We know it’s Election Day, and we are sure 99.9 percent of y’all have long since decided if you’re voting for Knox County Commissioner Dr. Richard Briggs or incumbent state Sen. Stacey Campfield, if you haven’t already voted for one or the other. (Or voted for neither in the Democratic primary, of course.) But our pal and political scientist Chris Acuff offered to help us run some campaign finance numbers again, and he sent us some more interesting data about this year’s most interesting primary.
This time around, Acuff enlisted the help of a fellow data geek to geocode the donors by district. (The helper, by the way, goes by Xenocrypt over on Twitter, if you want to follow him.) What they found is that almost 75 percent of donors to both Briggs and Campfield live outside the state Senate’s 7th District—and those donors gave almost 77 percent of Briggs’ contributions and over 87 percent of Campfield’s.
You can study all the data in handy spreadsheet format if you want. But one thing really stands out: The majority of Briggs’ out-of-district donors are in the 6th District, which is entirely in Knox County. Campfield has only a handful of donors from the 6th. (Both men also have a few donors from the 5th District, which is partially in the county).
As Tom Humphrey and others have noted, Briggs saw an uptick in PAC donations in July.
Still, overall, less than 15 percent Briggs’ total campaign contributions have come from PACs, and he’s yet to receive donations from any other candidate’s campaign. Almost 70 percent of Campfield’s contributions have come from PACs and other candidates.
We have no doubt that if Briggs wins tonight, PAC and candidate money will start rolling in. (Since the pre-primary reporting period ended July 28, it could have already happened.) And U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander came very close to officially endorsing Briggs at a campaign stop in Knoxville yesterday, when he was the only candidate or state legislator Alexander called out by name as being in attendance. With support like that, Briggs’ fall campaign coffers could be ridiculously large.
But whoever wins tonight, we’ll be back with more financial breakdowns this fall. And we’ll be on Twitter all night with updates from the Democratic and Republican parties (at the Hilton and Crowne Plaza, respectively, if you want to check them out), and back here with more analysis late. (Or early tomorrow, depending.) And if you haven’t already, get out there and vote!