Twin Cities Cash Mainly Flows to Obama
Garrison Keillor may be one of Minnesotas most vocal backers of presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), but the folksy Lake Wobegon creator and many of his neighbors apparently arent entirely smitten with either partys presidential nominee.
Keillor, a best-selling author who hosts the weekly radio program A Prairie Home Companion at the Fitzgerald Theater, lives in St. Paul, whose more than 285,000 citizens have forked over a paltry $22,500 combined to both Obama and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) this cycle. Keillor frequently pokes fun at the Arizona Senator, writing recently that the casual revelation last month that Mr. McCain has never figured out how to use a computer and has never sent e-mail or Googled is rather startling.
Its like admitting that youve never clipped your own toenails or that you didnt know that toothpaste comes out of a tube because your valet always did that for you, Keillor wrote last month in Salon.com about McCains admission. Its like being amazed at the sight of a supermarket scanner.
But of the more than $55,000 that federal campaign finance records show hes plunked down during the past decade, Keiller himself has only given Obama a mere $200 a hesitation that appears common in the Twin Cities.
According to a Roll Call analysis of Federal Election Commission data, Twin Cities-area donors have given the two nominees this cycle about $1.5 million combined, about one-third that of Denver, a comparable metropolitan area where Democrats partied last week and the source of about $4.8 million in contributions to both presidential campaigns.
Included in Roll Calls analysis were Minneapolis, St. Paul and nine suburbs. Obama dominated all but three of the locales, including the capital city and Eden Prairie. The wealthy western suburb of 62,000, which has a median family income of $123,000 and where nearly 60 percent of adults graduated from college, has given McCain $38,621 and Obama $37,869.
Donors in working-class St. Louis Park, just southwest of Minneapolis, also appear split on the November ballot, having given Obama and McCain each less than $3,500.
The epicenter of Obamas support in the Twin Cities metropolitan area appears to be Minneapolis. Contributors in the city of 370,000 have given Obama roughly $869,000 so far this cycle, while cutting McCain checks totaling $154,000. In the fast-growing northwestern suburb of Brooklyn Park, population 75,000, contributors have given Obama $10,277, but only $675 to McCain, according to FEC data.
In the southwestern suburb of Edina, Obama also has run up impressive fundraising ratios. Contributors in the town of 47,000, where three-quarters of residents own their own home, has given the Land of Lincoln lawmaker $132,675 and $33,818 to McCain.
Residents of Minnetonka, once a remote logging community west of the Twin Cities where about 21,500 people now live, also have preferred Obama, giving McCain about $35,000 and the Democratic lawmaker roughly $52,000.
Obama also has had similar success in distant Rochester, home of the world-famous Mayo Clinic. Obama has raised $61,000 in the town of 100,000 about 75 miles southeast of St. Paul, while McCain has brought in $27,000.