Marketing Tip: Nearly Half of Democratic Contributors and Nearly Three-Quarters of Republican Contributors Gave Money to Religious Organizations in the Past 12 Months

NEW YORK – The 2012 presidential race is in full swing with both parties’ candidates touring the country, preparing for the Republican and Democratic National Conventions and perpetually fundraising. As campaigns increase their appeals for contributions, consumer market research firm, Scarborough, reveals insights into Democratic and Republican Contributors – who they are, where they live and the types of organizations competing for their financial support.

Scarborough defines Republican Contributors as American adults who say they are registered to vote in their district of residence and self-identify as either Republican or "Independent but feel closer to Republican" and live in a household that has contributed to a political organization in the past year. Democratic Contributors are similarly defined with the only difference being the self-identification as either Democrat or "Independent but feel closer to Democrat." Republican and Democratic Contributors each make up four percent of the registered voter population.

One-quarter (25%) of Republican and Democratic Contributors live in a household that gave money to organizations that, while not political, are related to causes or issues important to them. By understanding where else these political donors choose to spend their money, candidates can better evaluate the issues that matter most to their base. "Political Contributors are the cornerstone constituents of any political party," says Brian Condon, EVP of Commercial Development for Scarborough. "When candidates understand the issues important to their base, as well as how and where to reach them, they can run a more specialized and targeted campaign."

Where can campaigns reach these political contributors? Both Republican and Democratic Contributors spend a great deal of time online per week (25% of internet-enabled Democratic Contributors spend 20 hours or more online per week; 19% of internet-enabled Republican Contributors do the same). These constituents, however, are not particularly active on social media. More than 80 percent of Republican and Democratic Contributors spend none or less than one hour on social networking sites in the average day.

Candidates can reach these Contributors online in other areas. Internet-enabled Republican Contributors are 64 percent more likely than all registered voters to have visited an auction site in the past 30 days, 55 percent more likely to have visited a financial services site and 51 percent more likely to have visited a real estate listings site in the past 30 days. Democratic Contributors are more than twice as likely to watch, listen to or download a podcast in the past 30 days, 86 percent more likely to read or contribute to a blog and 66 percent more likely than all registered voters to have visited a cable TV network site in the past 30 days.

Political campaigns seeking to reach Democratic and Republican Contributors via newspaper, television and radio will also be successful as these Contributors are users of all of these media forms. Republicans and Democrats are 15 percent and 16 percent (respectively) more likely than all registered voters to read the main news/front page section of the newspaper. Ninety percent of Republican Contributors and 85 percent of Democratic Contributors say they have watched any cable television in the past seven days. Finally, Democratic Contributors are 70 percent more likely and Republican Contributors are 17 percent more likely than all registered voters to listen to the All News radio format.

Both Republican and Democratic Contributors primarily belong to the Baby Boomer* and Silent Generations. Sixty-nine percent of Democratic Contributors are age 45 and older; seventy-three percent of Republican Contributors are the same. Democratic Contributors are 11 percent more likely than all registered voters to be men. Republican Contributors are 24 percent more likely to be men. Both parties’ Contributors are more likely than all registered voters to be married with no children under the age of 17 living in the household.

In terms of education, more than half (54%) of Democratic Contributors have a college degree or more while 40 percent of Republican Contributors have the same. For employment – a hot button issue this election year – 12 percent of Democratic Contributors are self-employed or own a small business; 15 percent of Republican Contributors are also self-employed or small business owners.

*Scarborough defines the different American generations as Generation Y (age 18-29), Generation X (30-44), Baby Boomers (45-64) and the Silent Generation (65+).

This data is from Scarborough USA+, Release 1 2012. Scarborough measures 210,000 adults aged 18+ annually across a wide variety of media, lifestyle, shopping and demographic categories.

For more information regarding this or other Scarborough studies, please contact Brad Sherer at

About Scarborough Research

Scarborough (, measures American life. Our consumer insights reflect shopping patterns, media usage across platforms, and lifestyle trends for adults. Media professionals and marketers use Scarborough insights to make smarter marketing/business decisions on things like ad placement, multicultural targeting, and sponsorship opportunities. The company’s core syndicated consumer insight studies in 77 Top‐Tier Markets, its Multi‐Market Study and its national USA+ Study are Media Rating Council (MRC) accredited. Other products and services include Scarborough Mid‐Tier Local Market Studies, Hispanic Studies and Custom Research Solutions. Scarborough measures 2,000 consumer categories and serves a broad client base that includes marketers, advertising agencies, print and electronic media (broadcast and cable television, radio stations), sports teams and leagues and out‐of‐home media companies. Surveying more than 210,000 adults annually, Scarborough is a joint venture between Arbitron Inc. ( and The Nielsen Company ( Contact: Haley Dercher, Scarborough Research, 646-654-8426 /

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