Thursday, July 19, 2007

Edwards Dominates Rural Georgia Fundraising

The New York Times has a cool, interactive map that makes it easy to see when and where the presidential candidates have raised their millions. A few minutes with that map makes one thing very clear: in rural Georgia John Edwards has raised more money than any other candidate.

In Georgia zip codes 31000-31999 (aka South of the Gnat Line), Edwards has raised $132,678.00, and that's more than all of the Republican candidates combined ($130,766.00) and more than all of the Democratic candidates combined ($72,160.00). While metro-Atlanta is famous for it's deep political pockets, these are impressive numbers from an area of the state not famous for political giving.

I need to do some additional research, but a glance at the map makes it appear that this is not just a Georgia phenomenon, but instead an important trend in terms of Edward's support in rural areas. For instance, in Iowa, Edwards ($67,563.00) has edged out both Clinton ($41,808.00) and Obama ($66,425.00), and the same is true in South Carolina (Edwards: $226,555.00; Obama: $190,853.00; Clinton: $77,114.00). Of course, South Carolina is Edwards' birthplace.

So, what is it about Edwards that appeals to rural America? Maybe it's his pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps-story, that he is the son of a mill worker and the first in his family to go to college. Maybe it's just the fact that he is a son of rural America, something that drives his commitment to address poverty with a real plan instead of pretty words. Whatever it is, he seems to have struck a cord.

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