Michele Bachmann raised nearly $2 million for her re-election campaign last quarter, and a lopsided amount of that came from those outside her home state.
The Star Tribune notes that 80 percent of Bachmann’s $655,000 in itemized contributions (those larger than $200) came from outside Minnesota. She also raised $1.1 million in smaller donations.
Bachmann is a national figure in the Tea Party and raised her stature even higher with her presidential campaign last year, giving her more national fundraising prowess than other members of the Minnesota delegation.
In fact, her ratio of in-state to out-state donations started to tip just as the Tea Party was getting off the ground. In 2008, her first re-election campaign, 70 percent of her itemized contributions came from within Minnesota, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2010, after the rise of the Tea Party, that flipped on its head — 69 percent of her donations came from outside the state. The $2.5 million she raised from out-of-staters that year was third among all House incumbents, behind only Republican leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor.
This year, the ratio is 87 percent out-state to 13 percent in-state.
Bachmann, of course, isn’t alone in tapping a national donor base. U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison raised about three-quarters of his funds from non-Minnesotans, and his opponent, Chris Fields, has tried to make that ratio (among other things) a campaign issue. And the Strib notes that 64 percent of the donations to Tarryl Clark, a candidate in the DFL primary race in the 8th District, came from outside Minnesota.
Devin Henry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.