By Nicolette Sblano
New Paltz residents hope their donations to Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will win her the 2016 presidential election over her competitor, Donald Trump.
According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), residents of the Hudson Valley, which includes Ulster, Orange, Dutchess and Columbia counties, donated $515,577 to Clinton. More
specifically, residents of New Paltz donated $46,764, which makes up 9.07% of all donations in the Hudson Valley.
Donations made by local residents help to increase funds for campaigns in swing states. Swing states have an approximately equal amount of Democratic and Republican voters. They are considered especially important when determining the end result of a presidential election. Examples of swing states are Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Money donated to campaigns also goes to television advertisements and to paying the staff that works for the nominees. Dr. Scott Minkoff, Assistant Professor of Political Science at SUNY New Paltz, studies local politics, political participation, political geography and public policy.
“People care about the outcome of this election,” Minkoff said. “That’s why so many people feel the need to donate.”
Jacki Brownstein, a New Paltz resident, feminist and retired executive director of a mental health administration, donated $450 to the Clinton campaign.
“I feel as if my donation will help Clinton win and take down Trump once and for all,” Brownstein said.
Many Clinton supporters feel the same as Brownstein. More often than not, the nominee who raises the most money has the better chance of winning the presidential election, according to Minkoff.
The previous two elections proved this point to be true. According to the FEC, in the 2008 Presidential election, the Obama administration raised $745.7 million while the McCain administration raised $368 million. Four years later in the 2012 election, Obama raised $1.07 billion while Romney raised $992.5 million. In both years, Obama went on to win the election.
The FEC has reported that as of Sept. 30, Clinton had raised $1.1 billion while Trump had raised $712.1 million. New Paltz residents who have donated to Clinton hope the trend continues into the 2016 election.