Kentuckians donated more than $4.08 million to candidates for president in the months leading up to the election. Each month through election season, we brought you up-to-date statewide donation totals showing Rand Paul’s rise and fall, Hillary Clinton’s sustained success and Donald Trump’s summer surge.
Now, with the latest data from the Federal Election Commission, we can examine how Kentuckians did and didn’t deliver donation dollars. And though money plays a major role in politics, especially in money funneled through PAC and super PAC donations, our analysis shows that individual contributions from counties aren’t the best sign of electoral success in those counties.
The amount of individual contributions across Kentucky varied widely by county.
Ten whole counties reported total donations of $1,000 or less to the presidential campaigns.
Meanwhile, cash flowed from the state’s three most populous counties — Jefferson, Fayette and Kenton. Each big-county cash haul was heavily weighted to Clinton.
Seven of the top 10 most generous counties gave a majority of cash to Clinton.
In 12 smaller, rural counties, Clinton failed to garner a single dollar in contributions.
In eastern Kentucky, there’s a cluster of counties that donated blue, though voters went overwhelmingly red on Election Day.
For example, Clinton drew $9,113 from donors in Floyd County. Trump netted $2,186. The vote totals (below) show he garnered 2.5 more times the number of votes in Floyd.
In Knott, Trump had $468 in donations to Clinton’s $7,987. Voters chose Trump at a rate of nearly 4-to-1.
While Clinton brought in more funds from these eastern Kentucky counties, Trump had more individual donors. Clinton’s 80 individual donors gave nearly $40,000, while Trump’s 128 donors gave $16,500, mostly in the $200 and under category.
Our earlier voting analysis showed Kentucky turned a deeper shade of red on Election Day.
Though the majority of state voters — 51 percent — are registered with the Democratic Party, Trump snared 62 percent of the popular vote in the commonwealth.
Clinton out-raised Trump in Kentucky in 15 of the 18 months leading up to the election.
Trump, who early on had boasted of self-financing his campaign, took in $1.32 million in individual donations from Kentuckians over the course of the campaign. He ended up receiving 1.2 million votes.
Clinton garnered more than two donation dollars for every vote she received in Kentucky. Her ballot tally was 628,854 and her statewide campaign haul was $1.68 million.