Tom Baxter, political reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an eyebrow-lifter for those who see the south as irretrievably red. Baxter’s article compares fund-raising of presidential candidates’ of both parties, and reports:
Democratic presidential candidates collected about 62 percent of the $1.6 million raised from Georgians in the first three months of 2007.
Democrats also led presidential fund-raising in Georgia in the same quarter leading up to the 2000 presidential election — the last race without an incumbent. But back then, their hold on the dollars wasn’t nearly as tight: Democrats led Republicans by just $36,000.
Now Democrats are leading Republicans by $382,000 — a gap more than 10 times greater — according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of first-quarter presidential contributions.
Baxter notes that Barack Obama topped all other candidates of both parties in Georgia, with Romney second and Edwards third. Baxter adds:
One striking facet of the Democrat’s first-quarter resurgence in the South: It isn’t based on just one candidate.
In North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, Democrats held the overall advantage, and Edwards was the top fund-raiser. In Florida and Virginia, Democrats collected the most, with U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) as the overall leader. Democrats also took in more in Kentucky, with Obama in the lead.
Only four states in the region — South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas — gave more money overall to Republican presidential candidates. And in South Carolina, Edwards was the leading individual candidate.
Natch, the Republican spin doctors quoted in the article pooh-pooh the Democratic Presidential candidates lead as a temporary phenomenon. Going by the numbers, however, it appears that southern Donkeys still have some kick.