The Political Leanings of DC Zip Codes

by Shilpi Paul

The Political Leanings of DC Zip Codes: Figure 1

In light of the events of the past several days, it is easy to forget that there is a presidential election happening this coming Tuesday.

In an effort to get back to business as usual, UrbanTurf dug into campaign donation data for the DC area to find out where Barack Obama and Mitt Romney contributors live, how much they are giving, and which areas tend to lean more to the left or more to the right.

Using OpenSecrets.org, we unearthed Obama and Romney contributions by zip code. We only focused on individual contributions made to presidential candidates, and did not include contributions to PACs or the Republican or Democratic National Committees.

First, however, we looked at regional and DC-wide data. Overall, the metro area gave to Obama at a rate of almost 2 to 1, with the sitting president receiving $24,591,687 and Mitt Romney receiving $13,113,904. In the District, the ratio was higher (just above 4 to 1) with Obama receiving $9,623,308 and Romney receiving $2,273,632.

From there, UrbanTurf drilled down into the zip codes. We narrowed our search to the 20 most populated zip codes in the city and close-in Virginia and Maryland, and pulled out Obama and Romney contributions from each of them. Today, we’ll focus on DC zip codes.

While, unsurprisingly, Obama donations were higher than those to Romney in every zip code of our largely Democratic city, a few interesting tidbits still emerged.

The Political Leanings of DC Zip Codes: Figure 2

  • Donation-wise, 20019 and 20012 Lean Far to the Left, Even For DC

20019, the zip code that encompasses Deanwood, and 20012, which includes Takoma, show the highest ratio of Obama contributions to Romney contributions. In 20012, Obama received $314,967, while Romney contributions totaled a scant $2,400. However, it is hard for that ratio to compete with 20019, where not a single Romney donation has been recorded.

  • 20008 Donated the Most Money To Obama

The largest chunk of Obama donations from one zip code — a total of $1,501,821 — came from 20008, the zip code that encompasses the neighborhoods surrounding Connecticut Avenue between Columbia Road NW and Nebraska Avenue NW, including portions of Forest Hills, Van Ness, Cleveland Park, Woodley Park, and Kalorama. Obama donations beat Romney donations here by about 4 to 1, with Romney getting $337,337.

  • 20016 Donated the Most Money to Romney

If there is a hotbed (and we use that term loosely) for Republican support in DC proper it is 20016. The zip code that includes the neighborhoods of Spring Valley and AU Park and has been home to Karl Rove represented the largest chunk of Romney donations — a total of $459,501 — from one DC zip code. Obama, however, collected $1,416,343 from 20008 residents.

  • 20007 Donated Generously to Both Candidates

Along with those in 20008 and 20016, residents from Georgetown’s zip code of 20007 donated generously to both campaigns, giving $1,109,257 to Obama and $379,705 to Romney.

  • 20001 and 20036 Like PACs

Though 20001, the zip code encompassing much of Columbia Heights, Shaw and Mount Vernon Square and 20036, which covers the area south of Dupont Circle above K Street, are highly populated, it was difficult to include either in this analysis, as the top 10 recipients for both zip codes were largely PACs. Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney showed up on the list of top ten contribution recipients in either zip code.

Keep an eye out tomorrow for Maryland zip codes and on Monday, we’ll look at Virginia.

Note: The contribution data for this article is based on information recorded by OpenSecrets.org as of October 31, 2012. The website is constantly updated with new contribution amounts, so the numbers and rankings in this piece are subject to change.

See other articles related to: editors choice, dclofts

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_political_leanings_of_dc_zip_codes/6234


  1. Eric said at 7:33 pm on Thursday November 1, 2012:
    Very cool to see the contribution numbers lined up side by side. Even though DC always goes Dem, I'm not surprised by the relatively large amount of Romney support in 20016 and 20008.
  1. Veronika said at 9:26 pm on Thursday November 1, 2012:
    Not surprised by 20012 either. However, knowing who lives there (chill, I grew up there), it should be a shock to no one.
  1. Pessoptimistic said at 2:18 am on Friday November 2, 2012:
    You wrote "Donation-wise, 20019 and 20012 Lean Far to the Left, Even For DC" No educated person would consider a donation to Obama a leaning to the far left! The most left Obama gets is the center. In other words, he's mostly right of center.
  1. Jack said at 4:58 pm on Friday November 2, 2012:
    It should be noted about 20016, although they gave the most to Romney, they also gave the 2nd most to Obama.

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