The Manhattan Money Game

The most recent FEC filings reveal which Democratic presidential candidates New Yorkers are opening their wallets for

24 Feb 2020 | 05:20

In the 2020 Democratic primary race, Manhattan residents are putting their money on the moderate mayor of a city one-sixteenth the population of their New York City borough.

A review of the February 3 filings with the Federal Elections Commission, the most recent available, showed that Pete Buttigieg has been the top recipient of local political contributions so far in 2020.

Open Secrets, a website maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group that tracks political contributions using data from the FEC, ranked the top 10 recipients of political donations of $200 or more in each zip code in the country. In each of the zip codes that comprise the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Chelsea and Downtown neighborhoods, Buttigieg was a top 10 recipient.

The former South Bend mayor's biggest show of support came from the 10011 zip code in Chelsea with $465,273. The Upper West Side — including zip codes 10023, 10024 — has shelled out a total of $963,781 so far. On the Upper East Side, Buttigieg consistently received six-figure contributions from zip codes in the neighborhood.

Residents of zip codes Downtown gave the least to Buttigieg, but political spending in the neighborhood was lower across the board compared to zip codes farther uptown. The downtown zip code that gave the 38-year-old the most was 10013 with $224,397 in contributions. He was the only candidate to be listed as a top-10 recipient in each zip code.

Money for Moderates

Manhattan residents look to be giving the most to moderate candidates, as former Vice President Joe Biden was also consistently a top-10 recipient in these zip codes. Biden received contributions in the six figures from five of the Upper East Side zip codes, with the largest total coming from 10021, with $318,704. Biden also had a strong showing on the UWS , placing in the top 10 in two zip codes — 10024 and 10023 — with contributions of $254,777 and $253,641, respectively.

In the Chelsea zip code of 10011, Biden received $130,188 in donations. He was least effective at fundraising Downtown, making the top 10 in just four of the eight zip codes. His largest total in the neighborhood came from 10013 with $108,301.

The Women Trail

The two women left in the race, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, each made the top 10 in only five of the zip codes reviewed. Klobuchar, however, had the larger sum of contributions from these zip codes. The senator from Minnesota did her best fundraising on the Upper East Side, receiving contributions of $138,929 (10028), $144,421 (10128), and $93,888. On the west side, Klobuchar made the top 10 of one zip code — 10024 — but it was her largest total from any single zip code, with $193,107. Klobuchar did not make the top ten in either of the two Chelsea zip codes, and placed in the top ten in only one zip code Downtown, taking $11,050 from 10282.

Residents both on the Upper East Side and Downtown were not putting their money on Warren. The senator from Massachusetts made the top 10 in only one UES zip code — 10029, which is the zip code farthest north and covers part of East Harlem — where she collected $17,561 in contributions. She made the top 10 in two zip codes downtown, which together totaled $18,317.

Warren fared better in Chelsea, receiving $158,881 from 10011. Her largest sum of total contributions in a single zip code came from the 10025 zip code on the Upper West Side, which covers 91st to 114th streets, cutting off just before Columbia University. There, she received $171,933 in contributions.

The current front-runner for the nomination fared the worst in fundraising in Manhattan. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who, according to an NBC count, leads the race with 43 delegates, came in the top 10 in only four of the zip codes reviewed. The 78-year-old failed to crack the top 10 of either zip code in Chelsea, and managed to place in the top tier in only one Upper East Side zip code, where he received $22,209 in contributions from 10029.

Sanders did better Downtown than both Warren and Klobuchar. He placed in the top 10 in 10038 and 10280, respectively receiving $19,158 and $7,349 from each. The senator from Vermont did his best fundraising in the 10029 Upper West Side zip code, bringing in $114,622 in contributions.

Big Money on the UES

The Upper East Side has been the leading neighborhood in all political contributions during the election cycle, including donations to candidates for office at all levels of government and political action committees. All of the contributions from each zip code on the east side total a whopping $29,352,641. Comparatively, the residents of an average individual zip code in the United States typically spend $53,884 during an election cycle. The Upper West Side showed its commitment to the democratic process with its zip codes together contributing $15,173,774. Downtown and Chelsea were close in their total contributions, with the downtown zip codes edging out Chelsea $7,725,266 to $7,221,936.

With the Democratic Primary still up for grabs, and a general election looming, Manhattan residents won’t be putting away their check books anytime soon.

Manhattan residents look to be giving the most to moderate candidates.