Wayzata, that tony western Minneapolis suburb, has been very good to both DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and his Republican challenger, Jeff Johnson.
The 55391 ZIP code, which includes Wayzata and portions of other prosperous west-metro cities, was the top donating ZIP code to both campaigns, according to a Star Tribune analysis of contributions in the governor’s race.
As much as the two men differ on how the state should be run, the geography of their donors is strikingly similar. Both candidates got the vast majority of their campaign cash from Minnesota, doing equally well in cash-rich Edina and cleaning up in their hometowns — Plymouth for Johnson, Minneapolis for Dayton.
Wayzata, with an average income of more than $100,000 a year — twice the state average — is a hot spot for big-ticket candidates. Many of Dayton’s relatives live there, as do two major, long-standing political donors: DFL businessman Vance Opperman and Republican businessman Bill Cooper.
And while Wayzata leans Republican, Dayton has had more success harvesting contributions there. Campaign reports show that the governor brought in $116,000 from Wayzata, while Johnson collected $91,000.
New fundraising reports, covering the last few months, will be published on Tuesday. But the trends are clear: Dayton, who is not self-financing his campaign for the first time in his long political career, has trumped Johnson’s fundraising prowess.
In Minnesota, Dayton has raised $1.5 million from donors giving more than $200, while Johnson has brought in $760,000. Dayton got 91 percent of his campaign cash from Minnesotans, while Johnson got about 95 percent.
Donors who give less than $200 do not need to disclose their names and addresses. Johnson says that if contributions below $200 are included, his Minnesota-based contribution rate rises.
“Jeff is proud that 98 percent of his campaign contributions are from Minnesotans and that his friends and neighbors in Plymouth, who know him best, are some of his most significant donors,” said Jeff Bakken, Johnson’s spokesman.
Dayton’s larger cash haul has allowed him to mount a vigorous, far-reaching ad campaign and has left Johnson fundraising even in the final days of the election. On Monday, Johnson had no campaign events, but he was fundraising and taking care of county business in his job as a Hennepin County commissioner.
According to the Center for Public Integrity’s ad tracker, as of mid-October, the Dayton campaign had spent $1.2 million on ads, while Johnson had spent $788,000.
That disparity may be reflected in public polling. A Star Tribune Minnesota Poll poll published Sunday showed that 11 percent of voters still didn’t know who Johnson was and that 42 percent had formulated no strong opinion about him, either favorably or unfavorably. Dayton had universal name recognition, with 27 percent of voters neutral.
The two men have both gone outside the state in their search for campaign cash. Of the 14 other states that contributed to Johnson, his top source was Florida, which ponied up $12,000 in itemized donations, followed by Virginia, at $6,000.
Dayton tapped 27 other states besides Minnesota. New Yorkers gave the most, at $43,000, while Californians sent him $16,000.
Big outside money has largely bypassed Minnesota in this governor’s race.
As of late September, the political parties and independent groups together had spent only $3.7 million on the race. That number will rise when the new figures come out on Tuesday, but it is unlikely that outside spending will reach the $11 million poured into the 2010 governor’s race, in which Dayton became the first DFLer in the governor’s office in a generation.
Data editor Glenn Howatt contributed to this report.