Vermont: Land of Cheese and Presidential Dough

Photograph by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

President Barack Obama on the wall of an artist's studio in Pawlet, Vermont.

There aren’t many Vermonters, but they do give generously to presidential candidates.

Vermont, which President Barack Obama is visiting today on a fundraising trip, is one of just five states where contributions have averaged more than $1 per resident.

Bloomberg reviewed 2010 U.S. Census data and the Center for Responsive Politics’ state-by-state campaign finance data to compile a per-capita contributions list for this election cycle through the end of February.

The most generous?

They can be found in the 68 square miles around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The District of Columbia has 601,723 residents; people who reported a D.C. address when making a contribution gave more than $3.4 million. That’s an average of $5.67, almost four times as much as people in the second-most-generous state, Utah.

Bloomberg found seven states where residents didn’t even want to hand over a quarter to the presidential field. Leading the pack of frugal folks was Arkansas. The state’s more than 2.9 million residents averaged 16 cents in contributions.

Vermont’s 625,741 residents have given $764,327 so far to Obama and the Republican presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. That’s an average of $1.22 per resident. Only Utah, Massachusetts and Connecticut residents topped Vermont on the per-capita contributions list of states.

Obama will make stops in Burlington, Vermont’s population center, and pay a visit to nearby Maine (where residents chipped in an average of 69 cents to presidential candidates).

The Burlington Free Press reviewed Vermont’s per capita contributions to only Obama and found that no state has been more generous to the president’s re-election effort. It even bested his adopted home state of Illinois, the newspaper found.

DC: $5.67
Utah: $1.46
Massachusetts: $1.36
Connecticut: $1.28
Vermont: $1.22
New York: $1.06

Not so much:
Arkansas: 16 cents
Mississippi: 21 cents
Wisconsin: 21 cents
Indiana: 21 cents
Alabama: 23 cents
North Dakota: 23 cents
West Virginia: 24 cents


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