Saturday, October 20, 2018

South Carolina adults donate the least to political campaigns in the nation, study says

Who Gives?

Posted by Tim Housand on Sat, Oct 20, 2018 at 2:04 PM

  • Flickr user vpickering
Getting solicited for campaign donations for them is a major part of how many of us experience the political system. Anyone who’s ever signed up for a political party newsletter list understands first hand the frustration repeated requests to donate. It seems that this irritation is pretty commonplace, but according to a new report, the state ranks dead last in campaign contributions raised per person.

The key metric from the new report from WalletHub compares the 50 states and District of Columbia on "10 key indicators of political engagement” ranging from education rate to "tax fairness." In that overall ranking, South Carolina came in at #40.

But in terms of political contributions per adult, South Carolina ranked #51, just before West Virginia. Not surprisingly, Washington, D.C. ranked #1 in contributions and for political engagement.

The report does not specify a single cause as to why S.C. falls where it does, but we can make some informed guesses based on South Carolina’s scores on the other indicators, which correlate pretty strongly with its placement. For example, the state came in at #37 on the study’s education ranking, measured as "percent of population 25+ with at least a bachelor’s degree." In GDP per capita, South Carolina ranked #46.

The factor that probably has the greatest influence on political contributions, however, has to do with a much simpler factor: the state's dominant political party. The report found that political engagement generally was significantly lower in red states than it was in blue states. Donald Trump won 54.9 percent of the vote in the 2016 presidential election, besting Democrat Hillary Clinton by over 14 percentage points.

The full report, featuring additional commentary by political science and legal scholars, can be found on Wallethub's website.

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