 $194,628.06 63% $112,108.42 37%
53058 $304,193.65 $38,655.00 13% $265,538.65 87%
54501 $296,818.69 $131,161.84 44% $165,656.85 56%
54843 $296,209.52 $30,566.00 10% $265,643.52 90%
53406 $293,469.11 $101,956.11 35% $191,513.00 65%
53209 $292,108.60 $189,665.60 65% $102,443.00 35%
53403 $289,409.70 $117,356.70 41% $172,053.00 59%
54155 $287,955.73 $44,921.23 16% $243,034.50 84%
53208 $285,774.71 $247,433.71 87% $38,341.00 13%
54751 $284,878.26 $165,309.85 58% $119,568.41 42%
53511 $280,479.08 $143,113.91 51% $137,365.17 49%
53212 $279,849.55 $248,831.82 89% $31,017.73 11%
54022 $268,557.21 $106,170.45 40% $162,386.76 60%
53150 $266,423.30 $58,507.70 22% $207,915.60 78%
53818 $266,255.30 $81,994.24 31% $184,261.06 69%
53546 $266,234.60 $113,463.98 43% $152,770.62 57%
54615 $262,946.90 $98,885.18 38% $164,061.72 62%
54304 $260,710.10 $47,323.00 18% $213,387.10 82%
54235 $258,604.07 $79,152.28 31% $179,451.79 69%
53566 $256,083.42 $85,427.22 33% $170,656.20 67%
53558 $240,841.90 $125,449.65 52% $115,392.25 48%
53149 $240,680.72 $66,538.00 28% $174,142.72 72%
53913 $235,052.39 $109,853.67 47% $125,198.72 53%
53222 $225,982.65 $121,420.65 54% $104,562.00 46%
54981 $221,084.86 $50,412.21 23% $170,672.65 77%
53044 $220,626.03 $86,872.77 39% $133,753.26 61%
53405 $219,743.49 $106,890.99 49% $112,852.50 51%
53533 $214,437.13 $57,185.75 27% $157,251.38 73%
53022 $211,358.17 $61,093.35 29% $150,264.82 71%
53589 $210,579.48 $108,390.23 51% $102,189.25 49%
54603 $206,953.52 $46,539.33 22% $160,414.19 78%
53718 $205,840.74 $142,355.97 69% $63,484.77 31%
53121 $205,044.50 $24,235.22 12% $180,809.28 88%
53073 $204,411.95 $49,703.95 24% $154,708.00 76%
54868 $204,113.88 $62,101.15 30% $142,012.73 70%
53916 $203,988.07 $55,385.96 27% $148,602.11 73%
53158 $203,757.20 $108,632.07 53% $95,125.13 47%
53216 $199,017.12 $118,662.12 60% $80,355.00 40%
54302 $195,408.61 $71,622.61 37% $123,786.00 63%
53154 $192,574.25 $64,025.00 33% $128,549.25 67%
54880 $191,636.21 $109,488.90 57% $82,147.31 43%
53118 $186,183.01 $17,586.48 9% $168,596.53 91%
54548 $184,463.00 $38,112.00 21% $146,351.00 79%
54467 $181,540.78 $89,923.16 50% $91,617.62 50%
53081 $176,668.83 $52,548.97 30% $124,119.86 70%
54494 $175,815.16 $74,498.16 42% $101,317.00 58%
53146 $174,464.00 $25,438.00 15% $149,026.00 85%
53538 $174,346.28 $49,945.08 29% $124,401.20 71%
54952 $174,105.09 $45,202.95 26% $128,902.14 74%
54455 $171,786.96 $60,734.66 35% $111,052.30 65%
53185 $171,023.75 $24,800.00 15% $146,223.75 85%
53143 $168,046.14 $113,087.49 67% $54,958.65 33%
53228 $165,691.80 $62,465.60 38% $103,226.20 62%
54521 $164,479.96 $55,628.49 34% $108,851.47 66%
53017 $162,235.06 $19,250.56 12% $142,984.50 88%
54409 $162,184.83 $44,648.33 28% $117,536.50 72%
53223 $158,920.76 $66,697.76 42% $92,223.00 58%
54452 $158,786.72 $58,413.38 37% $100,373.34 63%
54476 $156,757.01 $49,448.59 32% $107,308.42 68%
53532 $154,471.26 $77,340.75 50% $77,130.51 50%
53089 $152,794.48 $39,228.00 26% $113,566.48 74%
53577 $151,143.61 $29,119.33 19% $122,024.28 81%
54017 $148,195.56 $36,465.56 25% $111,730.00 75%
53140 $147,016.94 $87,809.60 60% $59,207.34 40%
54660 $146,333.29 $21,515.00 15% $124,818.29 85%
53115 $146,109.48 $41,111.43 28% $104,998.05 72%
53126 $145,199.00 $21,796.00 15% $123,403.00 85%
53563 $141,529.18 $53,084.50 38% $88,444.68 62%
53821 $141,294.01 $16,043.39 11% $125,250.62 89%
53221 $136,298.78 $63,484.78 47% $72,814.00 53%
54568 $135,207.50 $16,564.50 12% $118,643.00 88%
54937 $135,129.68 $23,537.84 17% $111,591.84 83%
53020 $133,894.00 $16,033.00 12% $117,861.00 88%
53555 $133,773.18 $73,147.49 55% $60,625.69 45%
53210 $133,065.61 $113,373.61 85% $19,692.00 15%
53925 $131,244.45 $34,764.45 26% $96,480.00 74%
54902 $130,129.62 $49,401.41 38% $80,728.21 62%
54656 $130,001.27 $31,874.24 25% $98,127.03 75%
53549 $129,749.14 $21,668.00 17% $108,081.14 83%
53224 $129,747.70 $105,984.70 82% $23,763.00 18%
53959 $128,909.00 $24,348.00 19% $104,561.00 81%
54451 $126,112.86 $49,497.86 39% $76,615.00 61%
53227 $125,008.75 $53,997.75 43% $71,011.00 57%
53214 $124,829.00 $29,389.00 24% $95,440.00 76%
53094 $124,167.03 $18,922.95 15% $105,244.08 85%
54143 $123,461.84 $32,376.50 26% $91,085.34 74%
53086 $122,597.28 $27,405.00 22% $95,192.28 78%
53098 $122,372.29 $11,290.50 9% $111,081.79 91%
53714 $120,798.53 $86,202.84 71% $34,595.69 29%
53220 $120,407.19 $50,272.00 42% $70,135.19 58%
54021 $120,359.00 $9,660.00 8% $110,699.00 92%
54806 $119,098.94 $51,918.94 44% $67,180.00 56%
54728 $118,346.27 $13,735.00 12% $104,611.27 88%
53006 $113,796.94 $3,406.94 3% $110,390.00 97%
53074 $113,336.91 $18,030.00 16% $95,306.91 84%
53536 $112,843.58 $70,598.08 63% $42,245.50 37%
53172 $112,387.30 $58,382.64 52% $54,004.66 48%
53120 $111,808.24 $23,524.24 21% $88,284.00 79%
53130 $111,247.52 $45,091.52 41% $66,156.00 59%
53528 $110,601.22 $60,510.01 55% $50,091.21 45%
54669 $109,000.59 $17,475.94 16% $91,524.65 84%
54636 $108,961.22 $34,887.22 32% $74,074.00 68%
54961 $106,459.00 $23,984.00 23% $82,475.00 77%
53572 $105,760.27 $51,410.75 49% $54,349.52 51%
54986 $104,952.72 $38,442.29 37% $66,510.43 63%
53085 $104,700.43 $9,320.86 9% $95,379.57 91%
54612 $104,072.00 $39,231.75 38% $64,840.25 62%
54020 $103,145.41 $53,102.69 51% $50,042.72 49%
54448 $103,062.00 $17,665.00 17% $85,397.00 83%
53033 $102,689.00 $25,787.00 25% $76,902.00 75%
54487 $102,287.02 $31,529.43 31% $70,757.59 69%
53588 $100,650.73 $32,913.33 33% $67,737.40 67%
53901 $100,238.85 $32,102.85 32% $68,136.00 68%

Table 2
Top Out-of-State Contributions*
To Partisan Legislative And Statewide Candidates In Wisconsin
2003 – 2012

STATE AMOUNT
Illinois $4,020,150.07
California $3,234,176.90
Texas $2,751,680.22
Florida $2,254,603.62
New York $1,979,658.10
Minnesota $1,196,935.94
Missouri $1,164,229.33
Virginia $811,830.44
Pennsylvania $721,794.68
Michigan $667,896.06
Ohio $576,426.23
New Jersey $557,742.61
Georgia $533,084.44
Massachusetts $521,713.01
Nevada $507,681.27
Colorado $498,103.36
Arizona $496,743.19
Connecticut $450,179.23
Washington $449,922.78
Maryland $438,967.78
Tennessee $425,438.45
District of Columbia $396,774.59
North Carolina $388,849.45
Wyoming $383,674.55
Iowa $329,103.75
Arkansas $274,041.00
Indiana $271,006.11
Oklahoma $238,948.24
Oregon $212,169.17
Alabama $199,478.34
Louisiana $167,249.64
Kansas $151,891.37
South Carolina $140,329.00
Kentucky $120,551.78
New Mexico $113,643.09
New Hampshire $101,965.00

*Table shows states that generated $100,000 or more in campaign contributions.