Mainers in these towns spent $118K on presidential dropouts

By the end of 2015, Mainers gave at least $118,000 to presidential hopefuls who have called it quits, with a full half of that going to Carly Fiorina.

Fiorina was second in Maine fundraising only to Jeb Bush in the Republican field, but the former HP executive dropped out of the race Wednesday after poor showings in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday.

Her support in Maine came largely from coastal towns in southern Maine, but she also logged major donors Down East and in central Maine.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also cut off his campaign Wednesday, adding to a range of candidates who have bowed out after or before the first nominating contests.

In Maine, Fiorina had raised more than three times the amount of the next-nearest candidate no longer in the race, as of Dec. 31, according to itemized contribution files  from the Federal Election Commission.

Campaigns must itemize donations for contributors who give more than $200 and can bundle the rest. Donations under $200 can be itemized, however, leaving some inconsistency (and a caveat) in presenting the donation totals.

Libertarian Rand Paul collected the first donations of any candidate in or out of the race. He and his father Ron Paul have a base of strong supporters in Maine, which put him in second in the money race among early campaign dropouts. Paul’s fundraising landed between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

At the level of itemized donations, Fiorina had about the broadest geographic range of support, whereas Republican candidates Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham along with Democratic candidate Lawrence Lessig each had one big fan in the state.

Another way of looking at the data is by town, which shows Freeport gave the most to early dropouts in the presidential field, with three donors giving a combined $10,604.

Generally, the money to spare on these campaigns came from the state’s southern coast, but Rand Paul fans in Presque Isle and Caribou also made their voices heard. Among that cluster of far north donations, Chris Christie, who dropped out Wednesday, had earned a fan in Van Buren.

Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.