Election 2016

The deciders

Hillary Clinton is the first presidential candidate to have more female donors than male

Hillary Clinton is the first presidential candidate to have more female large-dollar donors than male

Women’s earning power might still lag men’s, but women are digging deep to make sure Hillary Clinton is elected the United States’ first female president. If she wins on November 8, she’ll also be the first candidate in history to do it with more female than male donors giving over $200.

According to a new analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, an unprecedented 53.8 percent of Clinton donors who gave over $200 were women. By contrast, only 44.1 percent of Barack Obama’s $200-plus campaign donors in 2012 were women, a 10-point swing in just four years.

It’s entirely possible that women are leading men in small-dollar donations (under $200) to the Clinton campaign as well, but those aren’t itemized by name to the Federal Election Commission. We know the lump sum of small-donor dollars, but the FEC doesn’t know the identities unless the campaign reports them.

In every presidential election since 1980, more women than men have cast votes, but their financial power has never equaled their electoral power. Today, women still earn just 83 percent of men’s median weekly earnings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And despite being a majority of the population (50.8 percent), women are in the minority in overall employment (47 percent).

The surge in female donor power is only being felt on the Democrats’ side this year.

The Center for Responsive Politics says that GOP nominee Donald Trump’s dismal showing with women donors merely continues a trend of Republican presidential campaigns that are overwhelmingly funded by men, but Trump’s offensive comments and behavior toward women, as reported throughout his campaign, could also be a factor. Only 27.2 percent of his $200-plus donors, barely half of Clinton’s share, are women. Mitt Romney and John McCain didn’t do much better with women donors, totaling 28.3 percent and 28 percent, respectively.

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