The Republican presidential candidates released their fundraising totals this week--Rick Perry raised $17 million; Mitt Romney, $14 million--so one map-making journalist posed the question: where in the country is that money coming from? Matt Stiles, a data journalist at NPR, traces the geographic source of each campaign dollar contributed to the eight main players in the GOP field using public Federal Election Commission records and made a map of his results, posted on his personal blog, The Daily Viz (where you can also find a larger version of the map above, as well as maps for each individual candidate).
The results are fascinating. For one thing, it mirrors the patterns in NASA's satellite images of the United States at night (places with a lot of lights also have a lot of money). But it also shows the regional fundraisng machines that are supporting the primary candidates: you can see Perry's fundraising stronghold in Texas, Romney's deep financial roots in Utah as well as Southern California, where he's supersizing his beach-front home (although very little from Massachusetts where he was governor), and even Michele Bachmann's home turf in the Minneapolis area and Newt Gingrich's Georgia stomping grounds are lit up. The Internet-fueled Ron Paul, however, is an exception: the appeal of his brand of libertarianism doesn't seem to be geographically limited as he took donations from all over.