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Strong and Weak ties within the Democratic Candidates Fundraising Strategies

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/02/us/politics/2020-democratic-fundraising.html 

 

The article is focused around various maps displaying the geographic locations of the Democratic candidates’ donors. The amount of money a candidate fundraises greatly influences their chance of becoming the Democratic party nominee. It is also important to recognize that to participate in future debates, candidates must have a minimum of 130,000 unique donors. The maps are very interesting and reveal different strategies the candidates are using. Beto O’Rourke and Amy Klobuchar have gotten the majority of their donors from their states (Texas and Minnesota respectively), while Joe Biden has donors concentrated along the east coast and in Florida. Bernie Sanders has the greatest number of donors (746,000) and the map shows that each region of the U.S. has large concentrations of Sanders’ contributors.

 

The maps can be related to the idea of strong and weak ties. Weak ties are extremely important for these maps. Bernie has the greatest geographical outreach and the greatest amount of donors. This is because he has been able to create weak ties to donors in many states. By doing so, Sanders has been able to connect to a large network of people and potential donors. For example, a donor in Montana could pull other Montana citizens to donate for Bernie. That weak tie connects Sanders to a new area of the American social network. Even if the Montana donor’s friends do not donate, that weak tie will help spread Bernies’ ideas and improve polling results. 

 

I would suspect that other candidates that have most of their donors within their home state, such as O’Rourke or Klobuchar, will not fare well as the election nears. These donors could have strong ties to the candidate. If they do not personally know the candidate, then the path length between the candidate and donor is probably short (2-3). For example, a path length of 2 would occur if the donor’s friend personally knew the candidate.  A higher path length between nodes can help make the candidates’ presence greater in the network.  

 

Ultimately, I believe that each candidate should pursue donors from different geographic areas, as this will connect them to more regions of the American social network. 

 

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