San Diego giving big to presidential candidates

SAN DIEGO - There have been no ads for the presidential race this general election season in San Diego because California is not a battleground state.

But that doesn't mean San Diegans are not donating to the campaigns of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

"California is typically, and San Diego in particular, is now becoming the national ATM [machine] for campaigns," said political analyst and professor Carl Luna, Ph.D.

In fact, you could say the presidential candidates have withdrawn huge sums.

Since January 2011, individuals in the San Diego-10News viewing area have contributed nearly $11.3 million -- more than $5.27 million to Obama, $4.8 million to Romney and the rest going to various other candidates.

Compare those numbers to $10.7 million from the Denver area, $9.4 million from Tampa and $5 million from Cincinnati -- all of which are in battleground states.

So why are San Diegans contributing so much money to these candidates when historically California goes Democrat in presidential elections?

"The understanding of donors in California and San Diego in particular is your money's going to go out-of-state to try to win the major electoral battlegrounds," said Luna.

Which San Diego County ZIP codes are giving the most?

For Romney, it's Rancho Santa Fe at roughly $746,000 and La Jolla with almost $615,000. For Obama, it's La Jolla at about $574,000 and the Hillcrest area with almost $264,000.

The real difference is the number of donations, as it took 3,818 donations for Obama to hit roughly $840,000, and it took just 1,401 donations for Romney to hit $1,350,000.

"Stereotypes have a basis in fact and Democrats tend to do better with small donors and the nice thing with small donors is they tend to turn out to vote," explained Luna.

Nationally, an unprecedented amount of money was donated in the last month to this presidential race -- $717 million -- so San Diego isn't the only area giving big.

"You know, they always come to California to pick our pocket. Can't we buy some counties in Ohio and make them ours so the money they take from us actually gets spent in a California market?" mused Luna.

You can find out how many donations and how much money went to either candidate via ZIP code by clicking the following links:

Obama donations:
Romney donations:

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