On Wednesday, President Barack Obama will be in town, for what will be his 39th cash-grabbing visit to New York City in the past three years.
For the Obama campaign, it looks like they’ve found the well that’s yet to run dry: The deep Democratic pockets of The Big Apple.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), a non-partisan research group that tracks spending and fundraising for federal elections, New York City has generated about $15.3 million for Obama’s re-election, making it the top-earning city for his campaign.
The entire state of New York has donated $23 million to Obama.
Not including Wednesday's basketball fundraiser, he’s attended 38 Manhattan events to raise funds either directly for his campaign or for the Democratic National Committee.
“New York City is a donor-rich environment that’s home to many affluent individuals so it continually proves to be very fertile ground for candidates, regardless of party,” said Costas Panagopoulos, a political science professor at Fordham, adding that New York is a fundraising epicenter for both parties.
Even so, Obama’s far out-fundraised Mitt Romney in The Big Apple. New Yorkers have given $9.5 million so far to date to Romney.
In July, Sarah Jessica Parker hosts an extravagant $40,000-per-plate
event for Obama at her West Village brownstone with attendees including
Meryl Streep, Olivia Wilde and Anna Wintour. The lavish evening wraps up
with a second event at the Plaza Hotel, where Mariah Carey and Alicia
Keys perform for the president and 250 high-end donors.
While the president takes heat from the GOP for rubbing elbows with celebrities, these relationships have their payoffs. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and Vogue editor Anna Wintour are among his most active New York supporters who have helped draw at least $8.7 million nationally from the entertainment industry, according to the CRP.
In August of last year, Obama attended an intimate reception with 15 top
donors at the Ritz Carlton. After that, he headed to the home of movie
producer Harvey Weinstein to speak to 50 high-profile Democrats,
including Gwyneth Paltrow and Jimmy Fallon. Tickets for each event sold
for $35,800 per head, bringing in a combined total of $2.3 million for
“In the last few election cycles, Democrats have had greater appeal with the entertainment industry. It could help him,” said Panagopoulos, but was quick to add that the same could be said for Romney and the financial services industry.
In the meantime, New York remains unrivaled as Obama’s most generous city.