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Who are Columbia affiliates backing in 2020?: Campaign donation data shows Booker in the lead.

Who are Columbia affiliates backing in 2020?

Campaign donation data shows Booker in the lead.

Written by Vidhima Shetty Graphics by Charlotte Li and Raeedah Wahid

November 22, 2019

As the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries approach, Columbia affiliates—including students, professors, staff, and administrators—have demonstrated their support for candidates through campaign donations. Cory Booker (D-NJ) leads the way as the candidate with the most money raised through University-affiliated donations, according to data released by the Federal Election Commission.

But while Booker may have raised the highest total amount of money in campaign donations from Columbia affiliates, he isn’t the candidate who received the highest number of donations. Rather, Bernie Sanders (D-VT) saw the most individual donations, with 275 Columbia affiliates donating overall. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) follows closely after Sanders, with 179 affiliate donations, and Booker comes in third with 43.

Democrat

Total of 712 contributions to Democratic

candidates from Columbia affiliates.

Widths of lines represent number

of contributions

15

91

46

43

275

173

Harris

Biden

Trump

Buttigieg

Warren

Booker

Sanders

Republican

The only Republican Columbia affiliates have contributed to is Trump.

15

Buttigieg

Harris

Biden

Warren

Trump

Booker

Sanders

Democrat

Total of 712 contributions to Democratic

candidates from Columbia affiliates.

Widths of lines represent number

of contributions

15

91

46

173

43

275

Warren

Biden

Trump

Booker

Sanders

Buttigieg

Harris

Republican

The only Republican Columbia affiliates have contributed to is Trump.

15

Trump

Democrat

Total of 712 contributions to Democratic

candidates from Columbia affiliates.

Widths of lines represent

number of contributions

15

91

46

173

43

275

Buttigieg

Biden

Harris

Warren

Booker

Sanders

Republican

The only Republican Columbia affiliates

have contributed to is Trump.

15

Trump

According to FEC data as of Sept. 30, 2019, Columbia affiliates have raised a total of $20,879.91 for Booker—the second-highest amount raised by a university for his campaign, tailing right behind Stanford University, which raised $37,981.67. Booker, a New Jersey native, has based his campaign on key issues such as fighting for economic and racial equality and advocating for marijuana legalization and criminal justice reform, among others.

Top 10 university contributors to Booker, Sanders, Warren campaigns

Cory Booker

University of Washington

University of Kansas

Stanford University

Rutgers University

NYU School of Medicine

New York University

MIT

Eastwick College

Columbia University

Berkeley College

$40,000

$30,000

$20,000

$10,000

0

Bernie Sanders

University of Washington

University of Michigan

University of Illinois

University of Chicago

University of California

UCLA

UC Berkeley

Stanford University

Harvard University

Columbia University

$40,000

$30,000

$20,000

$10,000

0

Elizabeth Warren

Yale University

University of Washington

University of Pennsylvania

University of Michigan

University of California

UCLA

UC Berkeley

MIT

Harvard University

Harvard Law School

$40,000

$30,000

$20,000

$10,000

0

Top 10 university contributors to

Booker, Sanders, Warren campaigns

Cory Booker

University of Washington

University of Kansas

Stanford University

Rutgers University

NYU School of Medicine

New York University

MIT

Eastwick College

Columbia University

Berkeley College

0

$10,000

$20,000

$30,000

$40,000

Bernie Sanders

University of Washington

University of Michigan

University of Illinois

University of Chicago

University of California

UCLA

UC Berkeley

Stanford University

Harvard University

Columbia University

0

$10,000

$20,000

$30,000

$40,000

Elizabeth Warren

Yale University

University of Washington

University of Pennsylvania

University of Michigan

University of California

UCLA

UC Berkeley

MIT

Harvard University

Harvard Law School

0

$10,000

$20,000

$30,000

$40,000

Top 10 university contributors

to Booker, Sanders,

Warren campaigns

Cory Booker

University of Washington

University of Kansas

Stanford University

Rutgers University

NYU School of Medicine

New York University

MIT

Eastwick College

Columbia University

Berkeley College

0

$10,000

$20,000

$30,000

$40,000

Bernie Sanders

University of Washington

University of Michigan

University of Illinois

University of Chicago

University of California

UCLA

UC Berkeley

Stanford University

Harvard University

Columbia University

0

$10,000

$20,000

$30,000

$40,000

Elizabeth Warren

Yale University

University of Washington

University of Pennsylvania

University of Michigan

University of California

UCLA

UC Berkeley

MIT

Harvard University

Harvard Law School

0

$10,000

$20,000

$30,000

$40,000

But as a candidate who isn’t a Columbia alumnus and doesn’t have any direct ties to the University, it may come as a surprise for many that Booker is a frontrunner in money raised through campaign donations.

According to political science professor Donald P. Green, whose research focuses on voting behavior, partisanship, and campaign finance, a potential answer for Booker’s popularity among the Columbia community may arise from his relative proximity to the University and his ideological outlook.

“He’s from New Jersey and many of our faculty and students in the community live in New Jersey and commute to campus. He’s also a fairly congenial person in terms of his outlook to Columbia faculty and staff,” Green said.

He went on to note the discrepancy between Booker’s lead as the candidate with the highest amount of affiliate-raised campaign donations and his total number of donations.

“[Booker’s] donors are obviously digging more deeply into their pockets to make donations, which is why the absolute dollar figures are a little bit misleading,” Green said.

Of the 43 Columbia affiliates who donated to Booker, the most common type of affiliation was professor, senior researcher, and alumni. On the other hand, Sanders, who had nearly six times the number of donors than Booker did, largely received donations from Columbia affiliates who were teachers, academics, and reading specialists. Sanders has raised a total of $15,935.10 from Columbia affiliates as of Sept. 30, 2019.

Columbia affiliate donations to candidates by contributor type

Postgraduate

Law/Politics

Faculty

Academia

Student

Medicine/Science

Finance/Economics/Corporate

Admin

Teaching positions

Other

Graduate students

Education

100

200 donations

Warren for President, Inc.

Pete for America, Inc.

Marianne Williamson for President

Kamala Harris for the People

Julian for the Future

Inslee for America

Gillibrand 2020

Friends of John Delaney

Friends of Andrew Yang

Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.

De Blasio 2020

Cory 2020

Bullock for President

Biden for President

Beto for America

Bernie 2020

Bennet for America

Amy for America

Other includes donor titles film projectionist, fundraiser, journalist, librarian, programmer,

psychiatrist, public health, reading specialist, tech manager, writer.

Columbia affiliate donations to candidates by contributor type

Finance/Economics/Corporate

Postgraduate

Academia

Student

Admin

Law/Politics

Graduate students

Education

Medicine/Science

Teaching positions

Faculty

Other

100

200 donations

Warren for

President, Inc.

Pete for America, Inc.

Marianne Williamson

for President

Kamala Harris

for the People

Julian for the Future

Inslee for America

Gillibrand 2020

Friends of John Delaney

Friends of Andrew Yang

Donald J. Trump for

President, Inc.

De Blasio 2020

Cory 2020

Bullock for President

Biden for President

Beto for America

Bernie 2020

Bennet for America

Amy for America

Other includes donor titles film projectionist, fundraiser, journalist, librarian, programmer,

psychiatrist, public health, reading specialist, tech manager, writer.

Columbia affiliate donations to

candidates by contributor type

Academia

Faculty

Graduate students

Admin

Postgraduate

Education

Student

Law/Politics

Other

Teaching positions

Medicine/

Science

Finance/Economics/

Corporate

200 donations

Warren for

President, Inc.

Pete for America, Inc.

Marianne Williamson

for President

Kamala Harris

for the People

Julian for the Future

Inslee for America

Gillibrand 2020

Friends of

John Delaney

Friends of

Andrew Yang

Donald J. Trump for

President, Inc.

De Blasio 2020

Cory 2020

Bullock for President

Biden for President

Beto for America

Bernie 2020

Bennet for America

Amy for America

Other includes donor titles film projectionist,

fundraiser, journalist, librarian, programmer,

psychiatrist, public health, reading specialist,

tech manager, writer.

Emmaline Bennett, CC ’20, an organizing committee member of the Columbia-Barnard Young Democratic Socialists for America, isn’t surprised that Sanders received the most number of donations.

“One of the big things about Sanders’ campaign has been appealing to individual donors who are just ordinary working-class people, who might not be able to write a $100 check, or max out their individual donations,” said Bennett. “But they can give $20 or $5—like I’ve given a bunch of small donations to the Sanders campaign because that’s how much I’ve been able to give.”

Democrat

Total contribution of $105,225 to Democratic

candidates from Columbia affiliates.

Widths of lines represent

amounts contributed

$12,232

$9,091

$14,615

$20,879

$15,935

$9,585

Buttigieg

Harris

Biden

Warren

Trump

Booker

Sanders

Republican

$6,549

Biden

Trump

Buttigieg

Harris

Warren

Booker

Sanders

Democrat

Total contribution of $105,225 to Democratic

candidates from Columbia affiliates.

Widths of lines represent

amounts contributed

$12,232

$9,091

$14,615

$20,879

$15,935

$9,585

Warren

Biden

Trump

Booker

Sanders

Buttigieg

Harris

Republican

$6,549

Warren

Biden

Trump

Booker

Sanders

Buttigieg

Harris

Democrat

Total contribution of $105,225

to Democratic candidates

from Columbia affiliates.

Widths of lines represent

amounts contributed

$12,232

$9,091

$14,615

$20,879

$15,935

$9,585

Buttigieg

Biden

Booker

Harris

Warren

Trump

Sanders

Republican

$6,549

Trump

Green also highlighted how Sanders is known as a “brand name associated with left-leaning politics,” an attribute which would make him an attractive candidate to Columbians.

Sanders’ campaign primarily focuses on progressive issues such as tuition-free college, Medicare for all, campaign finance reform, and a $15 minimum wage. But like Booker, Sanders doesn’t have any direct affiliations with Columbia—he graduated from the University of Chicago and served as a U.S. representative for 16 years before being elected to the U.S. Senate.

Columbia affiliate donations to all democratic candidates

First debate

June 26–27, 2019

Second debate

July 30–31, 2019

Third debate

September 12, 2019

15 donations

10

5

0

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Jun

Bernie Sanders

Joe Biden

15 donations

15 donations

10

10

5

5

0

0

Jun

Jun

Mar

Apr

May

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Cory Booker

Kamala Harris

15 donations

15 donations

10

10

5

5

0

0

Jun

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Jun

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Pete Buttigieg

Elizabeth Warren

15 donations

15 donations

10

10

5

5

0

0

Jun

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Jun

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Note: October marker represents the end of FEC-reported data (September 30).

Columbia affiliate donations to

all democratic candidates

First debate

June 26–27, 2019

Second debate

July 30–31, 2019

Third debate

September 12, 2019

15 donations

10

5

0

Jun

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Bernie Sanders

Joe Biden

15

15

10

10

5

5

0

0

Aug

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Sept

Oct

Jun

Jun

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Mar

Apr

Oct

Cory Booker

Kamala Harris

15

15

10

10

5

5

0

0

Jun

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Jun

Elizabeth Warren

Pete Butteggieg

15

15

10

10

5

5

0

0

Jun

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Oct

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Jun

Note: October marker represents the end of FEC-reported data (September 30).

Columbia affiliate donations to

all democratic candidates

Third debate

First debate

Second debate

15 donations

10

5

0

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Bernie Sanders

15

10

5

0

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Joe Biden

15

10

5

0

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Jun

Cory Booker

15

10

5

0

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Jun

Kamala Harris

15

10

5

0

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Jun

Pete Butteggieg

15

10

5

0

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Elizabeth Warren

15

10

5

0

Mar

Apr

May

Jul

Aug

Sept

Oct

Jun

Note: October marker represents the end

of FEC-reported data (September 30).

Though Booker and Sanders currently hold forefront positions in the eyes of Columbia affiliates, Green notes that donation patterns and results are subject to change in the near future.

“I would say that the thing to be on the watch for is what happens after Iowa and New Hampshire. Some of these candidates will get a bounce, and some will be booted out of contention. And the question is what happens to fundraising patterns after that,” said Green.

Staff writer Vidhima Shetty can be contacted at vidhima.shetty@columbiaspectator.com.

Staff graphics reporter Charlotte Li can be contacted at charlotte.li@columbiaspectator.com .

Graphics deputy editor Raeedah Wahid can be contacted at raeedah.wahid@columbiaspectator.com. Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

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