Santa Monica Lookout
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Clinton Leads Substantially in Santa Monica Fundraising
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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

 

By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

August 17, 2016 -- Whether Hillary Clinton will become the nation’s next commander in chief is still up in the air, but it appears she has clinched the title for presidential fundraising in Santa Monica.

Clinton has taken in $1,202,420 through June 30, according to the latest information released by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Her Republican rival Donald Trump has raised just $32,886 locally.

Also collecting money in Santa Monica were Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson with $2,950 and Green Party nominee Jill Stein with $1,666.

All of Stein’s Santa Monica money comes from one software developer, who donated to her campaign in five separate transactions this year.

Since Santa Monica is known worldwide for its left-leaning politics, it should come as no surprise that Clinton is leading in local fundraising or even that she is ahead substantially. But Trump’s total is low even by Santa Monica Republican standards.

Mitt Romney took in $687,778 from people with Santa Monica addresses in his failed 2012 campaign for president. Trump has several months left in his campaign to reach Romney’s total, but the math would be difficult.

President Obama received $1,963,227 in donations from Santa Monica that year.

Libertarian Johnson took in $5,500 and Green Stein received a total of $1,250 from three donors, including $500 from former mayor Mike Feinstein, who co-founded the Green Party of California.

In his 2008 presidential campaign, Republican John McCain raised less in Santa Monica than Romney would four years later, but still reached a respectable total of $250,733. Then Sen. Obama received $2,624,341.

The FEC did not report Santa Monica fundraising totals from the nominees of other parties in the 2008 election.

With both of the major parties’ nominees this year polling low on various questions involving likability, there has been lots of talk by political observers that outside candidates could make a significant mark.

Whether that suggested third-party fever will extend to Santa Monica won’t be known until the results are released in November, but recent history does not show a significant local interest in that.

Stein and Johnson received a little more than 1 percent support each in 2012, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar.

No candidate outside the major parties broke through the 1 percent threshold in 2008. The closest was Ralph Nader, running that year as the candidate of the Peace & Freedom Party, with .9 percent.

Santa Monica voting results are not immediately available from 2000, the most recent election year when a third-party candidate played a major role.

Then running as a Green, Nader in many people’s eyes served as a spoiler and took enough votes away from Democrat Al Gore to hand the victory to George W. Bush.

Nader earned 3.2 percent of the vote in Los Angeles County, higher than the 2.7 percent he received nationwide. While whether he was a spoiler in that election continues to be debated, Nader definitely was not one in Los Angeles County where Gore defeated Bush by a wide margin.


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