By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Northeast Mississippi individuals and entities have made twice as many contributions to Democrat Barack Obama than to Republican Mitt Romney since the start of the presidential campaign, but Romney has collected much more money overall.
The GOP challenger received 432 donations from Northeast Mississippi residents totaling $215,477 compared to incumbent Obama’s 874 contributions worth $81,774 combined, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Statewide, Romney has raised more than $1.8 million versus Obama’s $664,000. But Obama has bested his challenger nationally with $556 million compared to Romney’s $339.8 million.
Romney is considered the solid favorite to carry Mississippi and win its six electoral votes in the Nov. 6 election.
In Northeast Mississippi, more than half of Obama’s donations were amounts of $50 or less, with many of his supporters chipping in a few dollars here and there. One woman – Darlene Easson, a USDA employee from Oxford – gave five dozen times.
“I think that President Obama has done a good job in a very difficult environment,” Easson said. “I appreciate his vision for what the role of government should be, to do the things that are impractical or impossible for the individual to do.”
Obama’s largest, single contribution was $1,500, from University of Mississippi professor Robert Albritton. Although other supporters gave more overall through multiple donations, retired Mississippi State University professor Ed Clynch of Starkville gave the most – $4,308 in three dozen contributions.
Romney’s contributions came in larger sums; more than half were in amounts of $250 or more. He earned nearly four dozen donations of $1,500 or more, of which six hit $5,000.
Romney’s top donors from the region were from the BancorpSouth and Renasant Bank political action committees, which each gave a total of $10,000.
“His policy proposals appear to favor the financial services industry more than those of the current administration,” said John Oxford, vice president and director of external affairs.
Romney’s most frequent contributor was Mrs. Jimmie M. Brown, a retiree from Starkville, who gave 17 times.
Northeast Mississippi presidential campaign donors have spread contributions this way:
• Romney – 432 contributions totaling $215,477
• Obama – 874 contributions totaling $81,774