The election for governor is months away, but you can now see who some of your neighbors are supporting.
An interactive map produced by The Eagle shows who gave to candidates and by what amounts. The map uses data compiled from public campaign finance reports released last week and covers giving in 2017. The map is best viewed in Explorer or FireFox.
The map offers insight into where money is coming into the race. Take a look at the map, and below the map read five takeaways about what it means.
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This map is based on thousands of lines from campaign spending reports. If you find something wrong or out of place – an incorrect address or a donation amount that’s off – please let us know.
How to use the map: The map uses pie charts to show the number of donors in an area and what percentage of donors gave to a particular candidate. If you zoom in, you will eventually see the exact locations that donations came from. You can then click on the donation to view who gave and in what amount.
The pie chart shows candidates who had the largest number of donations. Candidates with less are shown as “others” but clicking on an individual donation will still show you which candidate was the recipient of the donation.
You can also click on the candidates’ names at the bottom of the map to isolate them and view only their donors.
The finance reports the map is based on disclosed who’s ahead and who’s behind in fundraising. Here’s who came out on top in contributions:
▪ Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer: $632,068
▪ Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer: $427,762 (plus $285,700 of self-cash)
▪ Mark Hutton: $381,636 (plus $200,000 of self-cash)
▪ Secretary of State Kris Kobach: $354,732
▪ Ed O’Malley: $211,788
▪ Wink Hartman: $120,000 (plus $1.68 million of self-cash)
▪ Jim Barnett: $59,645 (plus $505,000 of self-cash)
▪ Josh Svaty: $192,545
▪ Sen. Laura Kelly: $155,692
▪ Rep. Jim Ward: $89,534 (plus $1,000 of self-cash)
▪ Carl Brewer: $45,470
▪ Greg Orman: $452,931
1. Kobach draws more Kansas donors than Orman
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has been seen as a front-runner in the Republican race although his fundraising has called that into question. Whoever wins the nomination will go on to face Orman and the Democratic candidate.
Kobach’s campaign contends that his fundraising numbers show he has the support of Kansans. Orman, on the other hand, is drawing more support from outside Kansas.
Side by side on the map, it becomes clear Kobach has more Kansas-based donors than Orman. In the larger metro Kansas City area, Kobach’s donors outmatched Orman 2 to 1.
The percentage was even greater in the Wichita area, where Kobach appeared to have eight or more donations for every two from Orman.
The map shows that Kobach brought in more donations from Kansas than Colyer, who is also considered a top contender in the Republican race.
But while that may be encouraging to Kobach, his total fundraising fell behind others.
Still, Kobach says his numbers suggest deeper grassroots support. His campaign said in a statement that more than 90 percent of his contributions came from Kansans.
2. Selzer and Kobach often matched on donors
In his report, Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer came out with $427,000 – a strong showing for a relatively low-key candidacy. Kobach, who frequently attracts attention, had $355,000.
Those differences appear more stark based on the number of donors each candidate had. The map shows in several areas of Kansas, Selzer and Kobach go back and forth on who has the most donors.
In the larger Topeka area, Kobach slightly edges Selzer. Near Salina, however, Selzer has the advantage. In the Wichita area, Kobach has more donors than Selzer by about 2 to 1.
3. Rural Kansas often went for Svaty
Svaty has long touted himself as a candidate for rural Kansas, and the map shows that he is able to draw in rural donors better than others.
About 75 percent of Salina-area donors went for Svaty. From Ellsworth, his hometown, to Great Bend, Hutchinson, Larned and Dodge City, Svaty often took in the most donors of any other candidate.
“One of our key objectives in 2017 was to raise the money we needed to build and deploy a top flight campaign operation with a statewide reach superior to any of our primary competitors. We accomplished that critical objective,” Svaty said in a statement.
Bob Beatty, a political scientist at Washburn University, said Svaty dominated western Kansas.
“I’m not saying there is, but if there’s a correlation between donors and campaign interest, then that’s good for them. In western Kansas, those people out there do vote,” Beatty said.
4. Lots of big-dollar donations in Wichita
A little less than a quarter of donations in the larger Wichita metro area and south-central Kansas were $2,000 – the maximum allowable amount per contributor.
Wichita is a core area for both Democrats and Republicans, and the high number of big donations suggests that candidates know they can come to the city for large hauls.
5. Colyer winning D.C. support
Colyer courted the most donors from Washington, D.C. The map shows that more than a third of D.C.-area donors who gave in the Kansas governor’s race gave to him.
Often, the donations come from firms already connected to Colyer. Alvarez and Marsal PAC gave $2,000. The group previously conducted an efficiency study of Kansas government.
“Colyer did comparatively well with D.C. money,” Miller said, adding: “But how much all of that is anecdotes, and connections – who knows. But it’s still interesting.”